Architects get Lippy

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’.


2 responses to “Architects get Lippy”

  1. Im sorry there is no way that I can agree with your comments, whilst the thought of having an unelected pompous twit influencing what gets built it appears to be far more effective than the work of our local council.

    Someone needs to apply a level of taste and decency to what is built and to stand up to the the relentless campaign of developers to demolish existing and replace with concrete lumps with glass facades that communicate transparency and retain the view shaft to the harbour.

  2. there is an interesting twist to this story this week. World Architecture News .com reports that RIBA President Prasad has fired a bigger shot of the head of HRH Charles, withy the comment that:
    “I would like an undertaking ideally from the Prince that he will not seek to influence individual projects and schemes, unless he has a direct interest in them of course,” he said.

    and went on to say:
    “that he had already sought the opinion of legal professionals on the matter of the Prince’s constitutional obligations.”

    “I have a feeling that…in a constitutional monarchy, I think that one of the points is that the figure head of the state actually keeps out of these everyday affairs….”

    There’s sure to be more to this story in coming weeks and months. Will heads roll?

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