The Birmingham Architecture Association are running a monthly series of six talks at the Old Joint Stock Theatre on the theme of “What does it mean to be a Second City?”
Is it important to be second? The BAA lecture series seeks to explore the different aspects of ‘second city’ and how this affects the built environment, and the role that architects can play in shaping it.
Speakers are asked to present their views about, and experiences of, working in and with second cities – and the influence this may have on their work approach. Do second cities have a different attitude to design? Is it seen to be more or less important?
The first is with Julian Weyer of C F Moller who come out of Arhus, Denmarkâ€™s second city, on January 29th. This starts a trend with speakers from Wroclaw (Poland’s second city) and Milan (Italy’s second city) along with our own Glenn Howells and others following over the months.
The big premise – that we’re in competition with Manchester for a crown the use of which is debatable – has been somewhat done to death but as a gateway to exploring how cities like Birmingham, which are certainly “second tier” to the Londons and New Yorks of the world, can find an identity I think this could be very interesting. I’m particularly interested in what we can learn from Milan, for example.