Neil Gillespie of Reiach and Hall Architects with John Haldane
Friday 21 October 2011, Baxter Park Pavilion Dundee

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This is the first in a series of lectures aimed at bringing together international practitioners and thinkers to debate the role of the architect in public life. Architect Neil Gillespie will explore the idea of doubt and certainty with help from eminent Professor of Philosophy John Haldane. Doubt, melancholy and ‘the North’ inform much of Neil Gillespie’s practice. He has found the question of doubt provocative in both his design work, his teaching and his collaborations with artists. Doubt has always been an essential ingredient of any public life whether it was 14th century Italy or modern Scotland. An open, questioning society in which doubt can be freely expressed develops the resources to deal with shifts and changes in economic and social life. Contemporary architecture is commissioned in the context of a very narrow concept of public life. Neil Gillespie, John Haldane and a public audience will explore the issue of doubt, contemporary culture and role and work of the architect.

Association of Dundee Architecture Students

Neil Gillespie is in the vanguard of a new Scottish architecture intent on bringing vitality to its designs – while at the same time adding an international dimension to Scottish architecture. The work of Reiach and Hall, has a diversity of role and function atypical of most contemporary practices. As Design Director, Gillespie carefully emphasises the conditions for dialogue and reconstructs, layer by layer, a visual and formal resolution that avoids the artificial.

Professor John Haldane is a leading Scottish philosopher, commentator and broadcaster. He was appointed to the University of St Andrews in 1983 where since 1994 he has held the title of Professor in Philosophy. From 2002 to the present he has been Director of the University Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs. Haldane is a patron of the arts who has collected for over three decades and has written a number of respected texts on contemporary art practice.