- Above and beyond
- The call of the wild
- The future is bright but not the same
- A “Plan in Impossible Perspective”
- Mary, queen of hotels
- The Hollow Man: poetry of drawing
- Trecento re-enactment
- Make models: LSQ London
- Reporting from Berlin
- Advocating sustainable facade design
- Hand-drawing, the digital (and the archive)
- Drawing as an architect’s tool
- Don’t take a pop at POPS
- Stefan Davidovici – green Mars architect
- Lessons on future office design from Asia Pacific
- The role of the concept sketch
- Make models: an urban rail station
- How drawing made architecture
- Full court press
- Ken Shuttleworth on drawing
- Make models: FC Barcelona
- Hotels by Make
- Make calls for a cultural shift in industry’s approach to fire safety
- When drawing becomes architecture
- The Architecture Drawing Prize
- Make models: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
- City-making and Sadiq
- Digital Danube
- 2036: A floor space odyssey
- The green tiger
- The human office
- London refocused
- Designing in Sydney
- Cycle design for the workplace
- Harold on tour
- Are you VReady?
- Property’s rising stars on the future of the industry
- UK Employee Ownership Day 2016
- Letter from Hong Kong
- Long life, loose fit
- Unique cities – questions of identity
- Relevant cities
- Greener cities
- Completing the architecture
- The future of architecture – Gavin Mullan
- The future of architecture – Andrew Taylor
- The future of architecture – Alejandro Nieto
- Put a lid on it
- The future of architecture – Jet Chu
- The importance of post-occupancy evaluation for our future built environment
- Bricks – not just for house builders
- The future of architecture – Bill Webb
- Designing for a liveable city
- The future of architecture – Rebecca Woffenden
- The future of architecture – Matthew Bugg
- The future of architecture – Robert Lunn
- The future of architecture – David Patterson
- The future of architecture – Katy Ghahremani
- Safer streets for all
- Responsible resourcing should be an integral part of every project
- Developing a design for the facade of 7-10 Hanover Square
- Curious Sir Christopher Wren
- The socio-economic value of people-focused cities
- Responsible sourcing starts with design
- Designing in the City of Westminster
- Is off-site manufacture the answer?
- Rolled gold
- How to make a fine suit
- Just a game?
- Judo’s big fight
- Hand-to-hand combat
- Make models: electricity pylon competition
Designing for a liveable city
Future proofing London
Experience has shown us that prediction can be a bit hit and miss. So when planning for resilience and risk we have to consider what we do know versus what we don’t. For example, we don’t know exactly how climate change will affect us; but we know that it will.
And when we are unsure of what is to come, there is an instinct to play it safe and stick to what we do know. But if we never open our eyes or ears to other things, we stop exploring and discovering. We fail to take a risk. Excitement is lost and the benign wins.
Everything that gets built in a city reflects an ethos. Architecture always expresses a hope or a fear – an argument for an idea or a resistance to another. So as architects and designers aspiring to create long-term value, our future-proofing can only be based on what those ideas are.
Cities are centres of innovation and freedom, havens of tolerance and sophistication. They provide information, association, choice and security. But when you look at London how many of these functions were actually planned in terms of their future application? Or have they evolved through the vigour that the built environment has facilitated?
The essence of any city comes from a combination of its fabric – the spaces and buildings – its geography, and its people. But we also have to remember that a city’s identity is interwoven with its fabric of buildings and spaces.
And what should London’s identity be?
We know that London is recognised for its economic and political importance and its cultural diversity. We know that with the evolution of traditional office working practices, third spaces and public spaces are becoming the meeting places of choice. And we know that such factors have to be accommodated by the spaces and buildings we create – their typology, flexibility and adaptability.
Without accurate prediction of the future, we as architects can’t make any meaningful dictats in isolation – and I’d question whether it’s our job to do so anyway. We have to be part of the communal endeavour that ‘is’ the city. We have to join the conversation. Listen. Share. Explore. Discover.
To help create resilience and long-term value for the future, we have to support London’s evolution. We have to nurture public space as the glue between the city and its citizens. We have to ensure that London above all is a liveable city.
This post was adapted from Ken’s talk at the Base London conference.