The Norman Foster Foundation presents ‘On Cities’ Masterclass Series

April 21, 2021

The Norman Foster Foundation (NFF) presents the ‘On Cities’ Masterclass Series, a series of thirty-minute-long masterclasses which explores the most pressing and compelling topics related to contemporary cities. Given by twenty leading experts in the fields of architecture, urbanism, economics and mobility, this video series supports the NFF’s extensive educational programme by promoting an exchange of knowledge across a range of geographic and disciplinary perspectives.

While cities undoubtedly offer significant advantages in the realm of education, health care and social services, urbanisation is widely regarded as one of the fundamental challenges for public health, social equity and environmental sustainability. In many parts of the world, urbanisation has made cities more spatially fragmented, less environmentally responsive and more socially divided. To meet these challenges, speakers will touch on key themes such as urban leadership, urban form and equity, urban informality, urban food systems, urban sustainability, urban materiality, urban mobility, working and well-being, urban economics and city behaviour, among other topics.

In addition to an introductory masterclass given by Norman Foster (President, Norman Foster Foundation), in which he considers the future of cities and the crises that they have overcome throughout their history, contributing speakers include the following experts:

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone); Joseph G Allen (Director of the Healthy Buildings Program, T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University); Deborah Berke (Dean, Yale’s School of Architecture); Luis Bettencourt (Inaugural Director, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, University of Chicago); Ricky Burdett (Director, LSE Cities); Vishaan Chakrabarti (William W. Wurster Dean, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley); Robin Chase (Cofounder, ZipCar); Fonna Forman (Founding Director, Center on Global Justice, University of California, San Diego); Sou Fujimoto (Founder, Sou Fujimoto Architects); Edward Glaeser (Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University); Dirk Hebel (Professor, Sustainable Construction, Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie); Francis Kéré (Founder, Kéré Architecture and Kéré Foundation); Anupama Kundoo (Principal, Anupama Kundoo Architects); Kent Larson (Director, MIT City Science Research Group); Giuseppe Sala (Mayor of Milan, Italy); Carolyn Steel (Director, Kilburn Nightingale Architects); Tim Stonor (Managing Director, Space Syntax); Belinda Tato (Cofounder and Codirector, Ecosistema Urbano) and Theresa Williamson (Founder and Director, Catalytic Communities).

As the inaugural series of the NFF’s digital initiatives to come, the ‘On Cities’ Masterclass Series will be soon followed by the release of the ‘On Archives’ Masterclass Series, in which the most fundamental aspects related to architectural archives and libraries around the world will be considered, and the ‘Future Cities’ Conversation Series, a virtual dialogue series in which Norman Foster will reflect on the future of cities alongside ten leading voices and visionaries.

The masterclasses included in this series are part of the Norman Foster Foundation’s Education and Research Programme and have been developed thanks to the research fellowships supported by BYD, Crankstart Foundation, David and Nina Fialkow, Ford Foundation, Lisa and Richard Cashin and Rolex Institute.

The Norman Foster Foundation wishes to especially thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for its generous support in the production of this series.

Available to watch on Youtube.