London Festival of Architecture: “Does identity matter?” A symposium on architecture and identity, Friday 15th June, 11:00-18:00, Royal Academy of Arts

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When: Friday 15th June 2018, 11:00-18:00

Where: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House entrance Piccadilly London W1J 0BD / 6 Burlington Gardens entrance, London W1S 3ET

Tickets: free tickets available for Westminster students (worth £15). Email

The London Festival of Architecture is proud to present Does Identity Matter? – the inaugural LFA Symposium on Friday 15 June. The event offers a rich exploration of identity in the context of individual and collective expression, place-making and architectural practice, and takes place at the Royal Academy – newly re-opened following a major expansion project designed by Sir David Chipperfield.

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 highlight of the day is a keynote address by Mary Duggan. In a talk entitled The identity of the profession: starting again, Mary will share her experience of setting up two successful practices and the role identity plays in forging a successful presence in a marketplace that is abundant in talent. Having initially founded Duggan Morris Architects, she will reflect upon its commercial success and the lessons she has taken from it in establishing Mary Duggan Architects, and the role identity has played in creating her own distinct profile, focus and skillset.

Panel 01 – Destruction of City’s Identity (chaired by Rob Bevan, architecture critic)

  • Verity Jane Keefe (visual artist working predominantly in the public realm) – ‘Outer London love affairs’
  • Clare Melhuish (director, UCL Urban Laboratory and an anthropologist specialising in architecture and the built environment) – ‘Universities as agents of change in urban identities’
  • Maya Ober (founding editor of the practice-led research platform Depatriarchise Design) – ‘Antagonised identities of South Tel Aviv neighbourhoods of Shapira and Neve Sha-anan’
  • Rhiannon Williams (poet, currently studying MA Narrative Environments at Central St Martins) – ‘Fracture Edit: recoding the Cypriot buffer zone

Panel 2 – Production of City’s Identity (chaired by Shumi Bose, senior lecturer in architecture, Central St Martins, UAL)

  • Adam Greenfield (London-based writer and urbanist) – ‘Inhospitable Soil: destination London and the difficulty of the commons’
  • Mustafa Chehabeddine (design principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox) – ‘Iconic architecture and the city identity’
  • Emily Gee (London planning director, Historic England) – London’s identity on the (sky)line’
  • Morag Myerscough (designer/artist fascinated how colour, pattern and words can change urban environments and perceptions of spaces into places) – ‘Can we together make belonging?’

Full programme for the day and booking info can be found on the following link:

Featured image copyright: Mary Duggan Architects

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