David Lammy says architects and designers must avoid the mistakes made in 60s and 70s social housing

Culture minister David Lammy has warned that today's architects and designers are in danger of repeating the design mistakes of the 1960s and 70s.

In a keynote speech at the Think 07 conference, Lammy questioned whether the "people aspect" of sustainable design is being managed as well as it should be, and noted incongruence between the built environment and culture.

The Tottenham MP said of some of the estates built then: “We now look back in horror at the way we left culture out of people's lives. I wonder whether built environment professionals have a grip on what matters for the people that live in their buildings. Some flagships developments today may be equally as unsuccessful as those of the 1960s."

He told delegates that people should be integral to design solutions, and not external to them.

He told delegates: "Buildings that don't work for people, don't work properly; and buildings that don't work properly are unsustainable. To achieve sustainable design, you have to work with the grain of people's values and aspirations."

Lammy went on to praise the role of sustainable design in the Building Schools for the Future programme, saying it was setting an example for the role of good design in environmental sustainability.