This programme evaluated the impact of the built environment on human well-being and the capacity for creativity. Buildings intended for domestic use and for a public purpose surround us every day and the values of those who designed them achieve expression in bricks and mortar, wood and stone, steel, glass and concrete. The structures that are engineered to secure our existence on a plot of land and which need to protect us from the elements are also designed according to standards of taste and beauty that evolve and change in the course of history. Architecture therefore is both art and craft since its practitioners strive for a synthesis of the tasteful and the functional. Some buildings encourage prosperity. Their designs provide a space within which individuals can coexist harmoniously and within that context the human mind and spirit flourish. Other buildings inhibit prosperity and lead to social dereliction, poverty and crime. Ideas and values matter in architecture since they have such a direct impact on human life—on good and bad, plenty and misery, creativity and sterility.
Evidence drawn from professional practitioners such as urban planners, psychologists, construction companies, framers of social policy, as well as architects and interior designers, will be crucial to reaching this understanding. And the testimony of those whose lives are made happy or miserable because of the houses, estates and offices in which they live and work guided 'The Architecture of Prosperity’ to its conclusions. This programme takes the notion of prosperity out of the seminar room and into the construction sites where the designs for living a life more abundant are starting to emerge in this century’s second decade.