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Reality check

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Another perceptive comment in the same speech concerned the 'Orwellian objectivity'which once pertained in relation to judgements about architecture, which attempted to 'eliminate what we know through personal experience in favour of some supposed proven reality'. He went on to suggest that the difficulties that architecture has with government stem from what the philosopher Bernard Williams described as the dilemma for public administration and its legal framework. This makes it 'fundamentally difficult to accommodate matters which are not objective and measurable; quantity, cost and predictability prevail over quality, value and innovation; proven realities prevail over personal judgement and aesthetic experience'. This was fighting stuff, and surely strikes at the heart of the dilemma of how to match any procurement procedure to what we would like to achieve.

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