BOYNE'S IMPACT HAS BEEN UNDER-APPRECIATED
In today's climate of every job a conspicuous display, much of Colin Boyne's 20th-century legacy is already long lost in the dustbin of history. Peter Carolin's whole-page appreciation (AJ 05.10.06) might read as generosity, but couldn't the straitjacket margins have been squeezed (as for advertisers), and the portrait bled so as to -ll some gaps in an over-slimmed record?
Firstly, the marking of such a sustained and wide-ranging achievement by an RIBA Honorary Fellowship in 1969, and the 1977 CBE, both ignored in the AJ's centenary issue (AJ 09.03.95).
Then, the grief for social architecture, the feuding and selling-off of Architectural Press, sharpened by Robert Maxwell's plundering of Boyne's pension; a working life's deferred earnings.
Within all the inspired campaigning and many series of 'hugely successful' guides, the emergence of 'the A4 system' (AJ 12.07.56) was in fact the first-ever proposal in print, or anywhere else, for British adoption of that whole rational format range, as a tidying convenience and money-saver to every business, man, woman and child, far beyond the AJ itself. Some 50 years on, it's being scrapped in some places; as wantonly, extravagantly and incomprehensibly to some surviving 20th-century minds as was 1930s social architecture's hated modernismus to the outdated Blomfield & Co inheritor gang from Edward VII's era of historicist bombast and muted social squalor.
Vivian (aka Dan) Levett, West Dulwich, London