I wish Opinion Leaders like Norman Foster would lead by example. Looking at http://www.fosterandpartners.com/about-us/ , there are 10 Senior Executive Partners at Foster and Partners. All men. There are also 8 Senior Partners, all men. Looking among the long list of about 120 Partners, I counted just 12 women. I am pleased for the AJ to get such a high-profile judge for the Women in Architecture Awards but the most effective way for Norman Foster not to 'hide and overlook' women in architecture would be to promote one or two women to the Senior Management of his practice. The RIBA Business Benchmarking Report states that 'Women account for a third of all personnel but only just over a quarter of fee earners. Regardless of practice size, the percentage of women falls steadily by seniority, averaging 41% of Architectural Assistants but only 13% of Partners or Directors.' I would love to see the architectural profession follow the FTSE 100 Thirty Percent Club initiative and aim for 30% of Senior Managers to be women. http://30percentclub.org/ Then young architects might have credible role models.
Comment on: Obituary: Richard MacCormac (1938-2014)
I am sad and shocked to hear this news. I have memories of Richard chairing Professional Practice Part 3 seminars for Cambridge students in MJP offices the early 90s. Committed to the training and education of the profession, and sharing his knowledge. RIP
Interesting to see the result of a collaboration between a large established practice like Scott Tallon Walker and a new up-and-coming practice like Edward Williams Architects. Here the collaboration is called an 'association' - but I wonder who has done what to get this large complex project successfully though planning. Clients often favour teams of 2 or 3 architects on risky projects to 'cover all bases.; but for the architects it can be a complicated 'marriage of convenience'; and for all it usually a 'learning experience'. I look forward to seeing which architect has gained the client's confidence to take leadership of the project as design development and construction phases start.
The BBC's bias is a real pity. Mass media, and especially the BBC and the Open University, influence not only how we perceive the past, but also how we plan for the future. Research shows that diverse teams are more productive, more successful and more creative. 'A Danish study found that companies with good numbers of women on the board outperformed those with no women by 17% higher return on sales and 54% higher return on invested capital.' 'Leeds University Business School reports that having at least one female director on the board appears to cut a company’s chances of going bust by about 20%. Having two or three female directors lowers the risk even more.' As the economy picks up, architectural practices need the best people - and that includes women. 'Looking to the future, 63.6% of girls achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grade A* to C or equivalent, including English and mathematics, GCSEs compared to 54.2% of boys' The architectural profession needs to look around itself and see what is happening in other traditionally masculine businesses like Lloyds Bank (who recently announced 40% of its 5,000 senior workforce will be made up of women within the next six years) and realise that urgent action is needed now. Practices and the RIBA need to be pro-active to support more women to take senior positions in practices. For more data about the advantages of having more women working : http://opportunitynow.bitc.org.uk/WomenWorkFactsheet#sthash.yanfQHLf.dpuf
Comment on: Avanti wins Florey revamp contest
I am surprised that local Oxford practice Berman Guedes Stretton have not won this job - especially since Alan Berman is a world expert on Stirling. On another note, I hope that this was not another example of opportunistic clients getting lots of creative ideas from architects for very little; or architects giving away their innovative ideas for free? Any comments from the RIBA competition review group?