RIBA Building Futures Debate - Is the Value of Design Measurable?

RIBA Building Futures Debate: Is the Value of Design Measurable?

Building Futures, the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) think tank, will be hosting the latest in a series of highly topical and provocative debates, this time questioning whether the drive towards low cost building has bred a generation of cautious designers whose visionary ideals have been lost to number crunching?

The debate is taking place at the Surface Design Show 2011 on Tuesday February 15, 2011, and will feature contributions from:

For the Motion
Professor Robert Adam, Adam Architecture
Denise Chevin, Journalist and former Editor of Building Magazine

Against the Motion
Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects
Professor Bill Hillier, Space Syntax

The debate will raise questions over the value of the immeasurable aspects of design against the more quantifiable, such as cost and sustainability, and question whether we are ethically bound to move towards the aesthetic austerity associated with economic responsibility, or can we still encourage the unfettered extravagance of boom times? Is it a case of either/or, or can we have the best of both worlds? Is austerity necessarily a bad thing? Is good design an unaffordable luxury? Is "frumpitecture" and "new puritanism" a sign of the times, or simply a stylistic movement? Are bad architects hiding behind the banner of sustainability as justification for poor design?