Fry and Drew: Conference

The Influence of Fry and Drew

Jane and Max on beach in N Wales001




For over fifty years, E. Maxwell Fry (1899–1987) and Jane B. Drew (1911–96) were integral members of the English architectural avant-garde. The Fry and Drew partnership – in its various incarnations – was a magnet for architects and architectural students from all over the world, giving the practice a distinctly international outlook. Their built works, from the 1920s to the 1980s, cross the globe from Europe to South-east Asia.

This conference seeks to investigate the themes and movements of twentieth century architecture and town planning that have been influenced by the work of Fry and Drew, and vice versa. What is the context of Fry and Drew’s architecture? Is it possible to identify a FryDrew strand of Modernism or a house style? What is their architectural legacy?

We welcome papers from scholars and practitioners, and encourage proposals from early career researchers and graduate students. Papers might address, but are not limited to:

  • Inter-war Modernism – early influences, the rise of Modernism in England, collaborators and creative networks (such as contractors, engineers, artist, patrons).
  • Post-war Modernism – the Festival of Britain style, the Brutalist movement and younger British modernists, questioning the modernist agenda, the work of Fry and Drew’s former employees.
  • Colonialism – comparisons of colonizers in architectural and theoretical terms, war-time postings, colonial frameworks (for example, the role of the Public Works Departments).
  • Post-colonialism – tradition and modernity, design and identity, cultural colonialism. For example, Fry and Drew’s work at Chandigarh, in West Africa, throughout the Middle East.
  • Tropical Architecture – the use of new technologies and design ideas, its network and legacy, reassessment of the tropical, tropical architecture pedagogies at the Architectural Association and beyond.
  • Town Planning – the Garden City model, the neighbourhood unit, modernist planning schemes, the New Towns and post-war rebuilding, the spread and implementation of CIAM guidelines.
  • Fry & Drew’s wider influence – their patronage of art, Drew’s significance for women (in architecture), influential personal or professional relationships, their published texts, their involvement in architectural design education.

We invite abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute papers. Please email Jessica Holland and Iain Jackson at by Sunday 2nd June 2013.

Please check the conference page for regular updates.

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