Last October I went to volunteer at an event called Battle of Ideas at the Barbican in central London, and managed to get myself on a last-minute architecture tour for free!
I volunteered for Battle of Ideas on a whim, after seeing it mentioned on Twitter by some peeps I follow. The concept looked great – lots of different debates and panel events covering all sorts of political and societal problems, with the view to break people out of their echo chambers. Not being able to afford the ticket, volunteering was the next best option, and to be honest, I had an awesome time working with the ladies in ‘my’ room (shout to Frobisher Auditorium 2)! The topics in room ranged from rebooting the UK economy, biotech, globalisation, the gig economy and universal basic income. Everyone was super polite, challenging and curious. I managed to escape and sneak into an over-subscribed event called ‘Women versus feminism: do we all need liberating from the gender wars?”, which had an amazing selection of high achieving ladies discussing a wide range of views – Eszter Kovats, Helena Morrisey, Joanne Williams and Prof Alison Wolf made up the panel, chaired by Sally Millard. I bloody loved it!
At the end of the day, I caught up with the architecture tour and got a full tour around the Barbican as the sun went down. It was amazing, hearing how it was built, the purpose, the design principles on the interiors, and the materials and processes used. My photos didn’t turn out great, as I only had my phone on me and the light was tricky, but I hope the essence of the place was captured.