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.

Picturing the City

28 October 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: Royal Academy of Arts, The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre
Burlington House

Join our panel of speakers and explore how images shape our cities, and how pictures of London can alter our perception of our urban environment.


Cities exist not just as physical entities or as social, cultural and economic systems – but also and increasingly as images. Images of London are almost as old as the city itself and reflect our urge, not just to depict the city, but to understand, comment and critique it. At the same time, images are also created as instruments to further particular positions or agendas. This is particularly the case in images arguing for change or regeneration. Images produced to promote new buildings or developments frequently (and at their most extreme) transform the city into an idealised, aesthetic object.


In this event a panel of speakers reflect on the means, media and tactics that shape and inform depictions of the city, whether produced from the perspectives of fine art, architecture, social and political activism and development. While focused on present conditions, the discussion will be situated against the backdrop of a long view of these types of practices, encompassing everything from William Hogarth’s views of the moral decay of eighteenth-century London, Ewen Spencer’s photographs of 1990s and 2000s youth subcultures and contemporary architectural image-making.


This event is organised to coincide with the exhibition Hogarth: Place and Progress at Sir John Soane’s Museum (9 October 2019 – 5 January 2020)