Fundamentals: Beauty: A series of public debates chaired by Oliver Wainwright for Spatial Practices, Central Saint Martins.

    Beauty is back. The government’s “Building Better, Building Beautiful” commission has been established to put beauty at the top of the agenda: it hopes to reduce opposition to development by making new housing more amenable to public taste. But whose idea of beauty are they talking about? Is there a general public consensus on what is beautiful? Are architects disengaged from popular taste? And can the planning system possibly hope to regulate beauty? The third and final Fundamentals debate series will tackle these questions head on, and will present its findings to the government commission. Come and join the big beauty debate!

    Beauty, style and taste have long been taboo in architecture, as if the appearance of a building is merely the byproduct of higher, more noble aims. Few students would dare to defend their design on the grounds that it is beautiful. After the “mods v trads” style wars of the 1980s and 1990s, are we living in post-style epoch where anything goes, or is there a basic grammar that architects should follow? Is there a gulf between the profession and popular taste – and, if so, how do we bridge the gap?

    • Lara Lesmes – Space Popular
    • Patrick Lynch – Lynch Architects
    • Kate Macintosh – Former architect for Southwark, Lambeth, East Sussex and Hampshire
    • Ben Pentreath – Ben Pentreath Architecture, Materplanning and Interiors
    • Diana Yu – Adam Architecture