Vox Pop

Whether or not John Sorrell gets the job, what would you put top of the agenda for the new chairman of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, in order to put design more firmly into the mix?

‘Good design (the ‘good’ is important) and good architecture must become a fundamental part of our daily culture. This implies understanding, education and belief – not box-ticking and targets. Recently, Cabe’s chief executive said: “We are not ashamed to talk about architecture at Cabe” – suggesting quite the opposite. The new Chair must not be ashamed to promulgate the life-enhancing qualities of design.’

Peter Murray, Chairman, Wordsearch

‘Strong words. At present, Cabe speaks the language of bureaucrats and ministers, rather than designers and consumers – doesn’t their name say it all? A more inspiring, accessible use of language would be a start.’

Freddie Baveystock, Strategy and communications director, The Nest

‘The reports are great, but it’s now time for action. We have the talent, intelligence, design, flair and originality. Let’s use the readily-available new technology and materials, some that could change the face and behaviour of the nation, satisfy a need and answer a demand. Why not tackle housing for starters?’

Janet Turner, Independent lighting consultant

‘Most people are unaware of the beautiful buildings that surround them as they walk or drive about. An education programme focusing on the appreciation of our architectural design and designers would be a great start. It could dovetailed with a campaign in the popular press (and Blue Peter) encouraging everyone to get their shoulders back and keep their eyes open.’

Carol Whitworth, Creative director, Home

‘House builders are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of building 500 000 new houses, and no doubt plan to continue building clusters of mediocre brick boxes surrounded by cheap timber fences. We must be able to bring design and industry together to develop new housing types that more accurately reflect the cultural, technological, economic and spiritual moment that we now occupy in the 21st century, and which can contribute creatively to our growing urban landscape.’

Tom Lloyd, Director, Pearson Lloyd

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