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John Kellett's comments

  • RIBA report reveals shocking cost of bidding on Official Journal tenders

    John Kellett's comment 28 May, 2012 10:27 am

    As a 'micro-practice' the 'rewards' of winning a tender for public / OJEU would not justify completing the PPQ / bid. I once (just to see what would happen) tendered for a local authority tender requiring 'a local conservation architect', the tender appears to have been won by a large London practice without any architects!
    As Mustaq says just being an architect / RIBA Chartered Practice ought to be the only 'pre-qualification' required. After all, the level of qualification deemed necessary to design buildings in the UK by this (or any other) Government, or local authority, is exactly none.

  • The new iPad: What architects need to know

    John Kellett's comment 9 March, 2012 12:36 pm

    No, of course it's not a phone. It's not a tricycle either. Who would be stupid enough to hold an iPad up to their ear when an iPhone (or indeed any phone) is better suited for the purpose.
    The camera is good enough for the use it's designed for: meetings and 'snaps'.
    I'm also hoping someone other than AutoDesk starts producing architect friendly Apps!

  • Paul Morrell: BIM is 'unstoppable'

    John Kellett's comment 1 February, 2012 8:51 am

    There are many micro-practices such as my own that already use BIM capable software and implement BIM on small projects. For example Vectorworks Architect is fully BIM / IFC compatible and not much more expensive than AutoCad LT, a distinctly non BIM 2D generalist CAD package!
    The efficiency gains are there to be had on small projects too.
    Hopefully we will also see an end to 'plan drawers' resulting from the required adoption of BIM :-)

  • It's time for a serious look at women in practice

    John Kellett's comment 13 January, 2012 8:57 am

    Yes, but it's not the length of the course that is the problem.
    Speaking as someone from a 'middle income' background I would rather have studied with the benefit of a loan for the full cost than struggle with a partial grant, which my parents were unable to 'make up' to the full amount. At least the loan is only paid back if one is earning enough, the financial difficulties of 6 years as a student took many years to work through! The lack of female students during the late 70s and early 80s may have been partially due to the grant system. Has the proportion of female students under the loan system improved?

  • It's time for a serious look at women in practice

    John Kellett's comment 12 January, 2012 9:23 am

    Christine,
    Your opening statement "The concerns raised by the 62 female practice directors and partners we profiled are those shared by men too: ....... the long road to qualification" is perplexing.
    It is our thorough education and high standard of qualification that separates us from the charlatans and the 'wannabes'. Anybody who wants a short cut to a professional career as an architect, whether male or female, is no more than one of those very same charlatans or 'wannabes'!

  • The Diary of an Anonymous Architect #5

    John Kellett's comment 10 January, 2012 9:07 am

    If the government and democracy requires good design, having planning applications judged 'democratically' cannot work. Good design is objective and can only be 'judged' by knowledgable persons. Aesthetics is largely subjective, ought not to be a town-planning issue, and can only be considered by the visually literate (which rules out many democratically elected councillors). Town-planning should be solely concerned with infrastructure, geography and politics to meet the changing needs of society. It should set the brief not dictate the solution.
    The quality of the built environment is too important for decisions to be left entirely to the democratic process.

  • The Diary of an Anonymous Architect #6

    John Kellett's comment 18 November, 2011 9:02 am

    Most of these new fangled 'spin-off' professions and quasi-professions within the construction industry actually charge a lot more for their services than we do, if you take all the 'free' time given to practices by employees into account.

    I remember working for a practice where we worked out that the annual profit was equal to the free time kindly donated by staff. The directors got new cars, the staff no bonuses! On that basis larger architect's practices returned to Victorian business practices years ago :-)

  • Foster reveals self-funded proposal for a four-runway airport in the Thames Estuary

    John Kellett's comment 9 November, 2011 1:35 pm

    I always thought that runways were aligned to allow take off into the wind. To have all four aligned East - West when the prevailing wind is usually from the SW seems odd. Taking off in a strong Northerly would appear to be compromised too.
    Surely it would make sense to utilise spare capacity at existing airport locations and/or redundant RAF bases around the country rather than 'insist' everyone travels to and from London, increasing transport issues.

  • BSF ‘made the schools estate worse’

    John Kellett's comment 7 November, 2011 1:42 pm

    "start procurement for the first batch in the second quarter of 2012. The work would be completed by the start of the school year in 2013"!

    Does that mean just over a year to fully design and construct a complete new school? Sounds a bit optimistic, especially for PFI.

    If true one would have to question the 6 month delay in starting. A 50% increase in programme would make the task merely 'improbable' rather than 'not very possible at all'.

  • CABE calls for design to be central to sustainable development

    John Kellett's comment 13 October, 2011 1:40 pm

    Can we also hope that the "independent expert support" is paid for and by appropriately qualified persons, that "good design" is prepared by qualified professionals and that said good design will be judged by those qualified to do so?

    I was at a conference recently where a DCLG official stated that it was EXPECTED that the professional advice required under the 'localism' aspect of the NPPF would be provided pro bono!

    At the moment we have a situation arising where designs are often prepared, assessed and judged by those without the wherewithal to know whether it is "good" or not. The expectation of free design advice is unlikely to be an improvement.