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Brighton breezy


Piers Gough and John Worthington were on good form at a half-day event on the future of coastal towns in general, and Brighton in particular, organised by Brighton council and the school of architecture. Piers demanded an end to ideas of imposing 'good' design on the city, and an insistence on an architecture of vitality, exuberance and astonishment. Worthington was more reflective, suggesting that a way forward lay in an analysis of the varied futures inherent in Brighton's communities, assets and attributes. Lord (Steve) Bassam, New Labour whip in the House of Lords, informed the audience that his civil servants wrote dull speeches. He then proceeded to read one of them out. Despite this, some productive brainstorming took place during the afternoon, with thoughtful observations about the relationship between a conservation culture obsessed with stopping change, and a 'critical opposition'which opposed change only when it was for the worse. Rudest Brighton graffito spotted - a site hoarding at Conran & Partners' excellent new housing block: 'F*** off back to London.' Astragal did.

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