The Centre for Conscious Design

Curating experience | The Future Role of the Architect

October 22, 2018 – 7:00 pm
The RIBA, Florence Hall, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Recordings (available to CCD Members)

The architecture profession is in flux once again. The role of the architect is changing as a result of client expectations, market demands, and the growing need for specialised knowledge. Architects are interested in creating environments that prioritise the user experience, but are more often occupied with other aspects of project management and procurement. Addressing this disjunction is ultimately the responsibility of the profession itself. As other professions move towards more transparent methodologies and an evidence base, architects still rely heavily on their intuition. What new tools will shift the architecture profession back to a focus on curating experience?

Conscious Cities and the RIBA will host a series of short talks and a panel debate with those reshaping the future of the profession. How will a growing and valuable evidence base from neuroscience and psychology fit into future projects and change the way we design and build?

This event is part of an event series

Host Chapter / Organisers

Organising Fellow/s

Ben Derbyshire was elected as president of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) in 2016 on a platform of change. His term will run for two years from September 2017. He is Chair of HTA Design LLP, a design consultancy to the home building industry, practicing ‘creative collaboration’ in a range of professional and other disciplines.

Prior to joining Maggie’s Chris had a lead role in delivering several of the country’s leading cultural developments. Working as a consultant to many prestigious clients that include the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, English Heritage and the Imperial War Museum, Chris took responsibility for the implementation of the Sainsbury Wing in Trafalgar Square, the Tate Modern Tanks, the Stonehenge Visitor Centre and the Imperial War Museum North to name but few. In 1998 Chris was honoured by HM The Queen for his work on the restoration of Windsor Castle following the Great Fire of 1992. Chris joined Maggie’s as a Director in 2012 and has taken a lead role for Maggie’s in the completion of some ten Centres with Steven Holl’s Barts Centre being the most recent. He is currently working on a several further Centres which are in various stages of design and construction.

Prof. Alan Penn is the Dean of the Bartlett faculty of the Built Environment, he is a founding director of Space Syntax Ltd, a UCL knowledge transfer spin out with a portfolio of over 100 applied projects per year, including whole city masterplans, neighbourhood development plans and individual buildings. Prof. Penn was the Chair of the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel 16 and a member of Main-panel C for the Research Excellence Framework 2014. He is Principal Investigator on the £5m five year EPSRC funded Digital Economy Hub: UK Regions Digital Research Facility.

Founding director of Marks Barfield Architects (MBA) 1989 together with husband and partner David Marks (1952 – 2017) – also the originators and creative Entrepreneurs behind the design, funding, development and realisation of the London Eye and British Airways i360 in Brighton. MBA has won more than 80 awards for Design, Innovation and Sustainability. Clapham Old Town won the NLA Award for Public Space in 2015. Greenwich Gateway Pavilions won an RIBA National award 2016 and in 2017; The University of Cambridge Primary School won the RIBA East Award in 2017 and British Airways i360 has won 18 awards over 2017-2018.

Prof Tolullah Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, and a Clinical Senior Research fellow with the Unit’s Global Public Health Research programme. She spent 11 years conducting research in South Africa, where she also completed her public health medical specialty training. There, she established a Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE), conducting transdisciplinary urban health research focused on generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa. Research activities include Systems for Health projects: investigating how urban systems (e.g. housing, food) can be harnessed for health; and Health Systems projects: integrated heath systems responses to changing patterns of disease and multimorbidity in the context of urbanisation. She continues this focus within the GDAR network, focusing on meso- and macro-level determinants of diet and physical activity. She has published over 40 manuscripts in high-impact journals, and has given presentations at international academic (urban health, HIV, TB) and non-academic meetings including the United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, New York; and the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, Davos 2018. She serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and the African Academy of Science Open Research Platform; and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, and the Journal of Urban Health. Profiled in the Lancet journal in 2016, she is a 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow, and Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

Prof Kate Jeffery is a neuroscientist researching how the brain makes an internal representation of space. Kate founded the “Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience” at UCL, a laboratory comprising several researchers who use physiological methods to study cognition. She studies how spatially sensitive neurons encode complex spaces, with a particular focus on two main issues: three dimensional space, and the internal “sense of direction”.