Architecture on the Frontline at The Battle Of Ideas

Popups, like this store by ///byn were just one topic under scrutiny . Image © Jiang Yong

The Battle of Ideas is an annual, weekend-long series of panel discussions hosted at the Barbican in London, ranging across subjects from neuroscience to music and everything in between. With a strong thread of architecture and , this year offered a spectacular chance to probe the popular trends and fads in today’s design culture.

Read on after the break for the highlights of the event.

The Pros & Cons of Revoking the DC Height Act

© Flickr User Rob Shenk

Earlier this week, Architect Robert K. Levy optimistically declared that the study which will evaluate the federal law limiting Washington building heights is a “win-win” situation for everyone involved. Writing for The Washington Post, Levy states: “By conducting a detailed, comprehensive city-wide study, the D.C. Office of Planning and the NCPC [National Capital Planning Commission] will produce analyses and recommendations leading to a fine-grain, strategic plan for building heights across the District. [...] Ultimately this study is a win-win proposition for all stakeholders.”

But can the situation really be so rosy? While Congress spends 10 months studying and debating the possibility of making alterations to the capital’s policies, urbanists, planners and citizens have already begun weighing in on the matter – and opinions are decidedly divided. Many question the true motivations behind the possible changes, and whether those changes will truly improve the livability and sustainability of the city  - or just alter it beyond recognition.

We’ve gathered both sides of the argument so you can make your own informed decision – after the break…