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!

The planning system is the chief mechanism for reconciling developers’ ambitions with the public interest. If the government wants new development to be more beautiful in the public’s eyes, how can the planning system help? Is there an obsession with new developments being “in-keeping” at the expense of them being good? Does the current apparatus of planning regulations, conservation areas, design guides and protected views serve its purpose, or do we need to rethink the way that beauty is assessed and regulated?

  • Nicholas Boys Smith – Create Streets
  • Alpa Depani – Architect and Public Practice associate, London Borough of Sutton
  • Rosemarie MacQueen – former Strategic Director for Built Environment, Westminster City Council
  • Grayson Perry – Artist
  • Amin Taha – Amin Taha Architects