Negroni Talk #7 – 25th March 2019

Thick As A Brick: Dis Honesty And Architecture…


Over years of architectural and building history, the approach to design has frequently been supported by claims of being honest to material, form and context. This becomes a polemic when encompassed into architectural styles and genres: Hi-Tech wears its heart on its sleeve; Modernism, from the roots of classicism, follows function to a degree; and Post Modernism masks and plays games with little care as to whether there is honesty or dishonesty in the styling of buildings.

Marked by increasing amounts of financial and political constraints in the UK, progress in new architectural style and form has become limited. Architects continue to tell us how important they are and fight to illustrate how ethical, or how honest they are to their projects. Is there any truth in the claim that the fashion for a rational pared down aesthetic is any more authentic than the decorative motifs of the past? Architects join forces with developers to PR spin their designs, but surely commercial viability is more straightforward than a fetish for ideology over purpose. Is there possibility in this current age of ‘Fake News’, for architects to proudly embrace a dishonest design approach and cheat the constraints of the system? How thick is your brick?

Speakers include:

Will Hurst, Architects’ Journal (Chair)
Amin Taha, Groupwork
Jo Cowen, Jo Cowen Architects
Simon Allford, AHMM
Sean Griffiths, Prof. of Architecture, freelance artist & architect


On the night…..