Reading Group: The Big Rethink


“Constant change has been the backdrop of our lives. But now the nature of change has changed. Instead of, or besides, being subject to the forward propulsion of ‘progress,’ we are in the throes of comprehensive systemic collapse. Along with other potent forces for change, this suggests these are times of a major transition–times in which to rethink almost everything, including architecture and design and the larger environment it is part of.” Peter Buchanan, “The Big Rethink: Towards a  Complete Architecture” (Architectural Review, January 2012)

Reading Group: The Big Rethink

In January 2012, the London-based Architectural Review launched “The Big Rethink,” a major year-long campaign of essays and events that “reconsider all aspects of architecture and catalyze new cultural and intellectual approaches to issues of sustainability, urbanism and education” in response to the current global economic and environmental crises. At the core of “The Big Rethink” is a series of provocative monthly essays by critic Peter Buchanan that encourage architects to examine their roles in these crises and suggest ways that design practice could be reinvented to not just ameliorate our current economic and environmental challenges, but lead to a vastly improved quality of life.

This fall, the Architectural League will launch a two-year initiative that explores how architecture and urbanism could meaningfully participate in reshaping the fundamental systems of contemporary life–from the economy to energy production to the use of natural resources. In preparation for this major project, the League invites you to participate in a reading group to discuss Buchanan’s essays. Like the essays themselves, we hope that this group will lead to a spirited debate about contemporary architecture practice–its challenges, its possibilities and its future.

Time & Place
7:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 12
The Architectural League
594 Broadway, Suite 607
Space is limited to 25 people. Admission is free and open to League members only. Reservations are required. Information about the readings will be sent with your reservation confirmation. To reserve a space, email Gregory Wessner, Special Projects Director, at