No – not a new shade of Luscious Pink. We’re talking the RIBA getting rude to the Prince of Wales – and not before time. Reported in NZ as “Architects tell Prince Charles to ‘butt out’ “, the story involves the current RIBA President Sunand Prasad saying publicly:
“The intervention in individual projects by somebody with enormous influence and power but who is not actually accountable to the public is not the way to make such a market in ideas flow,…. ….It derails what is an open and transparent, if imperfect system, and it causes a lot of waste as it did in Chelsea as it previously did at Paternoster Square and threatens to do so again… …Heaven knows that our planning system needs reform because it is inefficient and undemocratic,… …Surely, if someone like Prince Charles starts wielding influence on individual projects that will make it even less democratic.”
We’re fortunate in New Zealand that we don’t have any architectural Royalty getting interested in our designs and schemes. Fortunate in that, if they were to appear, they’d have fair course to grumble about the state of our cities. On the other hand, it would be nice if by some divine guidance, the public actually did give a damn about the architecture of our cities, and engaged in a dialogue about them – instead of merely bleating, sheep-like, that buildings are ‘baaaaaad’ and open green pastures of grass are ‘goooood’.