The Banality of Good at the Royal Institute of British Architects

re-launch - The Banality of Good

Biennale-2012-Crimson-5761-Iwan_Baan-17cd3Photo by Iwan Baan

Last year, Wouter Vanstiphout’s office ‘Crimson Architectural Historians’ presented their research work at the Biennale di Venezia 2012 Architecture Exhibition. Their contribution titled ‘The Banality of Good: Six decades of New Towns, Architects, Money and Politics’, is now traveling and makes its first stop at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London! The official (re)launch takes place on Tuesday 26th March 2013 and forms part of the Spring Last Tuesday late night programme of events. Check out the schedule below, you’re all invited!

The central question of the exhibition is: can the design of New Towns again be a subject of collective pride to architects and not of professional shame like it seems to be now? ‘Banality’ is unavoidable when building for the life of millions. But instead of the banality of the icon, the banality of wealth or the banality of fear, like we see in so many new cities presently, can it be the Banality of Good?

The exhibition presents a series of six exemplary cities that were planned in the last six decades. The selected cities are Stevenage (UK), Tema (Ghana), Almere (Netherlands), Alphaville-Tamboré (Brasil), Songjiang (China) and King Abdullah Economic City (Saudi Arabia). The ideals of these cities will be showcased through large allegories on six wooden triptychs that represent both the dreams and the realities of the towns. There are steel and aluminium diagrams that demonstrate the shared DNA of the towns and finally there is an Argument Wall, onto which Crimson has posted her theses on what really matters in New Town planning.

Programme March 26th:
(Please note that places are on a first come basis)

19:45 Talk by Dr. Michelle Provoost, partner at Crimson Architectural Historians and Director of the International New Town Institute

20.15 Opening exhibition with speeches by:
– Daphne Thissen, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London
– Kieran Long, Senior Curator of contemporary architecture, design and digital at the V&A, and Architecture Critic for the Evening Standard
– ‘Brasilia’, an acoustic set by guitarist-singer Mark Ritsema (Nightporter, Polar Twins, Spasmodique)

until 21.30 – drinks