Dezeen Magazine

Turncoats Lost in Space

Competition: win tickets to the Turncoats' Lost in Space debate

Alternative architecture event Turncoats has returned for a final season, and Dezeen is giving away five pairs of tickets for its debate on space.

This competition has now closed. 

Following a sold-out first debate last month on nuclear housing, Lost in Space will be held at St John's Hoxton on 7 February.

Each night takes a provocative question and invites its panellists to argue for or against it with both barrels – before switching sides.

Theatrical opening acts set the tone for an unconventional night, which host Phineas Harper. said is like "stabbing a syringe of adrenaline into the fleshy tissue of architectural discourse and pressing down hard".

Everything is off the record and the audience's phones are sealed in bags before it starts.

"Turncoats is an experiment, a test, a shot in the dark, a hunch that most panel debates are too dry, too polite and ultimately too dull to cut through the noise in this critical time," said Harper, who is also a Turncoats co-founder and Dezeen columnist.

"We've all sat in painfully dreary lecture theatres watching panels of similar people with similar ideas gently buffing each other's egos while jamming biros into our legs just to stay awake," he added.

"Turncoats is for anyone who craves public debate with some kick, humour and the occasional dram of vodka – to grapple with really serious ideas, sometimes you need to lighten up."

After a ritual roasting by Harper, the panel of experts will take turns to argue the pros and cons of humankind's continued exploration of space.

Will missions to Mars see people building homes on alien planets, or should design focus on solving issues here on earth?

Arguing to ditch the rockets to the moon are Tosin Thompson and Imani Jacqueline Brown. Thompson is an actor and writer for the New Humanist, the Guardian and the New Statesman. Jacqueline Brown is an artist, activist, researcher, and writer from New Orleans.

In the pro-Space corner are Xavier De Kestelier and Steve Austen-Brown. De Kestelier is head of design technology and innovation at Hassell and has led several Foster + Partners projects on space exploration. Austen-Brown is creative director of Avantgarde UK and is working on the space-themed UK pavilion at the 2020 Dubai Expo.

Rory Hyde, curator of contemporary architecture and urbanism at the V&A, will chair the debate. Comedian Darren Walsh will open the event.

Harper, who is the Architecture Foundation deputy director, established Turncoats with the former director of Studio Weave Maria Smith and architecture professor Robert Mull.

Competition closes 7 February 2020. Five winners will be selected at random and notified by email.