George Ferguson: Bad architecture is too often due to bad architects

From a speech at the Royal Institute of British Architects, in London, given by the president of the institute
Click to follow
The Independent Online

I start with the premise that nothing but the best should be good enough for our living, learning, working, playing and healing environment. I strongly believe that we as a nation, and as a "global village" should all, in whatever roles we are in, be as intolerant of bad and mediocre architecture and planning as we should be of bad food. Bad food generally results only in temporary sickness, but a bad physical environment results in permanent malaise.

Conversely, good food that is well prepared, pleases the eye, is mood enhancing and improves health. That is the stuff of good architecture!

We know that good architecture needs to be properly resourced at both the design and implementation stage, and we know that good architecture is the result of a true partnership between all those involved with the commissioning, planning, design and construction. But we also know that, above all else, good architecture needs good architects!

This puts a real onus on us as a profession to ensure that not only do we have the responsibility to do all we can to effect the political, economic and cultural climate in which we work, but that our prime responsibility is to see that we all maintain the highest standards and that we are not let down by the standard of what is produced by fellow chartered architects.

Undoubtedly, we are getting better, but there is far too much so-called "architecture" that I find deeply depressing, and too much of it, albeit a small minority, involves members of our profession.