The Bartlett School of Architecture


Future Passé conference at the V&A

02 June 2017, 10:00 am–5:30 pm

19th-century photograph of two men standing on a building site

Event Information

Open to



The V&A / The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL


Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum,Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Future Passé


Victoria & Albert Museum, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre 

Main speakers

Historian of Technology David Edgerton, Architectural Historian Barbara Penner, Geographer Gillian Rose, Architect Liam Young 


Filmmaker Peter Greenaway 

How do we represent urban change and technological development in visual and textual form, historically and in the present? How has visual rhetoric been used to normalize the disruption and destruction that accompanies modern ideas of ‘progress’? And what happens when these confident predictions of future relevance fail and we are left with dead-ends and obsolete technologies, the unwanted remains of modernity? 

Join academic speakers, V&A curators, artists and filmmakers as they aim to unpick how narratives of progress have been – and continue to be – established through visual and textual representations of urban change and technological development. What ends do these narratives serve? How can they be unpicked and re-presented? 

This conference has been generously supported by the Humanities in the European Research Area Joint Research Programme as part of the Printing the Past: Architecture, Print Culture, and Uses of the Past in Modern Europe [PriArc], a multidisciplinary research project involving Oslo School of Architecture, UCL, Leiden University, Ghent University, and designers and curators from the V&A/RIBA, Musée d'Orsay, Museum of Cultural History (Oslo) and Factum Arte.