Is it possible to be both modern and rural? Or is modernism an urban condition? What histories of radical modernism exist outside urban centres and what sort of futures do they suggest? Is the city the centre of rationalism and the countryside a place of superstitions and arcane beliefs? Is the rural always a backwater and the city always the centre?
Owen Hatherley is a writer and critic. His books include Militant Modernism, A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain and The Ministry of Nostalgia. Owen’s writing covers politics, architecture and culture.
Hana Loftus is a director of the architecture practice HAT. Recent projects include the new Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and High House Artist’s Studios in Thurrock as well as new rural housing in Suffolk. The practice is based in Essex and Hana’s experience includes working at Rural Studio in the US.
Rosemary Shirley is a lecturer in art history at Manchester School of Art. Her research centres on everyday life and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on contemporary rural contexts. This has led her to write about topics as diverse as litter, motorways, folk customs and scrapbooks. She is the author of the book Rural Modernity, Everyday Life and Visual Culture.
Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, whose work includes books on architecture, landscape and public policy. His principal interests concern the planning and design of new landscapes and public institutions and learning the lessons of 20th century urban democracy and the rise of the environmental movement. Ken is Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University.