RIBA Conference 2006 – Social City: Architecture and Change

What are the social benefits of good architecture? Is there evidence that good design makes a difference? Architects claim to be the engineers of social change – arguing that a good hospital will help patients recover more quickly, that a well designed school will result in children achieving better results, and that good urban design can result in less crime, and healthier lifestyles – but is it true?

Speakers including Lord Foster, Trevor Phillips OBE, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jon Snow, and Anthony Williams, Mayor of Washington, will join a team of international experts in Venice for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) annual conference to discuss these issues. The conference, entitled Social City: Architecture and Change, will take place on October 27-28, 2006 at the Teatro alle Tese during the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Speaking about the conference, RIBA President Jack Pringle said: “Everybody agrees that good architecture adds social and economic value. So if that is the case, what are the obstacles to effecting social change through architecture? Why can’t we live in a better world? In this conference, we are going to try to get to the bottom of this conundrum. By the end of our stay in Venice I hope we will have come up with a few answers, made new contacts and friends across the professions- and had a good time in a fabulous city.”

Other speakers during the two-day conference include: Ben Page, Director of the MORI Social Research Institute; Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute; Richard Simmons, CABE; Sophie Body-Gendrot, Centre for Urban Studies at the Sorbonne; Clare Wright, architect; Mark Lawson, journalist and broadcaster; Deborah Saunt, architect; Jack Pringle, RIBA President; and Sunand Prasad, architect.

The RIBA’s 2006 Conference partner is Buro Happold and the conference is sponsored by Corus, SCHCO, AON, Union Square, RIBA Journal and BD.

Throughout the conference, there will be a series of special architecture tours offering an insight into the best of Venice’s historical and contemporary architecture.

Conference tickets are 399 + VAT including free entry to the Architecture Biennale exhibition. A small number of student places are available at 150 + VAT. To book or for information, contact JC Events at 020 8755 4441 or visit www.architecture.com