Architecture awards

I don’t suppose we will get over this date, 9/11, for may years to come. Important to remember. Am concerned by conspiracy theory gaining any credence that USA did it themselves. Often get the feeling these days that we are psychologically disposed to believe the worst of ourselves and our allies and the best of the terrorists. Those views have been encouraged by the way our trust was abused over WMD.

At the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architecture) London awards – of which I heartily approve. Design barely gets a look in generally and yet it is the answer to many of our problems. An example: minimum room standards. They are far too small. Result – teenagers can’t take friends home; they hang out incessantly; I get queue of people at surgery telling me how dreadful the youth of today is. And I am forever banging on about the importance of the built environment to our lives. It can raise aspirations or blight them.

The awards went to twenty-two buildings in London – which is quite a lot of good buildings in a year. We should be so proud of our good architects and their continual striving to create wondrous spaces and shapes and dwellings and workplaces. They fight the good fight. I just wish developers, councils and politicians would make their lives a bit easier – then we might really have more decent buildings – and not just in central London.

I tried to tell Ken, when I was on the Greater London Authority, to send his architectural adviser – ye Richard Rogers – to Haringey for one of our big projects. But Ken wasn’t really interested in the quality of development in Haringey, and the developers – well they cut every corner in the book.