The New Ruins of Great Britain
New Labour came to power in 1997 amid much talk of regenerating the inner cities left to rot under successive Conservative governments. Over the next decade, urban environments became the laboratories of the new enterprise economy. In A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Owen Hatherley explores the wreckage of the architecture that epitomised greed and selfish aspiration. From riverside apartment complexes, art galleries and amorphous interactive ‘centres’ to shopping malls, call centres and factories turned into expensive lofts, Hatherley maps the derelict Britain of the 2010s, an emphatic expression of a failed politics. Owen is currently working on a second volume, which includes Bristol, and he provides a preview here. Owen is in discussion with former RIBA President and architect George Ferguson and there is an optional boat tour of the city’s docks guided by Owen and George in which they discuss the Harbourside development and dockside developments generally.
Owen Hatherley writes primarily on architecture, politics and culture. He is a regular contributor to Building Design, New Statesman and New Humanist and has also written for The Guardian, Icon, Socialist Worker and Socialist Review. He sits on the editorial boards of Archinect and Historical Materialism, and maintains three blogs. His most recent book is A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain.
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