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Farrell to lead biggest review of architecture since Rogers' Urban Task Force

Terry Farrell has been appointed to head up an independent review of architecture and the built environment the findings of which will ‘reach all four corners of Whitehall’

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said Farrell’s findings ‘would provide a snapshot’ of the industry’ and ‘act as a rallying point for the profession.’ It will be delivered to a young energetic minister who will take it to all for corners of Whitehall and ensure the right elements of it are implimented,’ said Vaizey.

The review, which Farrell said was the most significant of its kind since Richard Rogers’ 1999 Urban Task Force, is being driven by Vaizey with a brief to help government ‘achieve ‘high quality design to better influence and shape policy…’.

Although focusing on four key areas [see box] Farrell said he would not exclude wider issues, including questions about the future of ARB and its relationship with RIBA.

Vaizey, who reiterated that he was a ‘passionate supporter of the architectural profession’ said he hoped the review would include practical recommendations that can be taken forward quickly.’

‘We want ideas that can happen rather than in the perfect world,’ he added.

However, Farrell countered that he would not only provide feedback ‘on just the art of the possible’.

‘We will challenge, and set the bar high, ‘ he said.

RIBA President Angela Brady said: Architecture is not an issue which fits neatly into any one Government Department, so a cross-cutting review of this nature is essential to make sure that there is a coordinated, joined-up approach across government.

‘Crucially, the review will also examine not only policy, but the wider context for architecture, reflecting its crucial importance culturally and as a Great British export.

An advisory panel [see box]which includes Thomas Heathwick, Alain de Botton and Peter Bishop will put out a call for evidence ‘shortly’ with Farrell expected to produce his report by the end of the year.

Initial comments can be sent to

Key areas

  • Understanding the government’s role in promoting good design
  • The economics benefits of architecture
  • Cultural heritage and the built environment
  • Promoting education and skills

Advisory Panel:

·      Peter Bishop
·      Alison Brooks
·      Alain de Botton
·      Hank Dittmar
·      Jim Eyre
·      Thomas Heatherwick
·      Nigel Hugill
      Lucy Musgrave

·      Robert Powell

·      Sunand Prasad

·      Victoria Thornton

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