Reading for Battle

Battle Readings is a regularly updated compilation of articles, essays, and opinion pieces relevant to the themes of the Battle of Ideas.

Choose a theme from the listing on the left to narrow your search, or view all readings.

Technology & The City

Architects who improvise and innovate
A trend among young architects to take matters into their own hands
Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times, 23 August 2013

Engineers, be bold - Britain needs grander designs
A dearth of real engineering ambition is holding back the sector. Big, ambitious projects are needed to put us back on track.
Paul Reeves and Martyn Perks, Independent Voices, 8 October 2012

British innovation is not dead. But it needs public investment to flourish
The potential of innovation to transform lives is as great as ever. Politicians should see that economic recovery depends on it
Stian Westlake, Guardian, 7 October 2012

China turns to robots as labour costs rise
Automation and robotics are increasingly seen by the farsighted Hong Kong and Taiwan entrepreneurs – who own and operate many of the factories in the province of Guangdong that first sparked the boom in the country’s exports – as a way to keep China’s industrial base competitive.
Rahul Jacob and Sarah Mishkin, Financial Times, 4 October 2012

Bloodhound supersonic car rocket test fired
The team building a car designed to drive faster than 1,000mph has tested the vehicle's rocket engine. The motor for the Bloodhound Supersonic car burned for 10 seconds on a static rig inside a hardened shelter at Newquay airport, Cornwall.
BBC News, 3 October 2012

Bloodhound land speed rocket test roars over Newquay
A British team building a car capable of driving beyond 1,000mph has tested the vehicle's rocket engine.
Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 3 October 2012

Engineering a recovery
Where are we going to find new jobs and growth in the British economy? Software, social media and mobile phone app development? Not according to Sir James Dyson - he says the government is ignoring the importance of hardware and engineering, which provide far more jobs.
Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News, 25 September 2012

Glass Works: How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Material of the Future
Lighter than aluminum, harder than high-carbon steel, and many times stronger than regular soda-lime glass, Pyroceram eventually found its way into everything from missile nose cones to chemistry labs. It could also be used in microwave ovens, and in 1959 Pyroceram debuted as a line of space-age serving dishes: Corningware
Bryan Gardiner, Wired, 24 September 2012

Design Wants to Be Free
An object is no longer something you merely consume. It’s something you create. Famed industrial designer Yves Behar explains why this shift is a revolution in the making.
Yves Behar, Wired, 24 September 2012

Getting planners off our backs
When planners view their mission as a civilising one, then the aim of building public space must be to eradicate behaviour that doesn't accord with perceived civic values.
Alastair Donald, Future Cities Project, 22 September 2012


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Festival Buzz

Radicalism then and now: the legacy of 1968 - Minette Marrin

"Intellectually stimulating - an answer to those who despair of the next generation."
Professor Stanley Feldman, retired doctor and academic