This House Believes that London Needs to Learn How to Play

This House Believes that London Needs to Learn How to Play Event

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Interrogating the theme of the London Festival of Architecture: ‘A Playful City’.

To reflect the imminent summer games, the 2012 London Festival of Architecture takes the theme ‘A Playful City’. This house believes that there is a significant difference between an Olympic host city, and a playful city; ‘Play’ conjures up images of carefree frivolity, drama, games and social interaction – having fun. There is no doubt that hosting an international sporting event will provide a platform for much of this, but what about the everyday city, the default position? Is London really providing the backdrop to playfulness? Or is suppressing and inhibiting the very notion of ‘play’ through a combination of one-dimensional public spaces, regulation of their use and policy that conspires to orchestrate the way in which we live and experience life in the capital: a diverse, global city with complex problems and priorities to match. How does London compare to other capital cities? What about the rest of the UK? Maybe it’s not London that needs to learn how to play, maybe it’s us? Have we forgotten how to play?…or have we shifted our play into virtual space and social networks, leaving physical space free to facilitate far more important things, like economic growth…is the city principally a place for work and profiteering?


Daisy Froud

Co-founder AOC

Proposing the motion:

Liza Fior

Partner at Muf Architecture / Art

Peter Fleming

Professor of Work and Organisation at Queen Mary College and co author of recent Zero Books publication ‘Dead Man Working’

Opposing the motion:

Peter Murray

Chairman of New London Architecture and director of the LFA

Clive Dutton

Executive Director for Regeneration, Planning and Property at Newham Council

Part of the RIBA Last Tuesday programme including events, exhibitions, restaurant, bookshop, bar and library all open until 10pm.

Join us for a drink from 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Play – London Festival of Architecture debate by Building Futures

Start Date:

Tuesday 26 June 2012 7.00pm

End Date:

Tuesday 26 June 2012 9.00pm

Event Address:

Wren Room, RIBA HQ

66 Portland Place, London, , W1B 1AD, United Kingdom

Event fee:

This event is free but booking is essential. Email to reserve your place


Building Futures