The architecture of bureaucracy

Why the talk is inspiring?

For many architects, bureaucracy is the enemy of creativity – the antithesis of what we are taught architecture should be all about. At best, it is seen as a necessary evil; boxes to be ticked, rules to be bent, red tape to be cut. But the creeping bureaucratisation of the construction process, procurement and planning means bureaucracy now accounts for about 80% of an architect’s time. The more we struggle against it, the more we are bound in its web. By seeing architecture as a victim of regulations and legislation, the profession is reconciling itself to compromise. But if we learn to see bureaucracy as part of the design process, it can become a powerful form of design without drawing lines. How can bureaucracy be understood not as a constraint on creativity, but as a field for architectural creativity in its own right?

The talk will be held on Thursday, 30th of June, 2016, from 8.00 p.m. at the National Art Gallery (NDG), Konstitucijos av. 22, Vilnius.

Entrance is free of charge.



Finn Williams

How the speaker is exceptional?

Finn Williams is an architect-turned-planner based in London. He worked for the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and General Public Agency before choosing to work for the public sector, firstly at Croydon Council and then the Greater London Authority, where he is currently Regeneration Area Manager for North West London. Finn is the founder of public sector planning think tank NOVUS and independent research practice Common Office. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Tate Modern, Architecture Foundation, Berlage Institute, Museum of Finnish Architecture and Warsaw Museum of Modern Art. His writing includes SUB-PLAN and The Rule of Regulations, both with David Knight. Finn currently teaches architecture at the Royal College of Art and urban design at the Bartlett, and is a co-curator of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016.


The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Robert A Caro

Why the book is worth reading?

Robert Moses almost single-handedly shaped the development of New York for a period of over 40 years. Over that time he built himself a position of power that trumped any Mayor, without ever being elected to office. Moses was the ultimate bureaucrat. At 1,300 pages, Caro’s monumental biography virtually tracks his career in real time – from the Machiavellian small print of his bills to the minutes of his meetings. It asks fundamental and timeless questions about autocracy and democracy, the state and the citizen, and ultimately whether Moses made the city, or destroyed it. The Power Broker is like The Wire in writing. And like the HBO series, it tells an epic story of how a city can be shaped – for better or worse – through power.