Better by design?
Last weekend, I attended the Scottish Design awards, a glitzy and glamorous event in Glasgow's Crowne Plaza Hotel, where the leading lights of architecture and design were honoured for a variety of work.
From Malcolm Fraser's impressive new headquarters for Scottish Ballet, which won two awards, to an elegant compost shed in an Edinburgh garden, the event suggested an industry in a relatively healthy state, despite the recession.
There were of course categories where the work was sparser, and no awards were made at all, but that comes with the territory in any small country.
Look at the Scottish Baftas, which often have to shuffle the entries to cover patches of low employment. The design industry is no different.
What events such as the Design Awards achieve is a chance to talk about the work of the last year, to ponder why Fraser's Scottish Ballet HQ won two awards here, but made neither the Andrew Doolan RIAS or RIBA shortlists.
To admire the often unsung work of design companies, and give them some credit for their part in the industry.
To honour longstanding practitioners - this year, it was the Glasgow team of Dick Cannon and Tom Elder, who've been working together since 1980 - and to give everyone a chance to do a little networking between the backslapping.
All of which makes it all the more baffling, that Carnyx, the publishing house behind the Scottish Design Awards, also run the Carbuncle awards.
The awards, which first began five years ago, are the polar opposite of the Scottish Design awards.
Apparently driven by the public - who are encouraged to nominate in categories such as Most Dismal Town or Worst Planning Decision - they've created a stir for the worst possible reasons.
While the organisers insist their aim is to get the wider public discussing architecture and design, the early winners - Airdrie (twice) and Coatbridge - suggested that far from tackling town planners, architects and designers, they were actually just taking a potshot at town centres - who needed investment and regeneration, not a "Plook on a Plinth".
A number of key figures in the design industry have spoken out against the awards.
Others have cut their ties all together.
Last year, leading Scottish architect Alan Dunlop, resigned from the board of the company's design magazine - then named, Prospect, now renamed Urban Realm - because of his doubts over the legitimacy of the awards.
Many more voiced their concerns privately at last week's awards.
Carnyx say they have plans to restyle the awards - to make them fairer and it's true this week's shortlist of East Kilbride, John O'Groats, Inverness, Denny and Lochgelly, with the exception of the latter, highlights a lack of design potential, rather than inward investment but it's also been the final straw for architects in the Highlands - who've issued their own shortlist of good buildings.
They, like previous critics, say the competition fails to understand the wider issues of bad planning decisions - and doesn't seriously advance the debate.
Even the organisers, forced to trawl shopping centres in search of passers-by to accept their ugly award, seem to have realised that.
With a bit of luck, they'll also realise it requires more design, and fewer dismal towns.