The trouble with television interior design shows is that while many viewers are inspired by them, others are left with a deep sense of dissatisfaction at the way they live their lives.
But it does not have to be like this. We can change our homes, our workspace and our city.
And the role of the architect is to help us to live in spaces that work for us, whether that be our own flat or a new block of flats at the end of our road. They should enhance our lives.
I have spent a lifetime thinking, talking and celebrating architecture. It can affect our health, mental wellbeing, our educational attainment and even the economic profitability of our businesses.
A modern, well thought-out railway station can make our commute to work more enjoyable, a thoughtful streetscape makes a walk pleasurable, and a planted green space in a busy city raises our spirits. Architecture really matters.
But we matter, too. We need to take part as consumers and citizens. How we build this city and how we use and live in it is the responsibility of all of us. We are the watchdogs of our area.
We can find out about future developments — whether through our local council’s website or notices fixed to lamp posts — because unless we show we care, bad things can happen.
This year’s London Festival of Architecture runs throughout June and is an opportunity to meet architects, explore buildings and places and learn more about London, the world’s hub for architecture.
London employs more than 22,000 people in architectural businesses, and students come from all over the world to study architecture here.
There are more than 400 events at this year’s festival. We invite you to join in the fun, the debate, the lectures and the exhibitions and celebrate our buildings — come join us.
Scroll through the gallery above to find out more about some of the unmissable events taking place during this year’s London Festival of Architecture.
Find full details of all festival events at londonfestivalofarchitecture.org/