Zaha Hadid cancelled. Her replacement from the practice Patrik Schumacher cancelled.
A man next to me was disgruntled at the sky-high ticket price and the 'starchitect' no show.
The powerful 90 minutes that followed was soon to change his mind.
Inspired by Le Corbusier's legacy, the Barbican questioned if good design can change the world. Sean Griffiths and Charles Jencks pontificated on what constitutes 'good design'. Sean true to FAT style dismissed the sanitised Scandinavian flat-pack and called for 'dodgy' DIY interiors to continue.
Good design needs to incorporate environmental, societal, economic and aesthetic factors.
The presentations collectively asked where the architect's focus should be.
The economic spiral makes it a difficult time for architects but a positive time for architecture- Architectural historian Joseph Rykwert
Architecture for Humanity's Cameron Sinclair called for a time of reflection and resolution as we move away from the Dubai excess to architects acting on our global and local issues. In this dismal recession when architects are losing their jobs faster than any other industry, it is hard to think how this quest can translate to the London architect? But I hope those that those who can in the audience will consider AFH projects in the downturn to share their expertise. The posts are paid in case you weren't sure.