Ken Worpole

Ken Worpole

Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, whose work includes many books on architecture, landscape and public policy. He is married to photographer Larraine Worpole with whom he has collaborated on book projects internationally, as well as in Hackney, London, where they have lived and worked since 1969.

His principal interests concern the planning and design of new settlements, landscapes and public institutions - streets, parks, playgrounds, libraries, informal education - based on the pioneering achievements of 20th century social democracy, as well as the modern environmental movement. In recent years his work has focused on contemporary landscape aesthetics and working with architects and garden designers on the creation of new forms of residential settlements for an ageing population.

Ken is Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University, and has served on the UK government’s Urban Green Spaces Task Force, on the Expert Panel of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and as an adviser to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

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For many years, Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape.
The Independent

For well over 40 years Ken Worpole has been one of the most eloquent and forward thinking writers in Britain.
Icon: International Design,Architecture & Culture



Hackney Society at 50 book cover

Just published

Hackney: portrait of a community 1967 - 2017

2017 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Hackney Society, a voluntary organisation dedicated to the conservation of Hackney’s rich architectural heritage - and much else besides. To mark this event the Society has produced a magnificent book, Hackney: portrait of a community 1967 - 2017, containing 50 short essays, one for each year.

The topics covered are wonderfully various, ranging from the impact of the first tower blocks, the rise and fall of Clapton Dog Track, the decline of the traditional pub and the arrival of the wine bar. The contribution of the borough’s strong Jewish, Afro-Caribbean, Turkish and Vietnamese communities are all well documented, as well as the volatile political scene, both in the streets and in the Town Hall.

Ken has contributed a chapter for 1970 on the founding of the radical bookshop and community centre, Centerprise.  Beautifully designed and illustrated.

Buy Hackney: portrait of a community 1967-2017