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Spaces of Freedom

Architecture and Freedom season


Monday 26 October 2015
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

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Granary Square, Kings Cross

© Monica Wells/Alamy

With public space being eroded in our cities and the internet subject to near pervasive surveillance, our panel explore whether spaces of freedom still exist, and if so, where.

Spaces of freedom are typically seen as synonymous with public space, where freedom of assembly and expression are inherent rights. Increasingly, though, public space, especially in cities, is being eroded by private, often commercially driven forces. At the same time, we have seen the rise of the digital realm heralded as a new free and democratic space for self-expression and debate. This, however, is also under attack through both corporate and state-sponsored surveillance and data collection. While services on the Internet are ‘free’ to use, the business models that sustain them depend on the collecting and commercialisation of our every digital interaction.

Faced with this context, is it right to now ask whether spaces of freedom still exist? If so, how and where? And if not, how can we create and protect them? Our panel discuss.


Cany Ash – founder partner, Ash Sakula Architects
Owen Hopkins – Architecture Programme Curator, Royal Academy of Arts (chair)
Anna Mansfield – Strategic Projects Director, Publica
James Meek – writer, journalist and author of Private Island
Leslie Topp – Senior Lecturer in History of Architecture, Birkbeck
James Welch – Legal Director, Liberty

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 26 October 2015

6.30 — 8pm

The Geological Society, Piccadilly, London, W1

£12. Reductions £6.