Date of release: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Creating cities of joy – AVATAR conference this weekMegacities of the future will face tensions as they try to house international populations, harness technologies and cut carbon. The University of Greenwich gathers top international architects and urban designers this week to explore the creative conflicts ahead.

Reconciling Opposites: Future Cities 4 is a public, one-day conference organised by the university's AVATAR (Advanced Virtual & Technological Architectural Research) group. Michael Sorkin, the influential New York architect and urbanist, is keynote speaker.

Meeting this Friday (17 April) at the Stockwell Street building in Greenwich's World Heritage Site, the conference reworks the idea of alchemy – reconciling opposites to make gold – to consider how clashes can transform our urban landscape.

Professor Neil Spiller, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor in the university's Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities, says: "This is the fourth Future Cities event to investigate the challenges faced by megacities in an increasingly technologically advanced yet resource-constrained world. We bring together architects, designers and researchers with maverick views on the modern world to explore how we might create architectures and cities of joy."

Professor Spiller, who holds the Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape, founded AVATAR in 2004.

Conference exhibition East of Eden features postgraduate and undergraduate work on local areas of development: Greenwich Peninsula, Thamesmead and East Greenwich. A second exhibition showcases recent projects by Michael Sorkin and Neil Spiller, and other speakers from Greenwich: Nic Clear, Simon Herron, Susanne Isa, Ed Wall and Simon Withers. They are joined by writer and curator Justin McGuirk, and Mark Morris of Cornell University.

The Reconciling Opposites: Future Cities 4 conference is being held in the Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre, Academic Building 11, Stockwell Street, Greenwich, London SE10 8EY from 10am to 5pm. For more information go to:

Story by Public Relations