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EVENT: The Principled Architect: Is it ethical to take an ethical position?

Son of a Libyan dissident, Hisham Matar says: "Any person who cares about justice and human rights needs to seriously consider going into business with the Libyan regime". Peter Clegg, senior partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, however, believed that working there "can have a positive influence in Libya" (although subsequently pulling out)

Meanwhile, William Menking, editor of Architect's Newspaper, recently wrote of China: "To suggest that providing high quality design justifies working there is slippery ethics." However, Robert Adam states that "on a political level I'm not sure how much we should interfere".

So are ethics a matter for individual conscience or should it be a social mandate?

Should architects refuse the offer of work in so-called non-democratic countries?
Have Western architects got a responsibility to speak out or should they mind their own business?
Should architecture always aim to have a 'positive' influence; or should it be - can it be - non-political?

Come along and discuss whether an ethical stance is the best ethical response.*

Panellists include:
Dr Ines Weizman, course director, Cities Design & Urban Cultures, London Met;
Karl Sharro, senior associate, PLP Architecture, ex-American University of Beirut;
Kevin Lloyd, director, John McAslan + Partners working on Msheireb Properties, Msheireb development, Doha;
Robert Adam, director, ADAM Architecture working in Europe, the near East & Japan
Chair: Austin Williams, director, Future Cities Project, co-author The Lure of the City.

Date: July 21st 2011
Time: 7pm - 8:30pm
Venue: William Road Gallery @ John McAslan + Partners, 7-9 William Road, London NW1 3ER

Event details: The Principled Architect is presented by the British Council as part of the Shubbak Arab Festival. It is organised by the Future Cities Project with the kind support of John McAslan + Partners

* Note: The British Council's work seeks to encourage trust and relationships between people and projects in the UK and around the world. While we continually seek to stay in countries through difficult times and believe that engagement is better than isolation, we are always open to other points of view and through events such as this hope to encourage dialogue and debate.

This event is free, but please email: if you would like to come.

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