And now, for something completely different: good design goes beyond itself

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Most people come across John Cleese through Monty Python. I didn’t.
A long time ago I was given a tape, with the recording of a talk he gave to a group of architecture students. He was reminding them that when they will move on to build something, this will become part of the city or town that everyone walks through, that everyone looks at, no matter how interested in their very piece of architecture they might be. In other words, the message was that we do things but we generate an impact that goes well beyond them. And, this impact is on many more people than those we might build our buildings for, because every building is always part of a much greater whole. Every building is a piece of city, and cities belong to all. As an observation by somebody that felt genuinely baffled and elated all in the space of a short stroll, his talk made complete sense: it was about having a sense of civic responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalUrban Design : the Quarterly Journal of the Urban Design Group
Issue number153
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • impact
  • urban design
  • Torino


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