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kevin toner's Comments

  • Comment on: RIBA announces Part 1, 2 and 3 memberships in major shake-up

    kevin toner's comment 20-Sep-2013 9:43 am

    i.e. as I can't call myself an architect in my own right. This is deplorable and scandalous after obtaining/devoting more credence than most qualifying architects. The profession surely can't leave people like me out on a limb at such a critical stage in one’s career, having post-graduated in 2000 with 3 years' ug & 8 years' pg practical experience so far. Many 100s of you as businesses have my CV. Please give me a call please, or risk the profession more than falling as it stumbles to determine its [still] rogue qualifications agenda

  • Comment on: RIBA announces Part 1, 2 and 3 memberships in major shake-up

    kevin toner's comment 20-Sep-2013 9:09 am

    Pps: Ultimately (as compromises) none of this is great, for Associates, if being held back from being able to become or call oneself an architect, especially in times like these when or if you’re made redundant in the interim...

  • Comment on: RIBA announces Part 1, 2 and 3 memberships in major shake-up

    kevin toner's comment 20-Sep-2013 8:49 am

    Ps: And a 2nd question if I may. Does this relaxation/compromise on ‘affix use’ also mean that I - and other Associates as RIBA labels us - will finally be able to use BArch DipArch (or other equivalent combination of architectural qualifications) after our names too? To my mind, although I don’t know how others feel, there’s no point being able to use an affix without being able to reveal what qualifications that affix pertains to.

  • Comment on: RIBA announces Part 1, 2 and 3 memberships in major shake-up

    kevin toner's comment 19-Sep-2013 10:18 pm

    The affixes are too long winded! I've just tweeted these quotes @RIBAJ here a moment ago:- ...'AssociateRIBA' is pretty long winded for an Affix. 'RIBAA' would be much better for me until fully chartered! ...alternatively 'ARIBA' would conflict in Scotland, where fully chartered RIAS members are in fact also Associates affixed as 'ARIAS' ps how about the following suggestions too:- ...Part 1 students would be better as ‘sRIBA’ ...Part 2 students would be better as ‘gRIBA’ Associates need capital letters, ergo my earlier suggestion of RIBAA Fellows okay as traditionally FRIBA I've one question though that I've emailed Anthony today as follows:- "...will Associates - not Part 3 enrolled yet due to unemployment; or no current patronage - have to temporarily withdraw from the membersip class until otherwise?..." ps If Anthony or any other RIBA colleague is subscribed to this thread, perhaps they can comment here too, as I may not be alone in the UK (or am I?) I know a quick tel call to RIBA will probably suffice shortly, but it would be good to discuss such things on here too, in an open forum situation, so that many can see and comment. The decisions on affixing can’t be easy. The endeavour is to be commended including the survey work beforehand. Pps I recall writing in the survey that I was happy to continue to have no affix until chartered. Again, , I’d easily use RIBAA as an affix, but not ‘AssociateRIBA’. The latter is saying ‘something is wrong’ or ‘this is not a qualification as such’. Put simply: I want letters not words!

  • Comment on: What's behind the Walkie Talkie 'death ray'?

    kevin toner's comment 18-Sep-2013 8:26 pm

    A couple of quick thoughts/questions! 1) Whilst white rather than black can deflect the problem at peak times - good call - another solution would be for receiving surfaces to be in a decent thickness of appropriate natural stone/s rather than any obvious intolerant materials..., now’s the time to splash out – while things are hot, i.e. to up the ante, not that dark painted wood; plastic displays; or adhered tiles are bad. It’s simply now inappropriate. 2) The upper floors are presumably safe for mid spring and autumn as there’s no likelihood of an exceedingly high ambient air temperature; and also possibly if the rays don’t even coincide at that level through any particular opening/s. On a different thread, I thought the height of summer sun might also be dangerous, but I imagine now that the angles of incidence are probably too obtuse or wouldn’t even coincide, i.e. anywhere in particular (?) 3) While it certainly brightens up the street, for potentially/presumably up to 200 sunny days per annum (?), there may even be a greater amenity or boon ‘ambient light wise’ than an otherwise un-obscured sky, enough to perhaps prompt a change in lighting habits/usage during sunny days. Secondly: would there actually be any solar gain, enough to influence heating habits/usage, i.e. particularly during early/mid spring and mid/late autumn? [Ps I’ve been in London today and didn’t even go along to this site, but I did have something more educational to attend: an excellent 1 day’s stone course proceedings from the Stone Federation GB. I’ve tweeted it deservingly as a Favourite – a hard one to match, make sure to attend next year’s if you can, highly recommended...] Apologies as unedited ad lib

  • Comment on: 'Poor value' HS2 should be scrapped, argues think-tank

    kevin toner's comment 19-Aug-2013 10:49 pm

    Oh, almost forgot to say: my IEA comment - treading old territory - is all about engaging two of our newest cities. So do have a gander although I've mentioned it all before of course on previous article threads. By celebrating our newest cities, we might perchance begin to celebrate our older ones in better ways!

  • Comment on: Old War Office up for sale

    kevin toner's comment 19-Aug-2013 10:13 pm

    If I may muse/confess for a moment on something that I'd have picked up on - moons ago - had my diploma thesis been more on architectural history rather than architecture. [My diploma ‘special subject’ was incidentally the other way round, more historically based, but not to worry. You can’t do too much in a two year Diploma!] Here goes: It strikes me that this 1901/06 work by Young may have influenced how Sir JJ Burnet had seen the future development of his Clyde Navigation Trust building after its 2nd phase in 1905/08. It’s too uncanny to dismiss in terms of the timing; the trapezoidal site; and the chosen style, which Burnet would have felt - could easily be harmonised with the 1882/86 1st phase, which had instead anticipated a campanile to mark the subsequent phase twenty years later. I trust there's few like examples of this kind of play on UK Beaux Arts works, which are more likely to be orthogonal in plan. Do let me know of any others worth note, any budding historians among you! You learn something new every day, thanks AJ!

  • Comment on: 'Poor value' HS2 should be scrapped, argues think-tank

    kevin toner's comment 19-Aug-2013 9:21 pm

    I've commented on this subject before with the same recurring theme, but as always, with zero feedback; and possibly because any architectural readership portal is not really the place to discuss visionary/budgetary transportation matters, i.e. for what is ultimately in political hands or in other words influenced and controlled by democracy and law respectively! I've therefore commented on the IEA's site itself, perhaps likewise too wishfully. My notion/argument is that economic growth can indeed be possible through lateral and inventively long-term thinking. My opinion is that the 10 or so post industrial cities, scrabbling for a cut, will be better off (and more focussed) being proximate rather than engulfed/smothered by such an international infrastructure. Railways cannot work internationally - on a per city basis - in the same way that airports can. The sooner that we can comprehend this - the embarrassment that says otherwise - the better! The Monopoly that we’re playing simply needs to improve, et viola: to be truly capitalising! The impetus to capitalise is there, on an expectantly irrational and dysfunctional basis as per the above report’s findings, but the sense to capitalise isn't, it's helplessly absent as yet... Here’s a link to what I've posted on the IEA site, see comment #2: http://www.iea.org.uk/blog/high-speed-2-and-the-logic-of-collective-action-0

  • Comment on: Five views on sustainability in architectural education

    kevin toner's comment 3-Aug-2013 8:42 pm

    I'm with Austin on this. Somewhat reiterating my comments on the related thread “Who should be taught in the architectural canon?” the education of architects is quite simply too important to jeopardise with such errant syllabi as that stated. Syllabi that indoctrinate views on architecture masters, theorists, sustainability or whatever else, is rather for researchers, not architects. Unless of course it’s again part of that prerogative that get’s 1000s of names (not really architects) or in a word ‘false-livelihoods’ onto the ARB Register. Saying ‘sooo-naa’ instead of ‘saw-na’ for ‘sauna’ might have fooled someone’s perception of an architect in the 1990s, but linguistic corruptions won’t work now! The newer generation of staple architects in the UK will indeed need to sift for those with a command on research vocabulary: the new black for architects’ livelihoods, tinged with accent & red trousers for additional security by all means... RIBA/ARB, I’ll bring my fee down to help you differentiate the difference between researchers’ and architects’ courses. I said £50/hr: I’ll go £40/hr now. I don’t want the UK embarrassing itself anymore! I know the NHS is bursting at the seams as Earth’s 6th biggest employer (source BBC), but throwing livelihoods, for livelihoods sake, into the architecture profession is no way to go about manufacturing affluence, or taking the weight off the NHS. It’s not working! We’ll need real architects (if not real doctors and nurses) to get out of this recession, so give that call RIBA/ARB and I’ll sort it out. I’m not going less than 40 on this: I need to make a living too! Apologies for not editing as it's Saturday night for crying out loud!

  • Comment on: Who should be taught in the architectural canon?

    kevin toner's comment 26-Jul-2013 8:46 pm

    When I was at the Mac this kind of stuff (viz. ‘who’ or ‘what’ should be taught) was left up to the students to read up on, i.e. via a booklist: e.g. Frampton's Modern Architecture: a Critical History. When a tutor/lecturer talks with the same language (conviction) as in these literary works, it’s time for either: the student (training architect) to choose a different course provider; or for the course to be invalidated/un-prescribed by the RIBA/ARB. Dissemination/debriefing from the lectern, studio &/or crit-space shouldn't involve too many syllables/letters per word per sentence. I was lucky in getting exactly this, excepting one part time studio tutor whom I didn’t mind. If I didn't read up*, then my loss! If conversely - for instance in the language to be found in this article, which I hope and trust is specifically reader orientated jargon - was ever to be found in class, i.e. regurgitating, substituting or even supplementing that expected to be found in booklist textbooks, students wouldn’t then bother to read or absorb important critical awareness within actual architecture discourse on their own account/accord. Discourse simply provides hymn-sheets for all of us to make what we will of it. Students shouldn’t ever be distracted/de-railed from this quite adequate resource – a good booklist and library suffices. This frees up the teacher to teach: a good thing these days given the increased admin duties etc. Students are at school to learn, not there to clone the teachers scripted understanding or knowledge! They are not apprentices of budding or would-be theorists/discourse-makers. The RIBA/ARB should again not be accrediting/prescribing this type of training/schooling for architects. A Masters, Diploma, PgDip, MSc, etc. is fine to support for this kind of education, but it must not be confused with the BArch and DipArch awards that are ascribed as actual architects’ qualifications, but instead as research courses. Where dissemination does take the form of such jargon it simply replaces actual teaching time on a genuine BArch/DipArch course. I therefore disagree with the sentiment behind the quoted passages that ‘teachers should pass on their understanding of discourse with conviction’. Passing on knowledge of discourse in terms of references is fine, but nothing much more to promote/maintain the learning faculties of potential architects? A teacher’s own understanding of discourse, even where tremendously scholarly, should quite simply not come between that of a developing architect’s. It looks like the RIBA/ARB now have to seriously see where this kind of - research orientated - teaching is present and disassociate it with the accredited architecture degree/diploma for architects. I’m sure this has already happened to an extent (given the breadth of courses that schools are now beginning to offer) in recent times. There’s obviously a market for research based architecture, but again, the profession of architecture must understand what courses are developing 1) architects & 2) researchers. I’d help them differentiate if my fees weren’t so high (£50/hr)! * The irony is IMO that for a better grasp of architecture discourse and theory, the best thing is to be schooled as an architect rather than as an architecture academic/researcher. That said, a developing architect can easily forgo any academic prowess at his/her disposal, whereas a developing academic/researcher can’t, unless of course it’s their motive is to be architects getting in through the back door of an accredited architecture course in disguise. RIBA give me a call: £50/hr will get things sorted out across the country; £150 if you want me abroad too! ps: I'd have edited this, but Friday night calls!

  • Comment on: In pictures: Fire breaks out on Foster's Glasgow 'Hydro' arena

    kevin toner's comment 10-Jun-2013 9:27 pm

    I can add to this as a snap happy observer of the structure merely hours before the incident, incidentally. The latest photo on my way home from the Govan Fair on my latest photoalbum revealed its calm nightly setting at dusk, despite being driven 'furiously' past it over the traffic-lighted ‘Squinty Bridge', hence the camera-shake, onto the Broomielaw (yes, the road where the "Fast & the Furious 6" stunt filming was shot earlier in the year: figures). My photoalbum focussed on metals (as a theme) so an apt collection of new and old delights in the material over the course of 2 nights. see here http://photos.kevinscotttoner.co.uk/#!album-88 A little earlier, on my way to the Govan Fair from North of the River Clyde on foot, running, I also made sure to snap a reciprocal shot of the Hydro, looking back at the 'Squinty Bridge’ in a panorama shot among a slowly growing context of iconic metal structures etc. Stopping to get these shots meant that I had to run non-stop between shots - as mapped here http://goo.gl/maps/GomJU - to catch the unveiling of the reconditioned Sir William Pearce statue (aka the Black Man) scheduled for 7.45pm, before a subsequent Parade kick-off, another enjoyable journey. Let’s call the run ‘The Black Man Challenge”, a veritable 10th of a marathon over a 30min period... One for the GSA foundation course Freshers perhaps! Enjoy the photos, there’re fire brigades in mines too! Here’s a shortcut though straight to the panorama focussing on the Hydro from a distance http://photos.kevinscotttoner.co.uk/#!album-88-252 among other distance shots of 1) Zaha’s ‘Riverside’ Museum with shipyard cranage and a Glenlee all in silhouette; and 2) a special 32x zoom shot of the Millennium Tower from Pacific Dr. Who knows, maybe the Hydro shots could even provide a clue in the investigation! Particularly the second last photo, which incidentally [it’d just dawned on me] is preceded by a shot of a ‘parading’ fire engine, probably one of the fire-fighting engines as photographed on this AJ article; the other omen being that the actual Hyrdro shot shows the tangent point at the eaves-line where the fire occurred [wait for it] in the foreground of a little bit of available red sky ! ‘red sky at night, shepherd’s [or sailor’s] delight’

  • Comment on: The profession's future under review: Farrell launches call for evidence

    kevin toner's comment 5-Jun-2013 12:26 pm

    Commendations on the clarity of the presentation and content! Of further interest would be the following pasted link on Scotland's 'architecture & placemaking policy' review, which bears some similarities to this review for the DCMS. Consultation responses, which ended last September, are available from here. Perhaps some cross-fertilisation will be called for too, later, at the end of the day in the formation of actual policies. If so, then it might be worthwhile for there to be full UK-wide participation on the Farrell Review, especially where important issues might not have been caught in the Scottish consultation. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/AandP Furthermore, one might wish to consult the very recent CITB ‘Construction Skills Strategy for 2012-2017’, which replaces that of 2006-2011. This was the result of a UK-Wide industry and professional body based consultation conducted by Pye-Tait and can be found below. The Scottish A&PP consultation may have been too early to take cognisance of this equally very thorough work. http://www.citb.co.uk/en-GB/About-us/How-we-work/strategy/

  • Comment on: Don't blame the planners for planning decision madness

    kevin toner's comment 11-May-2013 10:10 pm

    Contrary to what you've hinted Paul, Scots Planning Policy, maybe not alone, appears to me to for once introduce the importance of demolition to the heritage professional, even although demolition isn't really an obvious principle of conservation, yet! A reminder that redevelopment is as much a branch of heritage as is conservation... Perhaps E&W ought to come up to speed if it hasn't already through NPPF (?). Such enlightenment might influence the impression of what constitutes protection in WHSs... That said, when push comes to shove, e.g. in Glasgow, not a WHS, when a developer recently said 'let’s redevelop Thomson's Egyptian Halls via SHEP' cold feet set in, naturally. Here’s a thought though on perhaps some lateral thinking: e.g. Wouldn't a Section 75 (or 106) regulation for such very real conservation plights that neighbour any proposed viable and sustainable redevelopment/enhancement be a possible device... ‘Planning Obligations’ as such, if apportioned accordingly, should actually benefit a redevelopment, i.e. be in a redevelopment’s interests. Conservation plights aren't merely LBs (often very complex endeavours) but can presumably be any kind of environmental improvement of variable magnitude... Such ethics are already a key in all architects’ Code of Conducts; let’s start applying them for a change, i.e. professionalism. The profession must utilise, not fight, the planning system. It shouldn't be about heritage bodies Vs developers. Architects should easily be able to steer or conclude on conservation/development properly without too much destined confrontation, as an extremely erudite* lot. Design-review-panels shouldn't have to really steer too much, to help unravel muddles. It does help though if we've been reading you Paul through the years, theory-wise in the AR and no less profession-wise as I read now... Long may readers confide! Some heritage experts would even concur with a lot of what you say here. There appears to be a blindfold of regulation and custom that can often prevent common sense or propriety from prevailing! I myself charge 2k/hour to help sort, but as a child (jobless architectural assistant) who should be seen and not heard there’s not much I can do about it! (apologies: unedited!)

  • Comment on: Yasmin Shariff compares women in architecture to other professions

    kevin toner's comment 12-Feb-2013 11:11 am

    “...21%...” A little more social engineering on the Part 3 allocation front can help to redress the balance as per my short hypothesis on Christine Murray’s current Column article, later in the thread. Conversely, would it be equally incorruptible if gender ‘equality’ was to ensue in household and paternal/maternal responsibility and authority; and dare I say: in preferential custody over children (?) It would surely promote equalities elsewhere were it ever commonplace and not so romantic. In an earlier comment I mocked swapping this around to help speed change. “...babes in Arms...” Contrary to the horror stories you’ll hear here from women, parenting babies cannot be recommended enough, especially to males for a change... babes sleep twice as long as adults. - Getting real, architectural business - unlike law, medicine and rocket science etc. - must support a much higher percentage of privileged over meritorious livelihoods due to the nature in how we qualify from our architectural education. Architecture Qualies in essence are perhaps as much bought as earned, e.g. mainstream passes are churned out at the expense of fails: a student has to be more often exceptional to earn the right to fail and re-sit in order to really interrogate weaknesses. Think how many more crashes we’d have if the DVLA didn't properly exercise failing, and we were to regulate our own fails. Perhaps therefore also at the root of pay inequality [traditionally speaking] might be this: ‘the privileged’ willing to accept less [pay] among ‘the meritorious’ irrespectively of gender, not necessarily irrespective of social class and standing, naturally. This may help explain Yasmin’s confusion mid-way through her 14th para (albeit in this instance: a married female with rich relatives who may be nevertheless meritorious). I understand the frustration for quick fixes to inequality given that social change doesn't occur overnight. A ‘quick-fix’ approach might work in the legal or medical [but not architecture] profession as it’s easier to assume that it’s meritous pay at stake! But let’s dispel some myths on the way to social change: Yes it’s been easier to tag females as privileged rather than meritorious because they’re still relatively newish to the industry, yet on the contrary it can be argued that qualities are more likely to be honed in the face of challenge and no less by females confronting social change: a previous female prime minister might be too good an example. ‘Merit’ and ‘privilege’ are neither gender-associative. Presumably an architect has one or the other, or both, unless needs neither through posterity! In the face of a recession [of unpredictable duration] is perhaps this for architectural business: Less need to pay for merit, hence [unaffordable] quality staff being expected to move on (reading from Derek Sharp, 1986) rather than being maintained, or asked back ‘as there’ll always be a quality stream in the waiting’, and that looks set to continue notwithstanding a drop in course applications. ‘Privileged’ rather than ‘meritorious’ staff are therefore more likely to retain their jobs during a recession, ironically with perhaps a pay rise. How fairly the non-white-hetero-male can fit into this culture must depend on what Jane Duncan (a newly appointed diversity & quality champion for RIBA) can do on their behalf. Good luck Jane. The problem is perhaps that we fool ourselves into such schemes; and that maybe the cure is to fool ourselves out of them. Who's up for it? ps: again, would it be wishful thinking to have the likes of de Botton's and Bryson's views (?) Art is perhaps best for current societal exposés, until whenever advanced sociology textbooks become popular, accessible and understandable... If AJ comments had ‘likes/dislikes’ like the BBC then we could gauge how risqué it would be to ask for AdeB's or BB's views. If 500 dislikes: then no need to ask further about the truth; but if 500 likes: then a need to hear more!

  • Comment on: No more excuses: we demand equal pay for women in architecture, says Christine Murray

    kevin toner's comment 10-Feb-2013 10:11 pm

    My apologies Yasmin, I picked you up wrong on the 21% statistic. I hadn't realised that you'd been referring to the female gender rather than - as I'd presumed - 'architects in general' dropping their pay to win work. - 21/79 female to male registrants is very revealing, when probably 50/50 are graduating with architecture qualifications. Why the imbalance? Are females naturally happier to be assistants rather than architects? Do they opt to devote energies elsewhere after graduating? Has the Part 3 final entry test exclusion been a factor? If so, then imagine this short hypothesis to set things straight: i.e. if practices could temporarily exclude more males than females from Part 3, e.g. 1 male for every 2 or more females, until ARB says the balance is restored. I wonder if the registrant ratio anomaly signifies any relationship to the ‘pay equality’ issue. If so, then how and why! Aren't societal issues, like the mockery on my initial post, relevant to an understanding of ‘inequality’ (its origins and impetuses), i.e. to have confidence in deploring them or in how they should be engineered out - or not?

  • Comment on: No more excuses: we demand equal pay for women in architecture, says Christine Murray

    kevin toner's comment 10-Feb-2013 0:18 am

    Maybe these statistics are the result of an over-revered profession that too many want to belong to. Lawyers and medics are naturally exclusive to those with half a brain. Architects may be anything from brainless to brainy enough inter alia to get others [assistants with architecture qualifications in the UK] to do the actual work. These statistics therefore aren't really surprising... Architecture is a naturally collaborative enterprise that is open as much to dunces as the highly intelligent.

  • Comment on: No more excuses: we demand equal pay for women in architecture, says Christine Murray

    kevin toner's comment 7-Feb-2013 8:19 pm

    Great that many offices are maintaining livelihoods at all costs during the recession, whatever the discriminations might be. A bigger issue must be that it needs to do this feat on a fairer basis - for instance so that no capable person/s are left searching for career leads over the best part of a decade, if they opt like me not to give up on searching for leads. I’ll of course embarrassingly plod on applying anyway for architectural jobs for as long as possible. Whether I can continue to pay professional subs for equally long will depend on how badly the welfare cuts are going to be. Right, it’s off my chest now! Back to my quiet self again: the non-despairing one that farcically lives off JSA to pay a raft of other livelihoods beyond my means. Good luck girls in getting your fair share!

  • Comment on: No more excuses: we demand equal pay for women in architecture, says Christine Murray

    kevin toner's comment 7-Feb-2013 7:05 pm

    More to get more off my chest! Again hypothetically and jokingly, regarding my reciprocal discrimination scenario, if I weren't to become an architect’s househusband, spouse-less due to my shyness, then I’d quite happily accept a smaller salary as a dying (or resurgent) breed of worker. I'd accept either-or in a flash rather than having to claim much more unemployment benefit than I already have (almost 4.5 years since real permanent architectural employment), or should I say 7 months officially, i.e. from the date that the DWP refused to pay a week's benefit to me over unintentionally missing an adviser appointment with “...no good cause...” according to a recent tribunal over my appeal. And BTW that was incidentally a female judge who’d judged wrongly! How about having a meritocracy - rather than a kakistocracy - of gays, guys, gals, blacks, whites, rich, poor,... etc.? The principle of livelihood is quite simply coming before that of capabilities. Let’s indeed try to stop the rot RIBA or at least expose it for consultation: not forgetting there’s been over a century of how the anomaly has been dealt with in the past – let’s examine the history and facts transparently before a future generation (or dark ages) beats us to it!

  • Comment on: No more excuses: we demand equal pay for women in architecture, says Christine Murray

    kevin toner's comment 7-Feb-2013 5:13 pm

    here's the missing part of the URL, which wouldn't paste: y/Policy/EqualityAndDiversity/DiversityNewsandEvents.aspx

  • Comment on: No more excuses: we demand equal pay for women in architecture, says Christine Murray

    kevin toner's comment 7-Feb-2013 5:12 pm

    And for that matter let's also hear Jane Duncan's view too, the newly appointed RIBA Equality & Diversity Champion charged with the following agenda, that RIBA has just released here: http://www.architecture.com/TheRIBA/AboutUs/InfluencingPolicy/Policy/EqualityAndDiversity/DiversityNewsandEvents.aspx

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