Yurt prompts outburst

If you thought the RIBA Architecture Centre was a place for public debate, forget it. It may have an events programme designed to pull in the punters and it may invite visitors to comment on its shows. But woe betide anyone who dares to speak out when the great and the good meet for a knees-up. This is what one protester found at the opening of the RIBA’s Portable Architecture show last week. Prompted by a display including a yurt – a tent used by the nomads of Mongolia – he mounted a table to urge architects to support UK folk who choose to live in temporary buildings against the planning authorities. The centre’s director Victoria Thornton was not amused and tried to pull him down. Shame. His address made far more sense than the predictable bons mots of the architectural worthies whose speeches had failed to hush the audience only moments before.

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