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Foresight - The week ahead

Thursday 19 September

Material World 'Smart materials' have revolutionised engineering in recent decades and are so called because they interact with the environment by responding to changes in temperature or moisture. Such materials can return to their original shape after exposure to extreme conditions.

Quinten Cooper looks at the development of this technology, and its uses, which range from construction to surgical applications. Nice.

BBC Radio 4, 4.30pm

Friday

Architecture week: New Visions Of Britain.

The original Visions of Britain was shown in 1988 and asked six leading figures to consider the future of British architecture. Well, 14 years later the cognoscenti, the great and the good consider the intervening years. Goatees, thoughtful expressions and black polo neck sweaters at the ready, readers.

BBC Four, 8.30pm

Saturday

Buildings, Bridges, Tunnels: Bridges Profiles some of the world's greatest bridges. New York's Brooklyn Suspension Bridge, Japan's earthquake resistant bridge near Kobe and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge are among those featured.

Discovery Channel, 11am

London Open House Weekend Why not celebrate London's architecture, and take the opportunity to have a wander around buildings of great importance and interest. Today and tomorrow you can do just that, with free entry to more than 500 buildings across the capital. Here's your chance to roam around houses usually closed to the public and say 'Oooh, did you see the muck in that kitchen?' as you leave. London Open House is a registered educational charity.www. londonopenhouse. org

Sunday

Why Trains Crash The series continues with a look at the price passengers pay for the demand for faster trains, from a disastrous attempt by rival companies to compete in the 1900s, to the tragic last ride of the Barnum and Bailey Circus train in 1994.

Discovery Channel, 11pm

Tuesday

Two Men In A Trench The site of the Battle of Barnet is now buried under centuries of urban development. Five hundred years ago, however, it saw 25,000 soldiers fight one of the most crucial battles in the War Of The Roses. Neil Oliver and Tony Pollard attempt to unearth new secrets from the famous battle. Those fascinated by trans Pennine rivalries may like to consider the importance of Leeds United's 1-0 win over Manchester United last week. Glory, glory Leeds United (that's enough football - ed).

BBC2, 8pm

Wednesday

Tomorrow's World Awards In association with the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts, Tomorrow's World dishes out a trophy and cash prizes. Contributions from Michelle Mone - inventor of the Ultimo bra - Maureen Lipman and guitarist Brian May might suggest this will be a lightweight affair.

BBC1, 7pm

If you know of events, exhibitions, books, programmes or websites that ought to be included in Foresight, contact Karl Thompson, tel (020) 7505 6682, e-mail karl. thompson@ construct. emap. com

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