The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Owen Hatherley leading a C20 Southern Region walk in Southampton Photo: Pauline Mouseley

C20 Events Review of 2017

Once again, C20 Society put on a successful programme of events at home and abroad in 2017. All our events are run by volunteers, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who organised or helped at an event or to administer our national and regional events programmes.  In 2017 the national programme consisted of 46 events – nearly one every week – with many more organised by our seven active Regional Groups.

To break down the numbers a little, we had six one-off lectures or slide shows and two lecture series.  The Spring lecture series ‘A Style Guide to Twentieth Century Architecture’ unpacked the identity of six styles that have dominated the period and aimed to clear away some of the fog.  It was so successful – the series was fully booked – that the lectures were repeated as part of the 2017 London Festival of Architecture.  In the autumn, our series ‘Design for Living: the C20 House‘ looked at what makes the twentieth century house special to mark the publication by Batsford of the latest C20 book 100 Houses, 100 Years; all the speakers were contributors to the book.

We organised 11 London walks, from Beckenham in the south east, to Hammersmith in the west, via the City, Pimlico and Kings Cross, visiting other places along the way.  Members also got on their bikes for cycle tours round Docklands and Harlow.

One of the privileges of our member events is seeing buildings and interiors that are not normally accessible. While detailed planning goes into all events, timings on tours by coach can require military precision to ensure entrance to such special places.  Eleven day coach trips were organised, including a tour of twentieth century mosques, a celebration of 100 years of women in architecture, and a day studying the churches and memorial buildings of Sir Edward Maufe.

In the UK, longer trips included a visit to Hull in its year as a European City of Culture and a weekend on the Cornish Riviera.  Our overseas visits celebrated 100 Years of de Stijl with a visit to Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, followed by one of our most ambitious C20 trips – a 10 day visit to Japan.

Our programme aims to provide events that appeal to new members just beginning to explore C20th architecture and design, as well as something fresh for longstanding C20 ‘eventeers’.  If you haven’t yet been on a C20 event, why not make a (belated) New Year resolution to come along in 2018?

The spring lecture series, Design in the Jazz Age, is already open for booking and we are currently finalising details for lots more events in 2018. They will be up on the website for booking soon – follow the blog to make sure you hear about them before they book up (just click on the Follow button below to add your email). And, of course, if you have an idea for an event or would be willing to help organise one please get in touch.  Support with making arrangements or with finding expert speakers can be provided, if necessary.

I look forward to seeing you on one of our events soon.

Cela Selley
Honorary Events Secretary

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