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Public Meetings

Our 2019 programme of meetings

Wednesday May 15th, “How the rectangle killed architecture - the dead hand of the Modernists” 

If physics is the language of the universe, and geometry its grammar, then Architectural is the syntax that strives to provide an ever-present context to our lives.  But how did one form, the rectangle come to dominate a vision of utopia and become recidivist teddy boy kicking sand in the face of creative architecture? The struggle between man and nature, the organic and formal regularity has concerned us for millennia.

Around 1490 Da Vinci drew the Vitruvian man.  The drawing of a man in two superimposed positions inscribed in a circle and square. This picture represents a cornerstone of Leonardo’s attempts to relate man to nature. He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe. Fast forward a few centuries and we have an architecture removed from nature and, arguably, universally despised but curiously immune to judgement. Our liberal values tell us beauty is a matter of mere opinion, with no objective standards. It wasn't always so. 

It may be we get the buildings we deserve but one line of thinking has dominated architecture for a hundred years. The Modernists, beginning with Alfred Loos, discarded decoration in a ruthless pursuit of function and have simplified our buildings to banailty and worse to a life sapping regimented familiarity of dullness. 

It is though just a mind set: we don’t have to do things this way - come and hear Tony Lancaster tell the story of how we got to here and if there is any way out.

Wednesday June 19th

Diane Watling - North Kingston Forum: Neighbourhood Planning: the work involved in setting up a Neighbourhood Plan. 

Wednesday July 17th?

Walkabout - (date & details to be confirmed)

Wednesday August 21st?

Afternoon tea - with the Committee at Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park (date to be confirmed). Lifts can be arranged for those who may not have access to a car.

Wednesday September 18th

Fairview Homes will present their large housing scheme in New Malden.

Wednesday October 16th    

Kieran Thoms -  “Create Streets” an illustrated talk about the consultation Report on Cocks’ Crescent & the Malden Centre New Malden & the evolving ‘Co Design’ process. 

Wednesday November 20th

Save the date - (speaker & topic to be confirmed)


(no meeting)


Coming to our public meetings

Unless otherwise noted, all our meetings are held in the Judge Lecture Theatre, Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6RL. Click here to see a map of the area.

Access is from the London Road entrance where there is free parking available, subject to other events happening at the school. There are bus stops outside and opposite the school entrance, and the main bus and railway stations are within short walking distance. The Judge Lecture Theatre is accessed through the main doors next to the new circular school cafeteria. It is on the ground floor and we believe you will find it accessible.

Meetings begin promptly at 7:30pm. Doors are open at 7:00.

Free admission for members of the Society. Members of the public are very welcome to attend and are asked to pay £2 toward our costs, alternatively they can join the Society on the night for just £10.



The Society organises occasional visits to demonstrate the good and the bad of architecture and design.