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‘The Eameses … are regarded by many as the greatest designers of the 20th century … All this is true, but it omits an important point - they failed. They failed in the same way that William Morris and Le Corbusier, as a designer rather than an architect, failed. For the intention of all these people was to democratise design.’ Brian Appleyard on the Eames exhibition at the Design Museum. Sunday Times, 20.9.98

‘Architecture that is not art is not architecture. Just as poetry is what is lost in translation, so architecture is what survives function - the force of its imagery, symbolism and meanings. Le Corbusier was a great architect in spite of his social and functionalist claims …’ Brian Appleyard. Ibid.

‘Its misfortune is that, as a body run by a former Tory minister, Lord St John of Fawsley, from clubby offices in St James’s Square, it sits as happily in Chris Smith’s Creative Britain as spotted dick with jam on the River Cafe dessert menu.’ Rowan Moore on the Royal Fine Art Commission. Evening Standard, 15.9.98

‘Our mission is to do for housing what Conran and Ikea have done for furnishings.’ Tom Bloxham of Northern property developer/architect Urban Splash. Independent, 19.9.98

‘The car I drive was the very last that [Sir William Lyons] designed himself. It is a sonnet to the curve and shaped with ‘customary beauty’, to flow in gallant harmony with the highways and byways that twist through these islands.’ Jonathan Glancey on his Jaguar. Guardian, 19.9.98

vital statistics

The value of overseas contracts won by uk construction companies fell from £4.7 million in 1996 to £4.0 million in 1997, reflecting a 10 per cent decline in the Middle East and a 30 per cent decline in Europe.

Internet traffic slowed by 200 per cent on release of the 445-page Starr Report.

Of the 20,000 people Tony Blair promised to employ to beat the millennium bug, only 26 have been trained, less than 500 days away from the big day.

Since the handover Hong Kong house prices have dropped by 45-50 per cent, but the best apartments still fetch up to £937 per square foot, beaten only by London and New York.

Flats and houses are let quickest in Fulham, Kensington and Pimlico, with 75 per cent or more being taken within a week - the London average is 23 per cent.

uk labour productivity is 55 per cent behind that of the US in telecommunications, 70 per cent behind in software and 75 per cent in food processing.

The V&A admission charge contributes £2 million a year to its £40 million annual running costs. After abolition of the entrance fee it will need an extra £6 million a year on top of its £28 million grant as attendance fell from 1.2 million to 1 million over the last year.

Increases in Eurotunnel traffic means that it carried 1.51 million cars in the first half of 1998, and 3.06 million passengers.

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