Poet, playwright, performer and designer Inua Ellams is one of the most celebrated contemporary creators in the United Kingdom for the wide-ranging nature of his work. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Literature and an ambassador of the Ministry of Stories, an organisation that fosters the potential of 8- to 18-year-olds as writers. After publishing four poetry books and receiving the Fringe First prize at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival for his first play The 14th Tale, Ellams sold out his run at the National Theatre with Barber Shop Chronicles. His most recent play The Half God of Rainfall, a work in verse that mixes Greek, Nigerian and basketball mythology, opened in March 2019 in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to great critical acclaim. In addition to his intense graphic and literary output, Ellams has founded the Midnight Run, an urban tour from dusk to dawn, and the RAP parties that combine poetry slam with urban music. He talks to Peter Florence about how his work crosses disciplines and themes, such as identity, migration and coexistence.
Today’s architecture and cities cannot be conceived without taking into account climatic sensibility, human architecture, the connection with the past and a look towards the future. The concepts of space, structure and sustainability are fundamental in the work of Raj Rewal, the renowned Indian architect who has been awarded the gold medal by the Indian Institute of Architects, the Commonwealth Association of Architects Robert Matthew Award, and named Chevalier des Arts des Lettres by the French government. Among his most notable projects are the Nehru Memorial Pavilion, the Central Institute of Educational Technology, the World Bank Regional Mission, the National Institute of Immunology, and the Parliament Library building, all in New Delhi, India, as well as the Lisbon Ismaili Center, Portugal. Rewal has established global precedents with his urban design narratives and will talk about his work and his vision for today’s architecture with Llàtzer Moix, deputy editor of the newspaper La Vanguardia, culture columnist and critic of design and architecture. The conversation will be chaired by Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design.
Architect Jeanne Gang is the founder of Studio Gang, which, in addition to being a renowned architectural firm, acts as a hothouse for testing ideas on varying scales, from cities and environments to building materials and their properties. Jeanne Gang has always been interested in pushing the boundaries of architecture and design to build better communities and better buildings: such as the Bengt Sjostrom Starlight Theatre in Illinois which includes a retractable roof that opens to the sky; Aqua Tower in Chicago, an 82-storey tower that breaks from the traditional norms of skyscraper design, including balconies that vary in size and shape on each floor; the energy-saving high-rise apartments Solstice on the Park in Chicago, and the future US Embassy in Brazil.
She is a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, awarded 2016 Architect of the Year by The Architectural Review, and the only architect present on the 2019 list of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Jeanne will talk about architecture and innovation with Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design and Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and with Edwin Heathcote, Architecture and Design Critic for The Financial Times. The event is presented by Frederick Studemann.
Amanda Levete is a British architect and the founder and principal of AL_A. Her recent projects include the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road quarter in London, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MATT) in Lisbon, the Central Embassy in Bangkok and a media campus and headquarters for broadcaster Sky in London. She was previously a partner of Future Systems where she realised buildings including the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning media centre at Lords Cricket grounds in London and Selfridges department store in Birmingham. Amanda will be in conversation with Peter Florence discussing architecture today, with topics ranging from materials to the importance of public space. The event will be presented by Martha Thorne, Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design and Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.Photo ©: Matt Holyoaks