Consultation Con

Community consultation is meaningless vacuous tick-box detritis. It has become a decoy that developers deploy to shove unwanted projects down the throats of an unconsenting public. Its cringeworthy language of community empowerment is just thinly veiled power moves and lazy spin. The profession, the public, and the built environment would be better off without it.

The Debators

This debate's panel are all concerned with the role of public communication in architecture. They have all worked on projects where community engagement and collaborative design have been a gamechanging part of the process.

Daisy Froud is a founder of AOC and whilst at the practice headed up the participation team. Daisy specialises in facilitating collaborative planning through implementing strategies to encourage diverse community groups to find common ground during the design process. She is currently teaching at the Bartlett school of architecture, whilst also sitting on the Hackney Design Review panel.

Holly Lewis is a co-founder of We Made That, an architectural practice specialising in urban interventions with a strong public focus. Holly leads the research portfolio of the practice, carrying out comprehensive studies of local environments and economies, which inform her continued involvement in the Tower Hamlets Conservation and Design Advisory Panel.

Piers Taylor is founder of Invisible Studio, an anti-practice that attempts to operate in different ways than mainstream architectural practice. Piers was a Studio Master at the AA and Design Fellow at Cambridge and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sheffield. He lives in a self built house on a site with no car access and works from a self built studio that was constructed largely from materials found or grown on site with no drawings.

Mark Hanson is Head of Development for the Guinness Partnership in London and the South East of England. His background is split roughly evenly between contracting, private house building and housing association development which he has been working in for the past 40 years. He has a strong interest in new and emerging technologies in building and likes good architecture - modern or classical – as long as it’s good.


Robert Mull is the Dean and Director of Architecture and Professor of Architecture and Spatial Design at the Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design. Robert's work is actively concerned with encouraging students and professionals to develop a socially engaged design practice that corresponds to their civic roles as architects in society.

The project has been curated by Phineas Harper, Maria Smith and Robert Mull , and is hosted by The Cass, supported  by The Architecture Foundation and Media Partner Dezeen.

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News details


12 November, Turncoats talks start at 6.30pm at The Wash Houses.
All except for the Vanity Publishing talk which starts 7pm at Second Home, 68-80 Hanbury Street, E1 5JL