Leaving 2004, facing 2005:10 reactions and resolutions
On language: eradicate ARB, audit, benchmark, brand, centre, commercial, consultation, consumer, customer, diversity, materiality, modern methods, rights (to light and generally), sustainable/ability, supply chain and just-in-time. I failed in 2004 because I used them all, and far too often.
Action for 2005: edit vocabulary; reject lazy words and out-think the pedestrian outcomes they demand. Beat the systems.
On consumption: reject 'gastropubs' - worse than fashionable restaurants, they destroy a great tradition of drinking and smoking.
Action for 2005: dine exclusively at preferred old haunts (Temptation, Hellenic, St John) and patronise the Golden Eagle on Marylebone Lane even more often. Sybarites unite!
On volumes: a year of edited consumption (of food) and the production of excessive volumes (of words).
Action for 2005: smoke occasionally, all supplied by others and run regularly to overcompensate.
On volumes architectural: stop wasting energy fixating on plans and cost models - that is no way to manufacture use or delight;
neither was the Venice Biennale's shape show.
Suggested alternative title: 'Superfici'.
Action for 2005: create a hemispherical school, enjoyed for 99 per cent of the time, not occupied for 9 per cent of a dreary day. Define 'useful'.
On detail: now suited, it is time to get booted - wrong order but fortunately in life, not construction, sequence is not all.
Action for 2005: purchase finer socks and construct life-cycle cost model: bespoke shoes (pleasure of) divided by cost of osteopath/ chiropodist (discomfort of); and ensure this 'research' produces the right 'statistic'. If bespoke is good value in tailoring at a 600 per cent premium, then in construction, at just 30 per cent, it is a steal. So steal.
On architectural detail: we got it right in some areas - need to ensure there are no tales of tails wagging dogs, or of babies being despatched with bath water; and use language better.
Action for 2005: think better and develop smart cells of a new construction vernacular (think big on small and the rest will follow) but remember:
we have to like the way it looks. No more management diagrams. Improve cash flow.
On prophets of the derriÞre garde: continental trips confirm that, despite problems and a fascination with the European architectural club, we offer a usefully distorted mirror.
Action for 2005: promote the distortion.
Do we really want a bland, Calvinist land of architectural diagrams, or indeed the foldedsection architecture of the flying carpet? Relax.
On rules and regulation: construct rules (while you still have a chance) but ensure they are tolerant, allow for delight and, whenever necessary, are broken.
Action for 2005: after another ringing endorsement at the polls, watch Blair's obsession with big government unravel itself. Enjoy.
On fantasy: as Europe recognises that we are at the heart of new thinking on the delights of difference, we at AHMM will benefit from proximity to London's Olympic City. Join the national celebration as England, guided by Michael Vaughan regains the Ashes.
Action for 2005: relax and enjoy; no more Mr Blair, no more Mr Nice Guy!
On friends, colleagues, clients and others:
thanks for 2004 and the rich entertainment.
May all your action lists for 2005 disappear!