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26th March, 2015

Public Wisdom Symposium 2015: Aging, Creativity and the Public Realm

Event Details

26th March, 2015
9.30 - 17.00
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
Limited FREE places available

Is the aging population a ticking time bomb or an extraordinary asset?
What would our cities look like if they were designed for an aging population?
Could older people play a bigger role in public life?

Research has shown that post retirement, many people feel less visible in public spaces, less able to navigate the built environment, and less valued in public life. Isolation and disconnection is a depressing reality for millions of older people; whilst new developments, regeneration projects, and urban planning rarely accounts for the needs and capabilities of the older body.

We are aiming to set a new agenda around discussions of aging: bringing the conversation out from care homes and day centres, and to the public arena.  In the past couple of years we have heard the phrase ‘a ticking time bomb’ in relation to the economic impact of an aging generation. But can we instead view this growth in our collective experience and knowledge as an asset? Can we reframe aging as a shared and celebrated public experience?

Public Wisdom 2015 is a one-day event produced by Cubitt Education and supported by the Baring Foundation, bringing together anthropologists, artists, performers, sociologists, designers and architects to explore how we can respond creatively and imaginatively to these issues through and within the arts.

The day will include practical and inspiring presentations from leading thinkers and creative practitioners, alongside in-depth open discussion, networking and a delicious lunch. Highlights include:

  • Richard Sennett sociologist and author of The Fall of Public Man and Together on collaboration, communication and the collapse of the public realm;
  • Lois Weaver performance artist and founder of Split Britches Company on sex and aging in public;
  • Nick Tyler Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering, UCL on the capabilities of the aging body in the urban environment and re-thinking our cities around connection and community;
  • Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects and Older Women’s Co-Housing on a radical co-designed housing development for older women;
  • Artist Sarah Cole on her performance work In Kind, which brings acts of care into the public realm;
  • Anne Karpf journalist and author of How to Age;
  • Performances by Counterpoint Dance and Bolder Voices Choir;
  • Anthropologist Jason Danely on aging, abandonment and public life in Japan;
  • Sophie Handler urban researcher and author of The Alternative Age Friendly Handbook, on working creatively with older people to imagine possible public spaces

Plus further speakers and presentations to be confirmed.

Limited free spaces available for early booking

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