Petition to Sadiq Khan
A statue for La Bourdonnais in London
Welcome to the campaign for a statue of La Bourdonnais, chess master, possibly the strongest player in the early 19th century. Welcome to the campaign that will transform the way you explore trends, opportunities, disruptions and major shifts on the horizon. Blending influence and ideas, a statue of La Bourdonnais in Lambeth is no coincidence. London mixes cultures and languages, bridges Europe and the rest of the world, flirts with the old and the new. Much like this natural hub for creativity and innovation, London is a blend of influences, a cross between disciplines, a hybrid creature that pulls together divergent trends to turn them into exciting opportunities. London remains a collaborative environment specifically designed to provoke collisions and spark new ideas. London inspires talents and executives across continents and industries to challenge their biases, shift their perspective and explore completely new ways of thinking opportunities. Louis Charles Mahé La Bourdonnais (1795-1840) and Alexander McDonnell (1798-1835) fought a series of battles that remain unrivalled in the history of chess for sheer intensity and magnitude.Many books recreated the drama and the atmosphere of this great legacy. Founder of the first British French chess magazine, the Palamede, he pionnered the popular rise of chess game in Europe, thanks to the famous match that opposed him with the Londoner Alexander McDonnell in 1834. Indeed, Fifteen years later, the first international race took place in London, on the sidelines of the Worldwide Exhibition of 1851. Other legacy : He was the grandson of Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, naval officer and successful administrator of the Indian Ocean's Golden Age, during peacetime with the French Navy, breakdown of the piracy and interfaith dialogue with all Indian Ocean neighboring communities. The peace potential of religions was encouraged with the construction of Al Aqsa Mosque - still alive at Calcutta Street, Port Louis, Mauritius. The first Mosque to be erected in the world, in 1805, with all official requirements needed. Several places were named after him, including Mahé (Seychelles), Mahébourg (Mauritius) and two streets in Pondicherry: Labourdonnais street and Mahé de Labourdonnais street. Port Louis, Mauritius has a hotel which bears his name, the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel and also a school bearing his name Lycée La Bourdonnais.
Petition to Paul Murtagh, Dhruv Patel, Robert Khan, Cllr Richard Watts
Save Golden Lane Estate AND Build Decent Homes
We, the undersigned, call on Islington Council and the City of London to reject the proposed development at the Grade II and Grade II* listed Golden Lane Estate, and to bring forward a new proposal that respects the scale and quality of the Golden Lane Estate and provides sustainable, inclusive social housing for families. The Golden Lane Estate is an internationally important post-war housing scheme in the City of London by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon who went on to design the landmark Barbican Estate. This development threatens its architectural significance and integrity. The City of London and Islington Council have brought forward sub-standard proposals for an overpowering extension to the Estate that includes a school, a school hall placed in the centre of the Estate and a 14 storey tower block that does not respect the design, scale or quality of the Estate. It exceeds planning policy on density and height by a factor of three times and has no outdoor green space. It should be no higher than 6 storeys. This over-development goes against the spirit and letter of the London Plan and of Islington’s planning policy.
Petition to The Revd Prebendary Edward Mason
Save Bath Abbey's exceptional Victorian interior!
Please join The Victorian Society’s campaign to urge Bath Abbey to reconsider permanently removing the beautiful Victorian pews from the Abbey nave. Bath Abbey, one of the wealthiest parish churches in the country, has secured Heritage Lottery Funding of £12.1 million to fund refurbishments that involve the removal of Victorian pews designed by famous architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. Meanwhile, hundreds of other historic churches are on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register with their futures in jeopardy due to lack of funds for essential repairs. The Victorian Society believes removing these historic pews is unnecessary and would have an extremely detrimental effect on the architectural and historical significance of this important religious building. The Church of England is exempt from the requirement to obtain listed building consent and its parallel consent system is difficult to understand and largely unknown to the public. Therefore, we ask you to sign our petition to urge Bath Abbey to halt their destructive scheme. Scott’s restoration scheme was a major phase of the Abbey's development and has great historical and aesthetic importance; there is no doubt breaking it up would harm the Abbey's significance. Bath Abbey justifies its plans with its desire for a more flexible style of worship, but we believe the negligible benefits of removing these historic pews in no way justifies the substantial harm it would cause to one of Britain’s most important historical building. Daily Mail columnist, author and local Bath resident Bel Mooney agrees: “I believe that people in the future will look back and decry the early 21st century fad for ripping out church pews and replacing them with expensive modern chairs which do nothing to enhance the building, and (when not needed for some reason) have to be stacked in ugly towers. What is this for? The Abbey has worked beautifully (for concerts as well as worship) since the Scott pews were installed and will continue to do so when common sense, aesthetics and economics prevail to retain them.”
Petition to Russell Davidson (President, American Institute of Architects), Robert Ivy, Thomas Vonier
Commit architects to protecting human rights with the Trump administration
AIA must stand for the wellbeing of the architectural profession, but AIA’s uncritical embrace of the incoming Trump administration calls that into question. Local economies throughout much of the country need revitalization, but we do not believe that kissing up to a litigious billionaire will benefit the majority of architects and designers. A thriving profession requires a country of greater equality and shared prosperity, while deregulation threatens our our ability to deliver quality work and even our professional standing. Trump’s promises to end longstanding environmental protections when a higher standard of care is called for will make the buildings we deliver complicit in abusing our children and grandchildren for the sake of short-term gain. Above all, economic sustainability demands renewed respect for the earth and for all the people of the communities we live in and serve. It is not only our nation’s physical infrastructure that needs rebuilding, but after this divisive political campaign our social and political infrastructure needs restoration as well. Our profession has an essential role to play, not only through executing the building projects our country needs – schools, affordable housing, and everything that can reduce our carbon footprint to sustainable levels – but also in demonstrating civil, public-spirited, and inclusive leadership. AIA’s statement of partnership with the incoming administration somehow ignored that the President-elect, as a candidate, focused much of his campaign on threatening the dignity and human rights of women, Muslims, Latin@s, LGBT people, and others around the world, or that his victory once against frustrated the will of the American people through the mechanism of the antiquated electoral college. AIA’s uncritical statement of support for the next administration has been deeply unsettling to many architects, to say the least; AIA must immediately reassure its members and a nervous public that architects will respect human rights, protect our democratic values, and contribute to community economic development as a foundation of our work. We demand that AIA immediately adopt the human rights Ethics Rule that Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility has proposed to prohibit member participation in projects intended to violate human rights, because we are deeply concerned that the Trump administration may attempt to suborn members into ethically unacceptable projects, and because members and the public deserve proof of good will after AIA’s tone-deaf promise of support for a threatening administration. This will also help to reassert our profession’s independence in civil society and our value to our local communities. With Mr. Trump’s authoritarian tone and his personal history of flouting the law (even refusing to pay AIA members for past work), we must also be cautious of threats to our democracy, and a renewed human rights commitment will do what our profession can to inoculate U.S. civil society more broadly against future abuse. Our profession can achieve great things, and we can work with a Trump administration, but we can only do so on our terms, rather than on his, as a profession devoted to design for the public good.