Every decently-made object, from a house to a lamp post to a bridge, spoon or egg cup, is not just a piece of 'stuff' but a physical embodiment of human energy, testimony to the magical ability of our species to take raw materials and turn them into things of use, value and beauty.
Building your own house is a primal urge, one of those universal genetic drives like the need to provide for your family.
Sustainability is now a big baggy sack in which people throw all kinds of old ideas, hot air and dodgy activities in order to be able to greenwash their products and feel good.
The greatest architectural illusion is not Baroque fancy or Victorian flamboyant, but minimalism.
Building your own home is about desire, fantasy. But it's achievable; anyone can do it.
I don't look at what people do with their homes in terms of money, but the social and personal value of what they're trying to do and achieve.
Architecture was pretty much the sexiest thing to be doing from 1700-1800.
It's possible to be satisfied with a day's work or a cake, but a life... what is a life but a history of events badly remembered?
Every breath we take as human beings damages the planet.
I'm terribly fastidious. I like symmetry and neatness, but my house is as chaotic as any other family's.
Generally speaking, I think that if you do anything with commitment and passion, it will come good.
Living an environmentally responsible lifestyle can seem like a Scrooge-like list of don'ts. Don't take that flight, don't buy that car, don't eat those blueberries flown in from somewhere far-flung.
The thing that I champion is sustainability. My terror is that suddenly we see it as a luxury, not an essential. That's a danger.
I cannot look at modern buildings without thinking of historical ones.
Awesome is loud but awe is quiet.
I don't want anything that I buy to have done any harm to anyone or anything.
I'm not too fond of really cool design. I've got quite kitsch taste really, in things like tableware. I'm quite a sucker for 1930s pressed glass.
As a property developer, I learned a long time ago to choose your battles wisely and that, unfortunately, compromise is a given.
Building design isn't trendy.
A great deal of energy is wasted in hating people, and I can honestly say I've no wish to expend such a precious resource on being outraged about anyone.
My favourite authors include Trollope and Dickens.
I've got a farm in Somerset, and I think it's God's own country. I love it.
If you said to me, 'Lie down on that concrete floor and fall asleep,' I could do it. I can sleep anywhere at any time of day on any surface.
I spend a frightening amount of money on books.
I like the absurd and the surreal: the Coen brothers, Bunuel, Kubrick.
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