Architectural historian and Emeritus Professor at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), Professor James Curl, has been made an Honorary Doctor of Arts.
Prof Curl joined DMU in 1978 as senior lecturer at Leicester School of Architecture, became Professor of Architectural History in 1988 and was then Research Professor in the university’s Centre for Conservation Studies before retiring.
His students went on to prestigious roles and projects including designing the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.
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He has written more than 40 books on architecture and is an expert on funerary design, art or architecture relating to funerals and cemeteries.
Prof Curl told the assembled students on Friday afternoon how important beauty is in architecture - and life.
Prof Curl said: "Architecture should be about strength, usability and beauty. Beauty is a word rarely used today.
"Beauty in architecture today is seen as being relative, but it is not. It makes life worth living.
"Architecture used to be about making order out of chaos but much of it today is about creating chaos where there was order. We must reverse this and return to sanity. We must use our eyes and stop looking with our ears.
"Beauty is essential in everyday life; in what you do; in the completion of tasks; in caring; in kindness; in humane respect; In a job well done or worth doing. Without it our existence is drab and meaningless.
“I thank you all for having me here today. I look forward to a continued association with the university I have served for 25 years and I congratulate the graduates here today."
Posted on Friday 18th July 2014