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Political ambitions

To open an exhibition entitled 'The Architecture of Democracy' in the week of elections for Scotland's new parliament, the moment that the British constitution embarks on its biggest voyage of reform in nearly 300 years, is to beg a fundamental question about the nature and importance of architecture. Is it integral to the social engine, a shaper of lives; or is it little more than a branch of aesthetics, available only for specialist interrogation?

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