Thanks again, BD!

If you’ve just come to Ruralise from the letters page at BD, welcome! If you’re a regular reader but can’t get behind BD’s pay-wall, the text was as follows (somewhat more discursive than BDs tightly edited version):


Ed Hollis’s epiphany on ordinary buildings (‘Too Much Novelty Leaves Us Nowhere’, 17 June) struck a chord with me; over the past decade or so I’ve become rather fixed on the idea that a disproportionately large amount of architectural thought and effort has gone into a minority of special buildings, at the expense of the every-day ones that make up the bulk of what we see around us.

In that time I’ve assembled a rag-bag of quotes and references on the subject, including pearls of wisdom from Aldo van Eyck, Eldred Evans, Leon Krier, Koetter and Rowe, Alan Powers, Douglas Kelbaugh (the Mandatory Invention Fallacy) and Vilfredo Pareto (the 80:20 law). These occasionally surface on my blog ( but came together for the first time as a sustained train of thought, albeit fairly roughly, in a recent talk for the Kiln artists’ group in Norwich entitled ‘Cathedrals and Bikesheds’.

The talk was recorded and is online at SoundCloud – without images I’m afraid, but I’d be happy to turn out and give a repeat performance if anyone else has an unusual interest in the ordinary.

Yours etc,

For more about ‘rural simplicity’ in design, have a look here
BD’s Owen Hatherley on a similar theme here.

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2 Responses to Thanks again, BD!

  1. John Wood says:

    The talk (with images!) was very good – recommended if it comes round again.

  2. Matt Wood says:

    Thanks John!

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