New Publics


Exhibition and round table discussion with Luca Montuori (Rome City Council), Alison Crawshaw, David Knight (DK-CM) and Finn Williams (Public Practice).

Exhibition opening hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 16.00–19.30 until Wednesday 6 March.


‘The 2008 financial crisis ushered in a decade of austerity and deregulation that has reshaped the role of the state in Britain and Italy, and in turn reshaped the public life of our cities. The generation of architects who started their careers under these conditions is increasingly stepping across sectors and beyond traditional roles to build new forms of publicness.’ Crawshaw, Knight, Williams & Agrawal.

Three projects by Finn Williams & Pooja Agrawal, David Knight and Alison Crawshaw describe the challenges of progressing a public agenda from within local government, through civic society and through private commissions. The round table discussion will be chaired by Luca Montuori, Professor of Urban Design at Roma Tre University and Assessore all’ Urbanistica at the Comune di Roma (Director of Town Planning at Rome City Council). Montuori is also the founder and director of the practice 2tr.

Alison Crawshaw is an architect with a diverse portfolio that includes landscapes, urban strategy, buildings and installations. As Rome Scholar in Architecture at the BSR, she researched public planning in Rome, post war to the present day, exploring both the opportunities and the impacts of the system’s submission to private interest. In her built work, she has endeavoured to expand given briefs and the scope of private commissions in order for each project to engage with the public life of the given city. For the exhibition at the BSR, she will present a selection of this work.

David Knight is co-director of DK-CM, a London-based architecture and research practice which works primarily with and for the public sector. Since 2010, through a PhD at the Royal College of Art School of Architecture, Knight has been exploring how wider society discusses and practices planning outside official processes. He will present a series of research outcomes and design proposals for re-connecting public planning with popular discourse, including the website Building Rights.

Public Practice is a social enterprise placing a new generation of architects, urbanists and planners within government to shape places for the public good. They will present a short documentary film that will be screened at the BSR as part of the exhibition. It will follow the first ever cohort of associates, exploring their roles within the public sector, the challenges they face, the changes they make and the lessons they learn.


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