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Design inuences are famously diverse, but few can be as bizarre as that discovered by Paul Rynsard, managing partner of Feilden + Mawson, when he was in Saudi Arabia. Because his practice has designed courtrooms, he was asked to look at a proposal for a new court. He questioned the layout, which looked eccentric. Even when it was explained that this was a first attempt at designing a Western-style rather than a traditional Islamic court, he remained confused. So the Saudi architect took him to one side and explained that with censorship and limited access to foreign information, the design team had been forced to rely on a video for their knowledge.

And what was that video, Rynsard asked? 'Rumpole of the Bailey, ' was the reply. At which point, Rynsard had to explain gently about the adjustments made for camera angles?

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