The architecture of citizenship: design, dialogue and democracy

The first event in The architecture of citizenship series aims to understand what role the built environment plays in creating a dialogue between the citizens and the state. This talk is part of a year-long programming that explores the relationship between politics and the built environment with the aim of helping architects become active agents of social change.

Design, dialogue and democracy starts from the premise that urban design is necessarily political, as are the planning decisions that shape the built environment on different scales, from the home to the city. As such, different types of spaces are particularly apt at empowering citizens to make their sentiments public and actively participate in society. From movements like Occupy Wall Street, protests in Tahrir Square or the migrant crisis in Calais, the design of space still remains - implicitly or explicitly - a central protagonist in political processes and creation of a new social order.

Moving from theory to practice, the aim of this talk is to offer the necessary theoretical framework and terminology for discussing the relationship between citizenship and the built environment. Starting from the evolving connections between public space and public sphere, this talk will tackle the politics of architecture, the symbolic and strategic value of public space, as well as the idea of citizenship as process rather than status, to question whether specific design decisions can help shape a more active citizenship and a more inclusive society.

Speakers include:

- Adam Kaasa, director of Theatrum Mundi, LSE Cities

- Maria S. Giudici, lecturer at Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association

- Elsie Owusu OBE, principal of Elsie Owusu Architects

- Asif Khan, director of Asif Khan Ltd

Book online

Cost: from £15 + VAT

A partnership between The Built Environment Trust and  Museum of Architecture.