City Conversations: the material city


This conversation will explore some of the current issues facing planners, designers and construction professionals regarding the 'fabric' of the city. Materiality defines a city: traditional construction such as the Georgian square and the Victorian terrace provide a sense of identity. The best examples of post-war modernity are gradually being accepted as part of the city heritage. The demand for density, efficiency and performance along with the speed/impact of construction is starting to change all this. Does London value its historic built environment sufficiently or do we demolish too much? Should we be less “protective” and create new identity? Can we create a 'new vernacular' or will all cities start to look the same? How does the language of materials create a positive city experience for people in our cities – be it in buildings, public realm and infrastructure?

Speakers include:

- Andy Murdoch, partner at BuroHappold Engineering

- Lubaina Mirza, project manager at Design for Homes

- John Lyall, partner at Lyall Bills and Young Architects

- Wolf Mangelsdorf, director at BuroHappold Engineering

- Jonathan Schifferes, associate director at RSA

- Kay Hughes, director at Khaa

City Conversations is a series of informative thought-leadership discussions around the big issues that are changing our cities - growth, technology, resource efficiency and climate change. The conversations will address not only the new and changing infrastructure of cities but also how these are brought about and their impact on the lifestyle and wellbeing of citizens.

This series is produced by The Happold Foundation with ngenuity Ltd and supported by The Building Centre and Rehau.