Nigel Coates: Global Cities is a show about the emerging importance of cities. Relatively little has been done in terms of broad public appeal about the fact that most people now live in cities. Cities are providing the environment for so many more people. That is the background of the exhibition, which is explored in many, many different aspects. When you come down to the far end of the exhibition, you find my piece. This is Mixtacity, a model of the Thames Gateway as it might be, but using a mixture of everyday objects and newly invented forms of architecture. The way I worked on the project was to mix it all up from the start, to have many, many strands operating together, and gradually they started to come into focus, until I had a whole vocabulary of new architectural forms which you see in this piece, made in very new, rapid prototyping computer techniques for generating form. And there are other things which are blatant references to ordinary, and sometimes even kitsch aspects of everyday life. And when they are all mixed together, they seem to create a very plausible urban landscape, which perhaps draws on our ability as children to imagine, to use things metaphorically. A work like this is a work of ideas, and it’s meant, in its playfulness, to slightly surprise you, even shock you, but it’s meant to introduce you to the possibilities of architecture that make all sorts of connections that you perhaps didn’t feel confident to make yourself. It’s an empowering piece. It lets you in – or it invites you in – to its language. My work is about capturing a spirit, and that spirit could be moderated and brought into play in what is really done. For example, I propose a gate to the gateway, which is two pairs of hands on either side of the river, and it’s kind of crazy. It’s a series of towers that, brought together, make a hand, but it’s actually not impossible, it’s not that silly. I think it’s always been the case, actually, historically, that there have been more extreme ideas in architecture circulated than the ones that actually got built. I believe that all architecture should have a percentage, as it were, of art content. Not some ghastly sculpture stuck in front of it, but that there should be an aspect of what architecture communicates, which is artful and sensitive. In a gallery, it’s got to open out, it’s got to be more effusive, because it’s not real. It’s got to compensate for the fact that it’s a miniature. Architects can’t make one to one sized exhibits in a gallery. It’s kind of out of the off board – but you can make a reference to the city in a very open way.