The RIBA’s Architecture Gallery is set to host the upcoming exhibition, Wide-Angle View: architecture as social space in the Manplan series 1969-1970.
The exhibition focuses on the Manplan series of publications, initiated in 1969, which sought to analyse the state of architecture and urban planning in Britain at the time. Utilising photography as a central medium, the series presented ideas and critiques about the societal impacts of architecture.
Over the course of eight issues released from September 1969 to September 1970, each instalment of Manplan focused on a distinct facet of human activity affected by design and planning decisions.
The series enlisted guest editors such as Norman Foster and Virginia Makins, along with specially commissioned photojournalists and street photographers, to effectively convey each issue’s thematic essence.
Themes explored in the series, included poverty, economic uncertainty, community involvement in planning, and the role of architects in societal fairness.
The exhibition will showcase the work of photographers including Ian Berry, Patrick Ward, and Tony Ray-Jones. The photographs have rarely been republished and have never been displayed publicly before.
Valeria Carullo, exhibition lead curator and RIBA’s photographs curator said, “This exhibition, with the raw power of its photographs, brings us back to a time of challenges, disparities, disillusionment, but also a time of questioning, protesting, campaigning – in many ways, much like our here and now. It is a timely reminder of the importance of citizens’ participation in the decisions that affect their communities and the role architects can play in creating a fairer society.”