Sir Terry Farrell on UK Architecture & the "Urbi-Cultural Revolution"

Beijing South Station / TFP Farrells. Image © Fu Xing

In this intriguing and often insightful two-part interview with Section D, Monocle's weekly design radio show, Sir Terry Farrell discusses at length the findings of his review into UK architecture as well as his views on the current state of architecture in the UK and the world. Looking to the future of the profession, Farrell says he sees architects as one of the key contributors to the world's social future: "We live in what we've built, we're an urban-building creature... I call it the urbi-cultural revolution."

Read more about the interview, and listen to both parts of the interview, after the break

Asked about the state of British design, Farrell maintains that, "in terms of the great iconic stuff we are not doing anything like as much as the world is globally", and even though he's seen "design quality go up and up and up" over his 50-year career, he maintains "there is still a huge amount that is built without architects or without clients that are interested in quality". 

He says: "architecture is owned in part by everybody, and that's the big issue... Everybody can be empowered to think that they are part of the future built environment." However, although Farrell believes that the public is becoming more educated about design (and thus more willing to take the responsibility of demanding quality architecture), he still sees a vital role for the profession: "it's a good thing for architects, that they are a small part of the whole picture... What architects do is they set agendas, they set priorities, they influence - I want to make this review encourage them to be more like activists, where they volunteer much more."

Later he added: "I think architects should be much more actively involved in that cultural shift... they should be out there promoting and arguing and advocating."

Millennium bridge at dusk, looking west up the river Tyne, between Newcastle and Gateshead in the UK. Image © Wikimedia Commons User HappyShopper

Listen to more from Section D at Monocle

About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Sir Terry Farrell on UK Architecture & the "Urbi-Cultural Revolution"" 06 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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