INTBAU World Congress
in association with TAG

Local Solutions to Global Challenges
London, 18-19 February 2015

World Congress





In this opening Congress session, delegates heard from Prof. Robert Adam (ADAM Architecture and INTBAU UK) who gave insight into the definition of place identity, and place identity’s complex relationship with localism and globalisation.

Professor Robert Adam is a Director at ADAM Architecture. He has over 20 years' experience in masterplanning, speculative housing and has pioneered objective coding. He founded the Popular Housing Group in 1995 and has been involved in INTBAU since its establishment. Robert is the chair of INTBAU UK.
Robert Adam is well-known in the UK and internationally as a major figure in the development of traditional and classical architecture, as a pioneer of contextual urban design, a designer of furniture, an author and a scholar. Robert is a Chartered Architect and an active member of many well-known and influential professional organisations and bodies; these include the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, the Traditional Architecture Group (TAG), the RIBA, and the Academy of Urbanism.


Summary Notes

  • The region is probably the unit people identify with. The region is often older that the nation
  • The minute you enter into collective identity you enter into the collective memory
  • Traditions tend to have historical depth
  • Ceremonies use old clothing to give identity
  • These often get made up. Eg. For the Court of Human Rights. They need to suggest depth
  • In architecture porticos are dressing up in a similar way
  • Use of local materials as arts and crafts architects do is often symbolic and not the cheapest
  • Think in terms of Breadth and Depth
  • Modernism had universal breath but no depth
  • You cancel out depth
  • In the 60s people got a shot in the arm by globalisation and brands and symbols became global
  • Modernism started to achieve unlimited breadth – anonymity – no sense of-place
  • Architects had to deal with this
  • Critical regionalism was a superficial response the need for locality
  • We need to make symbolic homes eg Poundbury
  • New Urbanism came along to deliver identity, breadth and depth – and more complexity