Join us for a day-long symposium exploring the impact of architecture on the identity of a city, and find out more about the influence of social and spatial identities on urban change.
The London Festival of Architecture’s inaugural symposium will offer a rich exploration of identity in the context of individual and collective expression, place-making and architectural practice.
Identity can be seen as the intangible patina that has formed upon places over decades or centuries, or as a more synthetic recent invention by marketers and developers: either way it is fundamental to our understanding of the buildings and spaces around us.
Does Identity Matter? will bring together prominent architects, academics and commentators to explore how identity acts as a potent architectural force in shaping London. We will challenge how people connect and identify with their homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods and the city as a whole.
The LFA Symposium will explore the connections between architecture and identity through two expert panels. Building on specific case studies ranging from Shapira and Neve Sha’anan neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv to the former Ford factory in Dagenham, the first panel chaired by Rob Bevan will look into how a city’s identity can be pulled apart through various architectural and spatial interventions.
Then, a second panel chaired by Shumi Bose will delve into the role of architecture in the production of a city’s identity and will take a broader view, examining everything from the unmissable ‘icons’ that define our skyline to the more technical but no less important impact of height restrictions on London’s development.
Panel 1: The destruction of a city’s identity
Verity Jane Keefe – visual artist, working predominantly within the public realm
Dr Clare Melhuish – Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory
Maya Ober – founding editor, Depatriarchise Design
Rhiannon Williams – poet, currently studying MA Narrative Environments at Central St Martins
Rob Bevan (chair) – architecture critic at the Evening Standard, has written widely on identity, destruction and the city
Panel 2: The production of a city’s identity
Adam Greenfield – writer and urbanist, founder and managing director of Urbanscale
Mustafa Chehabeddine – Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox
Emily Gee – London Planning Director, Historic England
Morag Myerscough – founder, Studio Myerscough
Shumi Bose (chair) – Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL; curator at the RIBA
This event is organised in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts.
11:00 - 18:00
Admission: 25 / 15 concession
The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD