Tear up the Rule Book

7:00pm, Thursday 25th January 18

The intersection of design and democracy should be an exhilarating moment of civic and spatial richness. Instead British architecture is blockaded by a byzantine planning culture at best onerous and at worst corrupt. Feckless backseat-designer planning officers take out their churlish frustrations on the smallest of schemes, demanding ill-conceived arbitrary alterations bleeding the vivacity from our streets and homes as vast bland monocultural developments are nodded through. Nostalgia for a brief era of post-war planning heroics is hopeless. Given anarchic freedom we created the Georgian great estates. Given paternalistic planning we created Taylor Wimpey. Fire the planners and tear up the rule book – anarchy for the UK.

The Panel

  • Jo Negrini (Chair) is Chief Executive of Croydon Council. Previously she has been Director of Regeneration at Lambeth, Chief Borough Planning Officer At Newham and Head of Place at Croydon.

  • Karl Sharro is an architect, cartoonish, satirist and commentator on the Middle East. He is a Director at PLP Architecture in London and co-author of Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture and an outspoken Marxist critic of the British planning system.

  • Russell Gray is the principal director of Shiva Ltd and sponsor of the Antepavilion. Shiva is a long-term property investment company working exclusively with sites and buildings of special cultural, architectural or historic interest around central London. in 1995 Russell placed a Soviet T-34 tank on Mandela Way in South London the turret of which is said to be aimed at Southwark's planning offices.

  • Pooja Agrawal is an architect and urban designer working in the Regeneration Team at the Greater London Authority. She has lived and worked in Mumbai, London and New York and undertaken varying scales of projects from interiors to urban strategies.

  • Louis Schultz is a co-founder of architecture and art collective Assemble and maker of very loud sound systems.


Secret Location
London E2 8BD

Sold Out


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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