UCL News


Theatre of the Real: Ken Adam and Christopher Frayling in conversation

7 November 2006

On 8 November 2006, UCL alumnus Sir Ken Adam (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture) will return to UCL for a conversation with Sir Christopher Frayling.

Sir Ken is best known for his futuristic set and product designs for seven of James Bond films, including 'Dr No' and 'You Only Live Twice', using industrial materials such as glass, steel and concrete long before it became fashionable to do so, and before the days of computer-generated special effects.

His ability to combine the decadent and technological have led his designs, such as Dr No's submergible lair, the Lotus Esprit submarine, the gadget-laden Aston Martin DB6 and the Fort Knox interior for 'Goldfinger' to become iconic in their own right and landmarks of the James Bond brand.

His influence has stretched far beyond Bond, creating the car that flies, drives and sails in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and the war room in Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr Strangelove'. A testament to Sir Ken's influence, Ronald Reagan enquired about the location of the war room on his election as US president - there is no room.

Born in Berlin, his family moved to England in 1934, when Adam was 12 years old. On graduating from UCL Bartlett, he became the only German national to become an RAF fighter pilot. He was later naturalised as a British citizen and was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II for Services to the British Film Industry and German-British Relations.

Sir Christopher is Rector of the Royal College of Art, the only wholly postgraduate institution of art and design in the world. Well known as a historian, critic and award-winning broadcaster, he has published many books on contemporary art, design and film - most recently 'Ken Adam - The Art Of Production Design'.

Part of the Bartlett Architecture International Lecture Series, 'Theatre of the Real - A Conversation Between Christopher Frayling and Ken Adam' will start at 6.30pm in the Darwin Lecture Theatre, Gower Street, WC1.


UCL Bartlett School of Architecture lectures