Sunday, 2 May 2010

Key Ideas: Local Distinctiveness
Common Ground has written a set of 'Rules for Local Distinctiveness'. There are over 40 but I will just mention 10 key ideas that fit in with my work.

1. Let the CHARACTER of the people and place express itself. Kill corporate identity before it kills our high streets. Give local shops precedence.
2. Defend DETAIL. Respond to the local and vernacular. No new building or development need be bland, boring or brash.
3. Our IMAGINATION needs diversity and variegation. We need standards not standardisation.
4. Work for local IDENTITY. Oppose monoculture in our fields, parks, gardens and buildings. Resist formulae and automatic ordering from pattern books which homogenise and deplete.
5. Let NATURE in.
6. Champion the ORDINARY and every day.
7. Get to know your place intimately. Search out PARTICULARITY AND PATINA helps add new layers of interest.
8. REVEAL the past! Decay is an important process. Don't tidy things up so much that the layers of history and reclamation by nature are obliterated. Let continuity show. Personality often resides in SUBTLETY and idiosyncrasy. Look closely and often.
9. USE old buildings again. Find new functions for them. Accretion is better than demolition.
10. VALUE your own values! Democracy thieves on discussion about things that matter to us. Let the experts in on your own terms.

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