Based on Peg Rawes’ and Beth Lord’s research from the Equalities of Wellbeing project, the film is a 25-minute documentary about how the philosophy of Spinoza helps us to think about inequality, housing design, and the UK housing crisis.
It features contributions from architects Peter Barber, Alex Ely, and Sarah Wigglesworth; Shelter’s Deborah Garvie and former director of the Equality Trust, Duncan Exley; geographer Danny Dorling and Guardian writer Oliver Wainwright. The film was directed by Adam Low and produced by Martin Rosenbaum of Lone Star Productions.
Additional filmed interviews on the website provide further context for the film.
We hope you enjoy the film and would love to hear your feedback. The audience survey (which ran from June-December 2016) is now closed, but you may send us a comment through Twitter. Join or view the discussion: #EqualbyDesign or tweet us @EqualitiesofWB
Readers might be interested in this free event next week, featuring Peg Rawes.
Speakers Juliet Haysom, Artist and Tutor, The Architectural Association, London Kristen Kreider, Professor of Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London Peg Rawes, Professor in Architecture and Philosophy, University College London
Chair Shahidha Bari, Lecturer in Romanticism in the Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow
This panel will consider the ways in which philosophers have engaged with architecture and explores how architects have thought philosophically about their own work. Are there are philosophical ideals at the heart of civic building projects and social housing programmes? What are the principles of good design and how could a three dimensional space represent an idea? Is the primary purpose of a building aesthetic, social or moral? Do we judge a building on the beauty of its structure, the practicality of its form or the human interaction it enables? And how should we imagine the skyline of the future?
Beth Lord screened Equal by Design to Aberdeen City Council’s planning department on 17 January 2017. The audience of around 20 followed up with a lively discussion of some of the issues in the film – including the suggestion that the next phase of the project should propose some practical Spinozistic solutions to the housing crisis.
On 10 November 2016 Equal by Design was screened for a meeting of around 15 members of the Scottish Young Planners’ Network (part of the Royal Town Planning Institute) in Edinburgh. The screening was followed by a discussion with Beth Lord, Adam Lang of Shelter Scotland, and Nikola Miller of Homes for Scotland.
In October 2016, a screening and discussion were held at the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Early Modern Studies.
Further screenings at University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council are coming up in the new year.
Tuesday 19 July: Peg Rawes, Adam Low and Martin Rosenbaum attended an in-house screening at Shelter (UK), and hosted by Deborah Garvie, for staff from London and Shelter Scotland. The discussion took in the current political context, the need to bring out positive approaches to tackling the issues (e.g. Land Trusts or examples of good practice from the EU/International housing contexts), and the value of ‘reason’ for engendering better notions of wellbeing and self-determination across society.
Peg Rawes showed the film at the Levitt Bernstein Architects, as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, on Monday 4 July. Partner, Jo McCafferty, and colleagues took part in a conversation which considered the potential for the project to build alliances in the profession and also with other partners/stakeholders, especially, around health issues. The film’s themes struck a chord with the practice, known for its thoughtful housing projects. Dan Liston commented here: ‘The issues in the film are highly relevant to much of the work we do in our Practice and resonated with many of us on a personal level. It proved to be highly motivating and thought provoking at a time when the concerns raised could not be timelier.’
Last night saw the first of our London screenings of project film Equal by Design. Held in the atmospheric Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre at University College London, and organized by UrbanLab, the event featured lively discussion between our panel of speakers (Film contributors Deborah Garvie, Peter Barber, and Sarah Wigglesworth; Clare Melhuish from UrbanLab and Michael Edwards from UCL, alongside Peg Rawes and Beth Lord) and an audience of 150. The event had a long waiting list of over 180 people keen to join the discussion!
By popular demand, we are pleased to announce a second London screening of the film on 28 June at 7:00 at University College London, organized once again by our friends at UrbanLab. Free tickets are likely to go fast. Book your ticket here.