Architecture debates are rubbish. We’ve all been there: a panel of similar people with similar views taking it in turns to talk at length about their similar work – too polite, too deferential, too dull. At best they are lukewarm love-ins, critically impotent, elitist and stuffy. Turncoats is a shot in the arm. Framed by theatrically provocative opening gambits, a series of free debates will rugby tackle fundamental issues facing contemporary practice with a playful and combative format designed to ferment open and critical discussion, turning conventional consensus on its head.

Turncoats DC is a project by Neil Flanagan, Braulio Agnese, Amanda Hurley and Christopher Peli.

All that is left is Utopia

7:00pm, Tuesday 5th September 17

We’ve been led to believe that some things just are the way they are and architecture sure isn’t going to do anything about it. It’s best, they said, to get along with the system and arrange the deck chairs.
No. A better world is possible, even if you have to leave this one to find it. When it comes to who commands a street corner and how a community shapes its home, this status quo isn’t working. The fabric of our cities should guide us to a more perfect society, even if we never get there.
Let’s admit what we’ve learned. Design with out a lodestar is captive to base greed, and well-spoken reform hasn’t set us free. All that’s left is Utopia. 

The Panel

  • Kate Wagner McMansion expert

  • Will Seath classical designer

  • Fred Scharmen designer and space station researcher

  • Jessica Raven activist, currently working on street harassment

  • Kriston Capps art and urbanism journalist

The Location

We are pleased to announce a partnership with Heurich House as a primary venue.
Doors open at 7; debate will start at 7:30.
Beer graciously provided by Hellbender Brewery. One shot is also included in the ticket.
Space is limited.
Please note: Turncoats is strictly off the record.


Turncoats is a provocative global debating society turning public discourse on its head, shaking and serving over ice. It is off the record, offline and riddled with devil’s advocates hiding in plain sight.  Prepare for big arguments from surprising places, where the only allegiances are to the spirit of the fight.

Turncoats is a project founded by Phineas Harper and Maria Smith with the support of Robert Mull and the Architecture Foundation. For all enquiries write to hello@turncoats.uk.

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