The RIBA has prepared a little homework for MPs during Parliament's summer recess by pressing them for their favourite and least favourite buildings in the UK.
The institute's government relations department, headed by Jonathan Labrey, has masterminded the survey, which is aimed at finding out what the general attitude to architecture and design is among the nation's political representatives, regardless of their affiliations.
The survey was sent by post before the recess to the 659 MPs at their House of Commons addresses, and is composed of just four questions. It asks each MP to nominate their favourite building;
their least favourite; the building which has made the most impact on their constituents' lives; and their favourite living architect - of any nationality.
It has been left deliberately open-ended in terms of dates, so Stonehenge may do battle with modern buildings - and the Dome is expected to figure in at least one of the categories. The RIBA hopes to use the survey to increase awareness of design and get a handle on whether MPs know more names than just Lords Foster and Rogers. (Lord Rogers is understood to figure in a number of forms which have already been returned. ) The MPs have been asked to return the questionnaires by 7 September, when the information will be collated in time for an announcement on the results on 17 September, the first day of 'Urban Design Week'.
A similar exercise is being carried out - again with the institute's involvement - by the BBC's To d a y programme on Radio 4. Listeners to the show are being asked to nominate their favourite and least favourite buildings in Britain and log them on the BBC website. The To d a y programme's website can be found at www. bbc. co. uk/radio4/today