New, shiny buildings are all well and good, but what architects forget about is a sense of place – and the beauty of wastelands.

This article titled “Jonathan Meades: Architects are the last people who should shape our cities” was written by Jonathan Meades, for The Guardian on Tuesday 18th September 2012 18.00 UTC

Architecture, the most public of endeavours, is practised by people who inhabit a smugly hermetic milieu which is cultish. If this sounds far-fetched just consider the way initiates of this cult describe outsiders as the lay public, lay writers and so on: it's the language of the priesthood. And like all cults its primary interest is its own interests, that is to say its survival, and the triumph of its values – which means building. Architects, architectural critics, architectural theorists, the architectural press (which is little more than a deferential PR machine) – the entire quasi-cult is cosily conjoined by mutual dependence and by an ingrown, verruca-like jargon which derives from the more dubious end of American academe.

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