Alice Rawsthorn & Sophie Hicks in conversation, chaired by Manijeh Verghese

Is Design an Art?

Series: AA XX 100 Lecture Series
Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 89 mins



The fluid, repeatedly changing relationship between art, design and architecture is examined by the influential author and journalist, Alice Rawsthorn, and by Sophie Hicks, dynamic AA-trained architect, designer and developer. In very different guises, architects, designers and artists have long explored this relationship and sought to define its terms, query the respective roles and turn the different elements to their own advantage, whereas current architects design and work eagerly with artists and designers. Recently too, it has been argued that architecture is not an art, and design should not be confused with art. In conversation, this tangled but important relationship and its implications will be addressed, while Sophie will trace its impact on her own work, which began in fashion design. This conversation is part of the AA XX 100 lecture series.


Leading up to the centenary of women at the Architectural Association in 2017, over the next three years, a series of lectures, organised by AA XX 100, will draw different generations, disciplines and voices into the AA conversation. Through presentations, dialogue and debate, the series will highlight and challenge the concerns and values of the profession from a theorised gendered perspective which recognises the inclusive and collaborative nature of architecture, while serving as a catalyst for bigger ideas and a wider discussion of women in architecture. The series will feature prominent practitioners from contemporary global architecture and urbanism, as well as articulate the substantial contribution that AA women have made in the last 100 years, creating engaging conversations between past and present, men and women, staff and students.


xx.aaschool.ac.uk


Alice Rawsthorn writes about design in the International New York Times, which syndicates her columns worldwide. She is also a columnist for Frieze magazine, and the author of the critically acclaimed book “Hello World: Where Design Meets Life”, which explores design’s influence on our lives: past, present and future.
Alice is a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company, as well as chair of trustees at the Chisenhale Gallery in London. She was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to design and the arts.


Sophie Hicks formed Sophie Hicks Architects in 1990 whilst studying at the Architectural Association in London. Prior to this Sophie worked as a Fashion Editor for British Vogue and stylist for Azzedine Alaia.
The practice started by designing private houses and subsequently developed architectural identity for fashion brands. Sophie Hicks Architects has a long-standing involvement with the art world and has designed a number of museum exhibitions, reflecting Sophie’s personal interest in art. These include “Sensation, Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection” and “Picasso, Painter and Sculptor in Clay” at the Royal Academy in London. The practice is currently working on a number of residential development projects and retail concepts.


Image: Alice Rawsthorn, credit: International New York Times






All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.


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