Accessibility statement

You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »

Theme - Design for living

Find out how our daily lives are affected in often unexpected ways by architecture, design and engineering.

Many of these events took place on 25 June, Design for Living Day.

Past events

Beeching 50 years on, the man who reshaped Britain's railways

13 - 16 June, 10am-6pm, National Railway Museum

50 years ago Dr Richard Beeching wrote his revolutionary report, The Reshaping of British Railway which set in motion a radical restructuring of Britain’s railways. To mark the 50th anniversary of these momentous changes the National Railway Museum has commissioned a work by artist filmmaker Esther Johnson which provides a close-up of one of these local stories, the Waverley line which ran between Carlisle and Edinburgh.

Admission: Free, no booking required

Cities are good for you

25 June, 3pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

Over 50% of the world’s population now live in urban centres and over the coming decades this percentage will increase. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Blending anecdote, fact and first-hand encounters - including exploring the slums of Mumbai, visiting roof-top farms in Brooklyn, and attending secret dinner parties in Paris – author Leo Hollis reveals that we have misunderstood how cities work for too long.

Admission: Free, ticketed

The place of high-rise in historic cities

25 June, 4.15pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

The Shard in London is the tallest building in Europe. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano the structural design for the building was provided by WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies. Bill Price from WSP will talk about the place of high-rise buildings in historic cities building drawing from experience of The Shard in London and Ground Zero in New York.

Admission: Free, ticketed

Computing for the future of the planet

25 June, 6.15pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

Digital technology is becoming an indispensable and crucial component of our lives, society, and environment. Andy Hopper, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, will explore the framework for computing in the context of problems facing the planet will be presented. The framework has a number of goals: an optimal digital infrastructure, sensing and optimising with a global world model, reliably predicting and reacting to our environment, and digital alternatives to physical activities.

Admission: Free, ticketed

Grand challenges for engineering and architecture

25 June, 7.15pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

Panel discussion on the global grand challenges for technology, architecture and design with contributions from Andy Hopper (IET), Leo Hollis, Paul Newby (Shepherd Group), Martin Mayfield (Arup), Rodric Yates (IBM) and Bill Price (WSP).

Admission: Free, ticketed

Royal Academy of Engineering: Design for living

21-26 June, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

Researchers from the University of York demonstrate that innovative advances in engineering are all around us, sometimes in unexpected ways, and that key scientific - and indeed artistic - achievements could not happen without a significant input from engineering. Come along and explore the world of acoustics, nanoparticles, neuroimaging, orange peel, and much more.

Admission: Free, no ticket required