Richard Rogers Q&A

Richartd Rogers Q&A

In issue 102 of the Smashing Magazine newsletter they encouraged readers to shake things a little bit (as in get out of your comfort zone, not risk arrest for indecent exposure) so when I happened to notice the City were hosting a Q&A session with world renowned architect Richard Rogers I took my cue and got myself a seat.

If you'd asked me before the event who Richard Rogers was I'd have struggled to give you an answer but it turns out he's the architect responsible for one of my favourite buildings: The Lloyd's Building at number 1 Lime Street in the heart of the City of London.

I can't remember when I first came across the inside-out vision in gleaming steel but I was instantly in love with its futuristic lines that appeared to have been the brainchild of George Orwell, Fritz Lang and J.G. Ballard.

As well as The Lloyd's Building he can also take credit for the Millennium Bridge, The Leadenhall Building (aka The Cheesegrater), the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Heathrow Terminal 5, Channel 4's headquarters, the list is as long as it is distinguished.

Getting back to the Q&A session itself, we were invited to take our seats in the Livery Hall and following a glowing introduction that set the scene Richard was asked to speak on a number of topics including his thoughts on modern-day London and how it had changed since the post-war 1950's, how he felt about The Lloyd's Building becoming Grade II listed and whether that opposed the original vision of it being a building flexible enough to be constantly repurposed and why some buildings just aren't successful to which the answer was: flexibility, or the lack of.

The hour long session was over far too soon and I could've happily listened to more of his ideas and anecdotes but alas his real purpose for being in the Guildhall that day was to collect the Freedom of the City so he was whisked off the stage to go and collect another honour to add to an already bulging trophy cabinet.

As for the original plan of shaking things a little bit and hoping to find some creative inspiration I came away with one idea fixed in my mind that I want to make a key part of my process when designing websites and that is: flexibility. If it works for Richard and his world-famous architecture then it's good enough for me.