The Bartlett School of Architecture


Can Architecture Be More Horizontal? - Bartlett International Lecture Series

14 October 2020, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Ebenezer Howard’s garden city: a metaphor for a blindsided profession

Event Information

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The Bartlett School of Architecture

This event will be streamed live on the school's YouTube channel at 18:00 BST. No registration is needed.  


Streamed live on The Bartlett School of Architecture's YouTube channel, this event will be a discussion between co-hosts Tyler Ebanja, Lolly Griffiths and Naomi Rubbra and speakers Pooja Agrawal and Antonia Blege. 

This event forms part of The Bartlett International Lecture Series Autumn 2020.  


This event will discuss how, while conceptions of ‘a good life’ for those living in our cities has evolved, the role of the architect - the professional responsible for interpreting the people's needs - remains steered by idealism; informed by institutionalised and hierarchical notions of race, class, economics, and style; and blind to the reality of people’s quality and experiences of life. The role of the architect in building relevant and adaptive places, which elevate societal wellbeing, seems to be in jeopardy.

The speakers will discuss how a much more close and careful knowledge of communities’ needs should be put into practice to break down dysfunctional and dangerous tradition. Arguing that architecture is understood to be hierarchical and individual, but architects are not the sole drivers in the creation of the built environment, the speakers will ask if architecture can be more horizontal. 

Speakers' biographies

Pooja Agrawal is Assistant Director of Service Strategy at Homes England. She is an architect and planner, who co-founded social enterprise Public Practice in 2017 and co-hosts spatial equality platform Sound Advice. She has previously worked in the public sector for the Greater London Authority and private practice including Publica and We Made That. She is a fellow at the Institute of Public Purpose and member of the Design South East Review Panel. She was nominated for the Planner’s Woman of Influence in 2018 and 2019.

Antonia Blege is an Architectural Designer at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in London. Her academic and professional work is interested in ethically produced sustainable architecture, exploring socially responsive approaches to design with a particular focus on cultural and environmental issues. Antonia is an alumni of Central Saint Martins, Canterbury School of Architecture and currently The Bartlett School of Architecture. She was nominated for the RIBA Silver President’s Medal Student Awards in 2017 for her work during her Masters in Architecture and also recognised as one of the RIBA Next Generation of Black Architects in 2018. Antonia is passionate about mentoring and actively mentors architecture students from diverse backgrounds who may have limited knowledge or access to the profession, as a way of paying it forward to the next generation.

Image: Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City: a metaphor for a blindsided profession.