Futures Fair 10



The Building Centre, London

June 2nd 2010

Futures Fair 10 was a one day conference supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the Foresight Program, and Crystal CG, chaired by Peter Murray that gathered together built environment professionals with people leading innovation in other fields in an event that planted the seeds for new ways of working and fresh collaborations. The fast-paced day included presentations from challenging speakers representing 5 key themes.

Key Themes

  • Technological advancement and its potential impact on the built environment;
  • Innovative modes of business and entrepreneurship;
  • Landscape resilience;
  • Learning from design in different sectors and;
  • Emergent forms of community engagement and their place in development.

Attendees played an active role in the day- with frequent opportunities for discussion and interaction over 5 distinct seminar sessions, a keynote contribution from Richard Wentworth and a unique ‘speed date’ networking event.

You can download a copy of the full Futures Fair 10 report here, or see below for links to individual seminar reports.




Advancement discussed how emerging technologies will impact our lifestyles and how that will affect the built environment- including the realms of intelligent buildings, new materials, computational software and interactive digital media. Professor Derek Clements-Croome of Reading University presented cutting edge advancements in the field of intelligent building technology; Ximo Peris of Crystal CG pondered the social and anthropological roots of our fascination with digital media and technology, as well as presenting some of the latest trends coming from Crystal CG. and Jake Desyllas will presented the work of Intelligent Space, the branch of Atkins that explores how computer programming can aid the analysis of public space.

Chair: Peter Murray – NLA
Professor Derek Clements-Croome – University of Reading
Ximo Peris – Crystal CG
Dr Jake Desyllas – Intelligent Space, Atkins Global

To read a summary of the the Advancement seminar, and listen to podcasts of the presentations, click here


Business gathered entrepreneurs and business strategists to share their skills and experience on innovative modes of business, including business models, marketing, practice structures and getting work. David Marks of Marks Barfield
discussed the innovative business models employed in the realisation of the London Eye and Brighton i360; Geoff McCormick of Alloy Consulting discussed innovation in the realm of marketing, enhancing flexibility, adapting skill sets and effective business models. Dave Hampton, Carbon Coach, discussed his move from engineer to carbon consultancy and the type of the business model he uses; finally Ian Chance head of the Creative Entrepreneurship MA at UEA discussed the nature of entrepreneurialism in the creative industries and what it means to be such a designer.

Chair: Harry Rich – Chief Executive RIBA
David Marks – Marks Barfield
Geoff McCormick – Alloy Consulting
Dave Hampton – Carbon Coach
Ian Chance – UEA

To read a summary of the the Business seminar, and listen to podcasts of the presentations, click here


Competition discussed the recently published Foresight Land Use Futures Report, which spanned two years and commissioned over 40 evidence reviews, and demonstrates that land is a uniquely versatile asset which will come under increasing pressure over the next 50 years. The report incorporates the longer term and external effects of different uses. Professor Marcial Echenqiue of Cambridge University, who was part of the lead expert group who led the report, presented key findings and applications. Corrinne Swain, an ARUP Fellow and Fenella Collins of the Country Land & Business Association presented their own critiques of the report- suggesting possible applications, additions and implications.

Chair: Dickon Robinson – Chair, Building Futures
Professor Marcial Echenique, Cambridge University
Corrine Swain – ARUP Fellow
Fenella Collins – Country Land & Business Association

To read a summary of the the Competition seminar, and listen to podcasts of the presentations, click here


Design brought designers from a range of different creative backgrounds together- all with either an interest, relationship or experience of architecture, to cross fertilise ways of working, processes, software, inspiration and materials. Richard Wentworth, sculptor, engaged in a dialogue with Tom Emerson of 6a, to present the way each influences the other’s work; Julian Hakes discussed the move from architect to shoe designer- both practically and idealogically; finally Gabby Shawcross presented the pioneering work of Jason Bruges Studio, discussing the mix of disciplines and skills used in each unique project from the perspective of an architect in that world.

Chair: John Worthington – DEGW
Richard Wentworth in conversation with Tom Emerson, 6a
Julian Hakes – Hakes Associates
Gabby Shawcross – Jason Bruges Studio

To read a summary of the the Design seminar, and listen to podcasts of the presentations, click here


Engagement exposed emerging trends in community engagement, how they can be understood and applied in the design of places and how in turn, successful design can be an empowering process for local communities. Joost Beunderman discussed the role of social media, networks and new ways of working on communities and the spaces they inhabit; Ian Drysdale presented the work of Think Public, an agency that uses innovative media and design to improve public services and interfaces. Steve McAdam of architects Fluid and community consultants Soundings discussed the relationship between the two practices and the skills that Soundings have branched out into; finally, Mandeep Hothi presented the Young Foundation’s pioneering Local 2.0 research which looks at how online networking and other web 2.0 technologies can enhance community engagement.

Chair: Elanor Warwick – CABE
Joost Beunderman – Zero Zero
Ian Drysdale – Think Public
Steve McAdam – Fluid/Soundings
Mandeep Hothi – The Young Foundation

To read a summary of the the Engagement seminar, and listen to podcasts of the presentations, click here

For anymore information about Futures Fair 10, please email BuildingFutures@riba.org or call (0)20 7307 3792,

Crystal CG