This House Believes Globalisation is Bad for Architecture.

Identity and 21st Century Economics


Robert Adam- Robert Adam Architects with Prof. Robert Wade- LSE

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Padraig Brown- Blackrock with Alison Brooks- Alison Brooks Architects

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Winter, 10 December 2008.

The Global economy and the ever increasing movements of people and finance has produced the dual phenomenon of the Global City and the global architect. Architecture more than ever is used to advertise to an international market that it is both ready for business and progressive in its world view. New cities in the Middle East, China and India are putting up buildings in a manner and scale unseen before, but as this becomes commonplace are we in danger of creating the ‘monotony of the exceptional?’ Is global architecture and the perceived orthodoxy of modernism, contributing to the erasure of local or regional identity or is it providing a brave new ‘pluralistic’ language and experience of place around which people choose to group themselves?

Building Futures hosted an evening of discussion that reviewed the issues surrounding the impact of linked up economies of scale. Globalisation is a largely accepted pattern of growth, but under 2008’s current economic uncertainty its ability as a force for good as been brought back into question. Put to the assembled audience the motion was defeated, but the event raised important questions for the profession, what it builds, in what style, for whom and where.


Robert Adam
Padraig Brown
Prof. Robert Wade
Alison Brooks
Sunand Prasad- In response

Building Futures Debates Series 2008 are kindly supported by Macdonald and Company , BDP and the Evening Standard’s Homes and Property Magazine

For more information on the series contact


Macdonald & Company
ES Homes and Property