The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Events Archive

Online: Twentieth Century Shops Lecture Series 1: The Decorum of Shopping Streets




Twentieth Century Shops Lecture Series 1: The Decorum of Shopping Streets

Thursday 1 February at 6.30 pm


The first lecture in the series Twentieth Century Shops: From Arndale to Zara, marking the publication of 100 20th Century Shops.

‘Good Taste is Good Business’ - these words come from a Civic Trust publication on Shop Fronts of the early 1960s, and were the orthodoxy from the beginning of the twentieth century. In spite of this, it is often the survival of ‘bad taste’ shop fronts that now attracts our cameras and our desire to preserve. Alan Powers asks whether ‘good taste’ is simply boring and vulgarity more appealing where shops are concerned.

Alan Powers is a former Chairman of C20 and a current trustee. He teaches at London School of Architecture, New York University in London and the University of Kent.

Zoom price:  C20 Society Members- £6; Non-Members- £8; Young C20 member + guest – Free; Student + guest- £4.

*For student pricing please select from the dropdown option next to 'membership number' on the booking form below.*

*For Young C20 members, please email to secure a place.*

Note: This event is hybrid and is being run both in-person at Cowcross Street Gallery and online via Zoom. The event will be recorded and offered as a catch-up lecture for those who have booked and will be available for two weeks.

For Zoom bookings we will send you a Zoom link by email after you book, which will enable you to “join” the event. You should receive an automated link within an hour of booking so please check your spam/junk emails if you haven't received this. Any further problems please contact

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The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above image:  Shop Fronts page from Civic Trust publication