Posted on 27 June 2012
From the rise of the 'Grand Designs' generation who want to build their own homes, to the pioneering work of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation who first introduced social housing, the day’s events on Saturday, 30 June will focus on how architecture surrounds and shapes our daily lives.
The first half of the 'Festival Focus on Architecture Day' programme will explore which houses help to build family life – and which do not, as well as an exploration of issues such as why an increasing number of us live in the same or less space than in the era of Downton Abbey.
Highlights include The Observer Architecture Critic Rowan Moore talking about his new book Why We Build. He will explain how buildings are shaped by human emotions and desires such as hope, power, money, sex, and the idea of home and how buildings then shape our experiences.
Rowan Moore's talk at 12 noon will be followed by a debate on 'The wonder of home? Which places have it and what can architecture contribute?' chaired by Rowan Moore at 12.45pm. The discussion will feature contributions from a panel of experts including Professor Becky Tunstall, Director of the University of York Centre for Housing Policy and John Hocking, Executive Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Dr Mark Roodhouse, a social historian who has charted the way in which technology in the home has changed our lives.
The second half of the day will focus on how architecture has the ability to inspire confidence and prosperity on a global scale. It will address questions such as how can a heritage city such as York embrace modern inspiring architecture? How can it use architecture to attract inward investment and to provide a sense of a city that is confident, ambitious and open to new ideas?
These questions will be addressed by world-leading speakers including Hiro Aso, Director of McAslan & Partners and Peter Millican, a property developer and creator of Kings Place, Kings Cross, as well as through a public debate.
The debate will be chaired by Kersten England, Chief Executive, City of York Council. She said: "I am delighted to be involved in this unique event, which I feel provides the opportunity for an important debate on the way in which the spaces in which we operate socially and economically can fundamentally shape our future as a city. I am keen for the city to take a lead in innovating in the way that heritage cities can create truly distinctive spaces that attract and retain the businesses and talent we seek."
Exhibitions will be held throughout the day and include a strawbale stand by York-based Native Chartered Architects Ltd which specialises in low carbon, low energy developments using natural materials wherever possible. Malton-based Bramhall Blenkharn will be exhibiting a selection of award winning innovative housing projects across the region, which they believe demonstrate the ability of good architecture to create "homes of wonder".
There will be digital installations in the 3Sixty immersive AV space featuring work on Kings Cross by McAsalan and Partners, Arup and the latest York Design Award winners which were announced on 18 June.
All events take place in the superb Ron Cooke Hub, which sits at the heart of the University of York's ambitious £750m expansion at Heslington East. The development has won a number of major architecture awards, including a national Royal Institute of British Architects award for architectural excellence.
Free parking is available at the Heslington East campus and the Hub cafe will be open from 11.30am. All events and exhibitions are free, but booking is required for the events. For tickets visit www.yorkfestivalofideas.com/tickets/. For further information on the 'Festival Focus on Architecture Day' visit www.yorkfestivalofideas.com/focus/festival-focus-architecture/.