The UK's Shadow Culture Minister Helen Goodman has outlined a number of ideas that she would like to put into practice should her party win the next general election, reports the Architects' Journal. The proposals, made at last week's Labour Party Conference in Manchester, include increasing the number of open architecture competitions held in the UK and holding a major UK-wide annual festival of architecture. Read on after the break for more on Goodman's proposals.
The idea to hold a UK-wide festival of architecture was inspired by Terry Farrell's review of UK architecture, which included an architecture festival in London among its 60 recommendations. However, Goodman challenged the idea of another festival in the capital, saying: "It’s a really good idea to have an annual festival of architecture and when we met, I said 'why should it be in London?'"
She also said that the quality of design in the UK could be improved by holding a greater number of open architectural competitions, something the UK lags significantly behind on compared to other European countries. "We need to go back to opening up the design of buildings to more and different people," said Goodman. "Competitions can make design a central feature of deciding who wins the contract."
However, some have criticized her for not going far enough, with RIBA’s head of external affairs Anna Scott Marshall saying: "We’d like to see a greater cross-government focus on architecture through an architecture policy which focuses on the core objectives for government - the economy, delivering the homes we need, infrastructure, shaping successful cities and communities."
Story via the Architects' Journal