Fulbright Lecture: UK's New Home for Innovation: Its Industrial Past: Ironbridge, Birmingham's JQ, and Sheffield's Little Mesters Yards

Muirhead 12th Floor Hospitality Suite
Alumni, Arts and Law, International, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Research
Thursday 12th June 2014 (17:00-19:00)
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To reserve a free place at this event please email Lucy Swift l.swift@bham.ac.uk

A lecture by Paul Hardin Kapp, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013-2014 Fulbright Scholar, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage

Today’s innovation economy is transforming the way people work and produce goods at an unprecedented level. From 3D printing to software development to advertising, digital technology continues to transform our concepts of work, making certain manufacturing sectors redundant and ushering in new efficiencies in production. What is increasing more and more is the production of ideas over the production of goods, especially in the UK and North America.

As we embrace this new industrial revolution, what is the appropriate built form of the new ideas factory? The historic factory. Historic factories varied greatly in size throughout the UK during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Manchester and Liverpool were the homes of large textile mills in the UK typically found in North American cities such as Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario; but in other UK cities, such as Birmingham and Sheffield, smaller, more intimate factories built for highly crafted product production and social industrial “linkage” were prevalent.

This talk will discuss how the historic factories of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Sheffield’s Little ‘Mesters’ Yards, and London’s Lipton Tea Warehouse can become the new spaces for an ecological sustainable, idea-driven economy of 21st century Britain.

Paul's talk will be from 5-6pm followed by a drinks reception.


Paul Hardin Kapp, currently based as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Birmingham will introduce his ongoing research about the particular innovation opportunities of post-industrial cities/ neighbourhoods/ regions with a focus on Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Sheffield’s Little ‘Mesters’ Yards and the Ironbridge George World Heritage Site.

Paul teaches at the School of Architecture at the Universitiy of Illinois specializing in Technology and Design in Historic Preservation, Vernacular Architecture and Campus Historic Preservation. His most recent book, SynergiCity: Re-inventing the Post Industrial City, published by the University of Illinois Press 2012, won the Historic Preservation Book Award from the Center for Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington in 2013 and it was subject of an exhibit held at the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 2013. Paul is chair of the US National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) and is a member of the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council (IHAC).