Welcome to the London Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city, brought to you by New London Architecture.

The Architecture of Emergency

19 September 19:00 - 22:00
Organized by: The Architecture Foundation
Venue: Barbican, Barbican Theatre
Silk Street

Around the world campaigners, cities, institutions and governments are declaring a state of emergency in response to accelerating global heating. In this unprecedented moment, an acute question for architects and urban practitioners is cast into relief: how should architecture respond to a time of climate and ecological emergency?


The conventions of much contemporary architecture are fundamentally at odds with planetary limits, reliant upon a paradigm of material extraction and constant emissions. Yet, the government estimates that construction accounts for almost 47% of total UK emissions. Architecture’s potential to lead the fight against global warming is matched only by its failure to do so. This summit calls upon urban practitioners of all backgrounds to come together to urgently discuss radical proposals to reform the construction and design of buildings in the face of climate change.

What shall we build from when it is no longer possible to justify the embodied carbon of a building’s construction by offsetting its impact over decades of use? How can infrastructure and planning strategies drive the transition to a circular economy? What new environmental architecture can express the civic character needed to galvanise the public imagination, popular support and political leadership required to be wholly embraced by society? What is the architect's role in reshaping culture in the face of environmental planetary limits?


Maria Smith Architect, engineer, London Mayoral Design Advocate Monica von Schmalensee Swedish Government strategic advisor Steve Tompkins Architects Declare member Adrian Lahoud Dean of School of Architecture, Royal College of Art Danielle Paffard Greenpeace campaigner and Heathrow 13 member Rotor Design and research co-operative Extinction Rebellion