Rachel and I attended the first Architect Declare event at the Battersea Arts Centre on 27 November. Over 200 people, all signatories, attended to debate key issues on the climate emergency and how we as an industry might collectively re-imagine architecture and urbanism in a way which can have a more positive impact on the world around us.
The highlights by far were the presentations by Jeremy Lent and Kate Raworth, who each gave compelling critiques of the cultural and consumerist values that underpin our energy-hungry society and alluded to the paradigm shift required to avert climate breakdown.
The second half of the day took a more participatory format and involved larger group discussions on ten key questions regarding circular economy, regenerative design, whole life carbon, ways to reduce waste and increase biodiversity.
This was followed by an interactive poll, led by Maria Smith of Interrobang, where everyone was asked to vote by moving towards one side of the room or the other depending on whether they strongly agreed or disagreed with statements. These ranged from promoting the Green New Deal to disclosing performance data of buildings.
All in all, it was an incredibly enlightening and informative day. The energy in the room was extremely positive – let’s hope that this momentum continues into 2020.