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Thu 30 Apr 2020
19:00 - 20:00


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How do you survive extreme isolation?

Join us online to explore how design helps sustain people living at the edge of the world.


As the rest of the world gets to grips with isolation from friends and family, there is one continent where this is an annual experience. Antarctica – paradoxically, the only continent on earth to be entirely free from COVID-19.

In the depths of winter, scientific research stations completely cut off from the rest of the world and remain physically isolated for anything up to 9 months. In recent years, a series of new stations have been constructed on the ice – using clever design to help residents overcome the effects of darkness, sensory deprivation and social isolation.

Hugh Broughton has been designing buildings on the frozen continent since 2005 when his firm won the RIBA Competition to design the relocatable British research station, Halley VI. This multi-award winning project led to further commissions including the Spanish Antarctic Base, Juan Carlos 1, as well as ongoing projects to design a science and operations building for the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera Research Station; the redevelopment of Scott Base for Antarctica New Zealand; and an Atmospheric Watch Observatory for the USA on the summit of the Greenland Ice Cap.

In the first edition of our digital talks, we’ll discuss the coping mechanisms and devices used for isolation survival with some valuable lessons from Antarctica.


This talk will take place over Zoom. You will be sent the link and login details to your email address used for booking, before the talk starts. Grab a glass of wine and pull up a pew.