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Technology is the answer, but what was the question?


January 22, 2018
January 22, 2018 (All day)
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD   View map

A conversation exploring the impact of digital technologies on architecture and the questions its application can raise for society and cities.

In 1966, the architect Cedric Price made the provocation, “Technology is the answer, but what was the question?”, intending to invite the audience at his lecture to search, question, and reconsider the impact of technological progress on architecture. Now more than 50 years on, this question is as relevant as ever. Here, the provocative statement acts as the title for the opening event of our 2018 programme, which will interrogate the effect the increased presence of technology is having on ways of producing, visualising and conceptualising architecture.


Traditionally presented as an answer to human needs and limitations, technology is now also transforming the way architecture is produced and the ways in which we interact with it, fostering adaptation and change in both individual and collective behaviour. Its impact has long been overlooked, creating an increasing techno-scepticism that is repositioning the human relationship to machines and their subsequent wider impact.


In this conversation, our participants will address a range of questions about the impact of digital technologies on society, architecture and cities.



Adam Greenfield – writer, urbanist, and author of Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life

Indy Johar – architect, co-founder, 00; Senior Innovation Associate, The Young Foundation

Edwin Heathcote (chair) – architecture and design critic, Financial Times; editor, Reading Design

society, architecture and cities.


Technology is the answer, but what was the question?

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