Octavia Hill (1838-1912)
Prior to establishing the National Trust, Octavia Hill with her sister set up the Kyrle Society as a “Society for the Diffusion of Beauty”. The society sought to bring beauty in the form of art, music, books and open spaces into the lives of deprived urban communities. It was named in honour of John Kyrle, a philanthropist from Ross-on-Wye who dedicated much of his life to improving green spaces and the quality of neighbourhoods in the town.
As an industry, are we a little afraid of using the word beauty in relation to places, buildings and green spaces? Do we rely too heavily on technical language and evaluation criteria and lose sight of this vital yet simple concept?