I was slightly baffled to hear Michael Gove advocating the creation of a brand new School of Architecture on the airwaves over Christmas. While I’m sympathetic to the issues he raises – how to create a good quality urban environment – I am not convinced that creating a version of the École des Beaux Arts is the solution. Surely, it ought to be possible to work with the existing architecture schools, rather than have to establish a new one. Besides, the problems are immediate: how to enable the construction of new housing with public support. Gove is actually in the best possible position to make changes to planning law, which would be much more effective than putting money into a new architecture school.
My views as attached in The Critic: