Phineas Harper is a critic and designer based in London. He is Deputy Director of the think tank, the Architecture Foundation, a regular columnist for Dezeen and former Deputy Editor of the Architectural Review. His new book, A People's History of Woodcraft Folk tracing the history of the political children's movement is out now.
The Architecture Foundation is an independent not-for-profit think tank campaigning for a better built environment. With a renewed focus on the city and the critical intersection of architecture and politics, the Architecture Foundation works to effect meaningful change on policy and practice. Phineas joined the Architecture Foundation in Spring 2015 with Director, Ellis Woodman. Together they have relaunched the organisation connecting with a core membership of architects, clients, contractors and civil servants leading London's build environment.
Phineas writes for a wide number of publications on the intersection of design and politics.
Turncoats is a shot in the arm of architectural discourse. Framed by theatrically provocative opening gambits, a series of free debates will rugby tackle six fundamental issues facing contemporary practice with a playful and combative format designed to ferment open and critical discussion, turning conventional consensus on its head.
A People's History of Woodcraft Folk
Written and designed by Phineas Harper
Photography by Jonny Helm
With contributions by Jon Nott, Annebella Pollen, Martin Pover, Nicola Samson, Paul Bemrose, Doug Bourn, Kit Jones, Saskia Neibig, Zoë Waterman and Joel White
Published by Woodcraft Folk, 2016
The youth movement Woodcraft Folk has made a remarkable impact on British politics and education. Founded in 1925 on a wave of post-WWI utopianism and now a network of hundreds of local groups, it has empowered thousands of young people to shape the world around them.
This book explores the history, values and evolution of this unique organisation in a chronological sweep of stories from hand-making tents, and rescuing children from advancing Nazi troops, to campaigning against climate change.
Offering an unmatched insight into the story of this little-known but influential organisation, the book features 200 pages of colour photographs, essays and stories, and is introduced by the veteran campaigner, Labour politician and long-standing Woodcraft Folk supporter Jeremy Corbyn MP.
The Architecture Sketchbook
Published by Magma and Laurence King, 2015
Phineas was commissioned by Magma and Laurence King to write and devise a sketchbook for architects which would be useful in a digital era. The finished book contains 120 blank and gridded pages and printed scale rulers (both metric and imperial), plus 16 pages of useful information on architectural styles, drawing types, circulation, room layouts, furniture and fittings, structural elements and sustainability.
Director and presenter
Phineas has directed and presented a number of short documentaries for the Architecture Foundation and Architectural Review.
Phineas has taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at various schools of architecture and design in the UK. He is is currently a visiting tutor at the Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design and a guest critic at the University of Westminster.