Lord Foster has called for clients to take a lead in promoting high quality building design.
Speaking at the Building for the Future conference, the architect said the client's role was crucial in the design process.

He said: "Leadership must start with the client, and it demands hard work and tough decisions [from them]. Committees can endorse, but design must be championed by individuals." Foster supported the principles put forward by Lord Rogers' urban taskforce and pressed for the use of high density buildings because they required less land and reduced transport and energy requirements.

He said: "The challenge everywhere is to achieve higher density and equate it with higher quality." In a separate speech at the conference, Stirling Prize winner Will Alsop fired a broadside at project managers, quantity surveyors and framework agreements. He said they were guilty of "making life difficult" for people in the industry by making the design process overly bureaucratic.

Alsop singled out framework agreements for particular criticism. He said that anyone who had tried to qualify for one "could be excused for giving up … It is not important what your mother's granny did." Commenting on the framework agreement put into practice by BAA, he said: "I have not noticed life at Heathrow has got any better when I have been there."