One of the big questions about conscience is when and where it comes into play. This question was the underlying thread to the discussions at the RIBA J 120 series discussion Collective Conscience. As the protagonists and a disputatious audience gathered at the RIBA in 66 Portland Place it was clear this debate was going to take some thrashing out.

Having used his architect father to explain his own ethos of public service to society, Maxwell Hutchison, founder of Article 25 claimed ignorance of the drone (an unmanned plane of the sort currently being used in Pakistan by the US).The audience ran with this theme, Richard Woolf reiterating that ‘beautiful things can do ugly things’ and Peter Tompkins: ‘Architects are whores of the arts, we have a conscience as long as clients want it.’

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