This seems to be a consolidation of the Executive fiefdom -removing the true professionals from positions that might challenge its power. This is dangerous for the democratic functioning of a top professional institute. The recent shameful reversal of a an extremely honourable Council Resolution regarding Israel's architects' collusion with an illegal occupation, and pursuing an architecture of discrimination and oppression against the Palestinians who are being cleansed out of their land, epitomises the distancing of the RIBA from the objectives of the Charter and its own principles of its Trust as a Charity- which is the advancement of architecture, and the consolidation of professional ethics both in the UK and on the international stage. Instead, the Executive has enable outside lobbies and Trustee pressure to divert the course of true ethics, professional conduct and international law, bringing the reputation of the RIBA to disrepute. This and other indications, such as what many feel was a dodgy report by the International Committtee, which disregarded the Palestinian architects' concerns, and instead involving itself even deeper with the Israeli architects who have still not condemned the horrendous escalation of illegal settlements and dispossession involved in their members' practice -show the direction in which this Executive is heading. More tight control and an evasion of the real ethics and practice of architecture. An investigation of this whole edifice is desperately needed, if the RIBA wishes to be a top rate professional body!
Lior Brosh -why do you always divert the argument to your confused and thoroughly twisted and propagandised view of the Israel/Palestine conflict that it is at complete odds with international law and the well documented war crimes, especially in housing and building that do not conform with Israel's vaunted democracy. Why are you always citing other countries and regimes which are already being sanctioned and dealt with by the West, while Israel is let off with impunity with the protection of the US and UK. That is why Israel singles itself out. Why don't you raise a campaign for all these cases you suggest if you are so concerned about them? Your is the project of hate. Hatred of the possibility that justice needs to be done in this long running and sadistic oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Hatred that sanctions are a peaceful and non-violent method of bringing about change using civil society and international law, where the big powers refuse to act, and instead combine with Israel's violence and participation in the arms industry and using the Palestinians to test these illegal and lethal weaponry and security equipment. It is Israel that has launched every war since 1948, to 1967, right upto the recent murderous slaughters and destruction in Gaza in 2006, 2008/9, 2012, 2014 -except for 1973. It is Israel that uses violence in its occupation, suppression of peaceful protest, its arrests of hundreds including children, its ongoing house demolitions, enforced removal of Bedouin and its land grabbing and intensification of illegal settlements in occupied, not disputed territory. Sorry to disappoint you, but decent people everywhere, (Jewish and non-Jewish) and especially the academic and cultural world, and people of the highest esteem are joining together to call Israel to account, and instead of deriding them, you should spend time to examine your own conscience, protestations and distorted facts. Get acquainted with the facts -we can't say now that we did not know, with all the evidence availlable!
Comment on: Profile: Who is the real Heatherwick?
No-one denies the brilliant talent of Heatherwick and some of his ingenious designs. Yet one has to look at the context of some of these proposals, and the Garden Bridge, initially conceived as an imaginative construction, simply does not fit into that location , looks like a constipated conglomeration of ornate containers that have been plonked in the middle of the Thames, with no delicacy or engineering finesse as exhibited by Foster's pedestrian bridge form St.Pauls to Tate Modern that is minimalist and underplayed, as a bridge should be. His work is better in smaller and intimate locations where one can appreciate the amazing details and design , and use of materials.
At last some action to stop this unnecessary abomination being constructed across the Thames, that will wreck the best views of the City from Waterloo Bridge -one of the most spectacular sights in London. The whole raison-d'etre of this romantic delusion which was 'an oasis of tranquility' and 'a peaceful place to walk' is an oxymoron for a bridge over which "Seven million crossings are expected to be made.. each year." In fact it will be a tourists' and Londoners' hell, with crowds of people,posh receptions for global corporations and the rich, a haven for criminals and noisy layabouts, and will be impossible to maintain without huge sums being spent on cleaning and security, a thorough misbegotten piece of planning and egotistical aspiration. London is full of beautiful parks and gardens, many oases already exist all over the place, to need another intended one which will never be what is suggested. This is the chance to stop this blunder from proceeding before millions are needlessly spent, (and millions more for a engineering monster that will take ages to build) and instead look at where London's and Lambeth's real needs lie. Public housing, community centres, nurseries, and even bridges built where they are really needed, both north and further south of Waterloo Bridge, where they will not ruin more of London's precious urban views and assets. Architects and planners everywhere, including the RIBA should join forces to oppose what is clearly a waste of money and resources, and what would be a planning catastrophe that will be hard to undo if it is ever built.
The pledge is an affirmation by the cultural and artists' community not to participate with or perform in Israel as an answer to the boycott call by Palestinian civil society against Israel's apartheid oppression that has lasted for decades with world governments sitting idly by. Sorry, Gayle, it is well documented that Israel is no democracy, with over 50 racist laws against its Palestinian citizens especially in housing, development and land ownership, and its serial breaches of over 65 UN Resolutions and humanitarian law in the occupied territories. It thus singles itself out and is ripe for action to be taken, as was courageously attempted by the 19 March 2014 vote by the RIBA Council to suspend the Israeli architects' association from the UIA. Sadly this was scuppered no less by the RIBA President, and vice-President at the UIA General Assembly in Durban last August, under pressure from a persistent Israel lobby, as documented by the AJ and BD. Now is every architects' chance to sign this artists' pledge, and also to call the RIBA to account to reverse its action in rescinding the excellent 19 March Resolution, and make an impact to end the gross ethical misconduct of the architectural participation in building illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem involving land expropriation and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes, against international law and UIA Resolutions and Articles.