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Speaking out: can architects make a difference?

07 June 2022

18:30 -20:00

Following the RA Architecture Symposium, this debate will explore the LFA theme of 'Act' by questioning how architects can and should make a difference.

From venerable institutions to small practices, the days of architecture staying silent amidst complex societal and environmental issues are over. Or are they?

Architects have always had to balance social ambitions with the needs of the market and generation of profit. But today practices are expected to stake out their position on a range of issues from climate change to mental health or be prepared to face reputational damage and loss of cultural currency.

There’s a clear generation gap, not just about appropriate subjects for debate, but the best communication channels to use – with social media offering new platforms for accountability.

For a previous generation, architecture’s renewed focus on social causes is a significant rethink of a job description that sought to effect change through design. But a new generation of practitioners want to know where their bosses stand before they publicly support a cause – or even work for a practice.

Is this collision of architecture and activism good for society? Should we be celebrating architecture’s changing set of attitudes or is this simply a misguided attempt to revive the profession’s dwindling reputation with the public?

This event is organised in partnership with Archiboo
Drinks reception supported by SOM and Buro Happold

Tickets / Admission :
£15, £9


Royal Academy of Arts

Twitter: @architecture_RA
Instagram: @architecture_RA

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Image: Photo by Gabriel McCallin on Unsplash


Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Royal Academy of Arts

6 Burlington Gardens, London



Wheelchair accessible
Wheelchair accessible toilet

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