Jonathan Glancey investigates the forces that shape the design of our everyday buildings, and how this could be improved.
In this first episode, Jonathan visits an example of what he calls 'anywhere architecture' - a decade-old housing estate outside Ely.
He talks to a resident and a local planner about why the development was designed as it was and its strengths and weaknesses.
And he talks to the Chief Executive of Barratt Homes, Mark Clare, about Barratt's approach at the time, and how he has been improving their approach to architecture and place design over the last few years.
He hears from the Architecture Minister Ed Vaizey and the Shadow Planning Minister Roberta Blackman-Woods about why they think design needs to be improved.
And he finds out how architects lost influence over the building process to project managers and contractors. Design may have suffered - but cost control is now much better.
Jonathan visits a retail park outside King's Lynn in Norfolk to see how, amid many examples of the 'shed' approach to retail building design, one supermarket chain has taken a new approach - paying attention to the outside of the building as well as the inside.
And he explains why he thinks the type of brick used in our housing and supermarket design can make a huge difference to the appearance of these buildings - and demonstrates the difference between hand-made and industrial bricks with the help of a hammer.