- My time with the BCO
- The call of the wild
- Long Live the Office
- The art of an art historian
- Mary, queen of hotels
- Make models: Portsoken Pavilion
- The Make Charter
- Why Brexit will see a glass half-full emptied
- Make models: LSQ London
- Disappearing Here – On perspective and other kinds of space
- Drawing and Thinking
- Drawing to an end?
- Making shops exciting again: Lessons from the Nordics (part 1)
- Make models: Grosvenor Waterside
- Drawing Architecture
- The Hollow Man: poetry of drawing
- Above and beyond
- Interview with Lendlease’s Kevin Chapman
- Making shops exciting again: Lessons from the Nordics (part 2)
- Plein air in the digital age
- A “Plan in Impossible Perspective”
- Art Editor’s picks
- Making shops exciting again: Lessons from the Nordics (part 3)
- The future of bespoke HQs
- Make models: The Luna
- World-class architecture
- The Architecture Drawing Prize Exhibition Review
- The future is bright but not the same
- Employee ownership
- The tools of drawing
- Trecento re-enactment
- Lessons on future office design from Asia Pacific
- The human office
- How drawing made architecture
- Advocating sustainable facade design
- Make models: FC Barcelona’s Nou Palau Blaugrana
- Drawing as an architect’s tool
- Are you VReady?
- Cycle design for the workplace
- Designing in Sydney
- The Architecture Drawing Prize
- Make models: an urban rail station
- Reporting from Berlin
- City-making and Sadiq
- Hand-drawing, the digital (and the archive)
- Ken Shuttleworth on drawing
- The green tiger
- Stefan Davidovici – green Mars architect
- When drawing becomes architecture
- Make models: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
- The role of the concept sketch
- Make calls for a cultural shift in industry’s approach to fire safety
- 2036: A floor space odyssey
- Harold on tour
- London refocused
- Hotels by Make
- Full court press
- Digital Danube
- Don’t take a pop at POPS
- The future of architecture – Matthew Bugg
- The future of architecture – Jet Chu
- The future of architecture – Robert Lunn
- The future of architecture – David Patterson
- The future of architecture – Rebecca Woffenden
- The future of architecture – Katy Ghahremani
- Safer streets for all
- The importance of post-occupancy evaluation for our future built environment
- Put a lid on it
- Designing for a liveable city
- The future of architecture – Bill Webb
- Bricks – not just for house builders
- Designing in the City of Westminster
- Rolled gold
- How to make a fine suit
- Responsible sourcing starts with design
- Is off-site manufacture the answer?
- Developing a design for the facade of 7-10 Hanover Square
- Curious Sir Christopher Wren
- Responsible resourcing should be an integral part of every project
- The socio-economic value of people-focused cities
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.