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'Day', Jacob Epstein, 1929.


New date TBC Announcement to follow.

Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker will be:

Thomas Heatherwick CBE, Designer and founder of multi-award winning Heatherwick Studio

Other speakers to include:

Prof Jason Gaiger, Professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory at the University of Oxford


Godfrey Worsdale, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation


Kirsten Dunne, Senior Manager, Cultural Infrastructure & Public Realm at the Mayor of London’s Office


George Kekatos, Senior Cultural Strategist at cultural place-making agency Future City


Stella Ioannou, Artistic Director of City of London’s Sculpture in the City programme & director of cultural studio Lacuna

Lisa Anderson, Director of Black Cultural Archives

Hew Locke OBE RA, British sculptor and contemporary visual artist

Anya Gallaccio, British artist shortlisted for the Turner Prize


Louisa Buck, British art critic and contemporary art correspondent for The Art Newspaper

Giles Smith, Founding Partner of Assemble, multidisciplinary collective working across architecture, design & art and winners of the Turner Prize

For centuries people have reflected on the social function of art – as ornament, propaganda, moral instruction or a means of creating and constructing power. What survives reflects the span of cultural and societal freedoms in different eras. This conference explores the curation of public space within the modern democracy. Who is it for and how do we enjoy it?


Topics will include art as celebration and memorial, the reception of the avant-garde, the commodification of public art and social responses to both art and heritage.


Bringing together artists, visionaries and business leaders, this thought-provoking event will be a chance to learn from big names, understand and challenge conventions and enhance design and place-making decisions across the city and beyond.


Heritage of London Trust has restored a vast range of public art over the decades, much of which shocked its contemporaries but has become much loved London heritage. Aiming to bring depth and context to our response to public art as well as foster inspired new commissions we’ll probe the nuance between heritage and art – to what degree is the public realm a single aesthetic in which old and new artistic endeavours merge. 

The event will take place in the spectacular Art Deco Florence Hall at RIBA. 


There will be lunch and refreshments on the RIBA terrace and Thomas Heatherwick will be signing copies of his book 'Humanise' at the end of the day.

Adult ticket – £55

Student & concessions ticket – £15

Tickets include lunch, refreshments and a goody bag.

If you have any queries please email:

Public Art HOLT conference 4 July 2024 at RIBA.png

'Day', Jacob Epstein, 1929.

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