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Lecture

THE ARCHITECTURE OF BUREAUCRACY

11th October, 13.00-15.00
City library

For many designers, bureaucracy is the enemy of creativity – the antithesis of what we are taught design should be all about. At best, it is seen as a necessary evil; boxes to be ticked, rules to be bent, red tape to be cut. But the creeping bureaucratisation of the design process, particularly in fields such as architecture and urbanism, means bureaucracy now accounts for the majority of a designer’s time. The more we struggle against it, the more we are bound in its web. By seeing design as a victim of regulations and legislation, the profession is reconciling itself to compromise. But if we learn to see bureaucracy as part of the design process, it can become a powerful form of design without drawing lines. How can bureaucracy be understood not as a constraint on creativity, but as a field for creativity in its own right?


Finn Williams is Co-founder and CEO of Public Practice, a social enterprise based in London that embeds design expertise within public organisations. Having trained in architecture and worked for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture and General Public Agency, Finn spent 10 years in the public sector at Croydon Council, and the Greater London Authority. He is now a leading advocate for public planning in the UK, with roles on the Raynsford Review Task Force, Labour Planning Commission and RIBA Planning Group. Finn is also a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Innovation & Public Purpose at UCL, a tutor at the Royal College of Arts, and was co-curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

The talk will be in English