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Stephen Games

Stephen Games

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Comments (5)

  • Comment on: Meier condemns RIBA’s stance on Israeli architects

    Stephen Games's comment 9-Apr-2014 10:48 pm

    Eyal Weizman is wrong, as are Angela Brady, Sunand Prasad and other proponents of the motion. The duty of professional organizations such as the International Union of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects is precisely NOT to polarise members into taking up political positions. We all have strong beliefs and opinions on varieties of subjects. Brady and Prasad are welcome to pursue their beliefs in an appropriate setting, but the rest of us come together under the umbrella of a professional body in order to promote what we have in common, and not to be set against each other. There are proper forums for political dissent, and they do not include the RIBA or the IUA, neither of which has a remit for such activities.

  • Comment on: Israeli architects appeal to Cameron over RIBA motion

    Stephen Games's comment 27-Mar-2014 5:30 pm

    John is right. I don’t think that the RIBA has been overwhelmed by criticism, but it’s interesting to note the quarters that external criticism has already come from. The RIBA’s call has been condemned by the British Council, which has said that the motion did not reflect the views of the profession. Vicky Richardson, the Council’s director of architecture, design and fashion, has said: “Many architects rightly see this [call for suspension] as divisive and unhelpful. It's better to let architects choose who they want to work with and keep international links and communication open. Boycotts close off discussion and debate." Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has written to the International Union of Architects claiming that the RIBA had “allowed itself to become the victim of an extremist group of spoilers” and questioning why similar action had not been taken against IAU members from countries with the worst records on human rights abuse, including China, North Korea, Sudan and Turkey. Israeli architects have appealed to their own Foreign Ministry and to the British government to help prevent the IUA from suspending their membership over the issue of West Bank settlements. The energy that has been invested in boycotts as a political tool should be spent instead on mutual Israeli Palestinian projects, the president of their organisation has said. The Israeli institute had good relations with its Palestinian colleagues and had five years ago tried to bring French architects to work in Gaza, but had had its efforts blocked by Hamas. In the UK, the Jewish Chronicle has pointed out that while seeking to ban Israeli architects from the IUA, hundreds of British architects work in countries that carry out human rights abuses on an industrial scale, unlike Israel, and that the RIBA has itself just ratified agreements with two groups of architects in Libya, which ranks 13th in the Observer newspaper’s top 20 list of human rights abusers for crimes involving women, gays, corruption, and the use of false imprisonment and torture.

  • Comment on: Israeli architects appeal to Cameron over RIBA motion

    Stephen Games's comment 27-Mar-2014 0:47 am

    Mr Scott seems to have misunderstood Mr Lipovetsky's remarks. What Mr Lipovetsky was actually reported to have said was that "[the Israeli Association of United Architects'] membership is diverse and represents all segments of Israeli society, including those living on both sides of the pre-1967 lines. This is a democratic and non-political organization. There are members of the organization that are working in the West Bank and of course there are others who are not. There are a lot of opinions for and against. We have freedom of mind and freedom of occupation." Mr Lipovetsky was saying that within the IAUA, members are allowed to think what they like and work where they wish. The professional body does not dictate to them but allows them freedom of conscience. That seems admirable. Perhaps Mr Scott was thinking that Mr Lipovetsky's use of the word "occupation" referred to disputed territories and not to employment. If so, he was mistaken. In addition, Mr Lipovetsky did not "realise" what he had "admitted to", nor was a quote removed accordingly. News stories get shorter as they get further from the events they refer to, and all papers crop over the day to make space. On both points it is important to understand what one is talking about - in this case, how the press works - and not jump to conclusions, especially conspiratorial conclusions.

  • Comment on: In pictures: The RIBA Stirling Prize 2011

    Stephen Games's comment 6-Oct-2011 1:25 pm

    Of course Zaha Hadid is going to be the front-runner for any prize named after James Stirling. If the architectural community had wanted to reward self-effacing excellence, it would have named its award the Pevsner Prize. (Hmmm, there's an idea.)

  • Comment on: Reaction to Hadid's Stirling Prize win: 'There was a collective groan'

    Stephen Games's comment 6-Oct-2011 1:21 pm

    Of course Zaha Hadid is going to be the front-runner for any prize named after James Stirling. If the architectural community had wanted to reward self-effacing excellence, it would have named its award the Pevsner Prize. (Hmmm, there's an idea.)

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