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Paul Hyett PRIBA

Architects are currently witnessing the biggest changes to practice and construction seen in decades. There are new forms of contract; there is new legislation; we have been exposed to Latham and Egan; we see the ARB being transformed from a registration board to a regulatory authority; and we see a government, albeit Labour, increasingly committed to procuring our state infrastructure - whether schools, hospitals or prisons - through designand-build, framework agreements and Private Finance Inititative arrangements.

All this comes in the wake of a revolution in office communication technology and continuing advances in construction technology; and in a context where claims against architects are increasing, PI cover is now mandatory; minimum-required PI indemnity levels appear set to rise again; and criticisms of our profession seem to grow ever louder.

'Facing the future' is the first of what we expect to be an annual conference. Short, sharp, informative and enjoyable, it is intended to help you adjust to change. Seminars and workshops, top-class lectures and talks, an awards dinner, and the chance to network with colleagues throughout the wider industry, this event is for you.

To run annually, returning every other year to Interbuild, the conference confirms our commitment to practice, to training and to the need to face up to change. In support of this event, I have cancelled the traditional president's inaugural address, preferring to speak to the rank and file at Birmingham rather than an evening at Portland Place. So come and join us. Offered in partnership with Emap and the AJ, this event (free for members) is set to become one of the main occasions on the annual calendar. See you there.

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