Atticus 's comments
My practice is 50-50 male female, with pay on merit. What we do need is for the RIBA to promote the value of architects to potential clients in the loudest way possible in the mainstream media channels. This way we may command better fees to be able to pay better salaries to all. Get to the root causes and not just pay. And stop just looking at equality in the workplace through the singular analysis of pay. Its far more complicated and needs a thorough multivalent analysis.
Paul Lewis is on the right tack.
Once again the AJ's shallow SJW warrior journalism looks at penalising for the symptoms rather than burrowing down a few layers for real ways to stop the cause of this problem.
I run my own small practice. I employ quality staff and pay them a decent wage. Most potential clients see us as a commodity and take the lowest bidder. We don't do that work. We market ourselves as adding value, reducing risk and start early to try and build such "can only go with you" compulsion in a client that we get +better valued and can charge more. The problem is the lack of appreciation of what architects value is to a project. As a small practice we cannot change the perception of a nation, neither can a trade magazine like the AJ.
But the RIBA can. I would double my subscription to the RIBA if it embarked on a national campaign in all the most visible media to educate potential clients out there the value of architects and the need to pay well. If you go to Foster and Partners and want Norman on your job you pay a large premium.
So for a while RIBA, less concentration on SJW campaigns and more effort on the root cause of those symptoms, directed towards educating the client base out there in the most visible ways possible. Just like car manufacturers do about their products. McLoud has done more for our business with Grand Designs programme and magazine than the RIBA have done in the 40 years I've been a member. I vote McLoud for RIBA president next time round.
The Grimshaw building is grim, a blight on the public realm at pavement level where it presents no active or attractive frontage, only tat, wire fence and barbed security measures, more appropriate to the back of an industrial estate. for an excellent critique on such affronts to the public realm watch this. https://www.ted.com/talks/james_howard_kunstler_dissects_suburbia?language=en
This continual showcasing of a single factor, pay, is lazy journalism and meaningless without a multi-valent analysis of all the factors involved. Women make different life choices and as a whole have different aptitudes and skillset potential than men, although everything is nuanced and nothing is a 100% rule. I suggest the AJ carry out a detail analysis and updates across many influencing factors. That would be a really useful tool in, eg, helping to stop the marginalisation of women trying to get back into architecture after having young children, and determining what proportion of roles in architecture are suitable for each of men and women. It may find out that there are less suitable roles in the profession for the MAJORITY of women, not withstanding some will be better than men in the more "masculine" roles. Admit it, men and women are different. There, I've opened a hornets nest, but the default rejection of this without scientific evidence is getting tiresome. ps, our practice is 60% female at present, slightly under resourced in technical skill, and pay is by skill not gender.
Well said Paul. Our 2 European employees, one Sardinian, one Greek, are totally unfazed and glad to be here instead of in bankrupted Euro currency land. The Greek one hasn't a good thing to say about the EU, who are the cause of her exile to the UK to gain work. Less of the hysterical poorly researched rantings of the South East bubble inhabitants and more dispassionate in depth analysis, including reporting about the wider issues of Brexit please AJ.
This is an ugly sticking plaster solution to the severe problem arising with the intellectually bankrupt planning system. Left to evolve naturally, conurbations intensify as the population increases. Where intensification occurs, an "invasion and succession" process of core uses replacing peripheral uses takes place, usually at much greater densities. On the other hand planning policy, and the manner in which it is tied up in local politics, increasingly flies in the face of this due to short term-ism and local political expediency. The planning system and its guiding policy does not adequately acknowledge this, instead increasingly tries to preserve a status quo. An intellectual bankrupcy and lack of appropriate oversight on the part of the planning system. Solving this by the blunt device of PDR is not appropriate. The way policy is evolved needs an overhaul. For instance, in the image above of possible sites, I lead the renovation of a building on the camera side of the piazza in front of Westminster Cathedral. There was no way the local planning dept would let us extend upwards, yet its shown as having a blue 2 storey uplift. I would say it should have more. Hence why I opened saying the blunt weapon of PDR to overcome the inappropriate local planning response is a sticking plaster not a solution. A more reasoned and intellectually considered approach is required, to encouraging or even demanding intensification when a building is renovated after 60 years of existence, to match population demands for the following 60 years
I wholeheartedly agree with Phil Parker. The mean mouthed social justice warrior reviews chosen above by the AJ and RIBA establishment, to the exclusion of others, does nothing to celebrate the spectacular things that architects can achieve that others cannot. The creation of a design company that can orchestrate such a building is not born overnight and it takes a determined and single- minded profession-leader to do it. So celebrate it instead of showing bitching envy. I think the pier was most unappealing and had none of the design bravura of a great Victorian pier. It didn't create a memorable icon and went un-noticed to the broader public nationally, and in that sense didn't have the ability to act as a flagship to show the public that architects should be used instead of the rag tag of others who are invading our role with less inspired outcomes. A tad harsh, but if the RIBA is to front the BUSINESS of architecture so that we can all prosper, it needs to seriously re-consider how it can affect the level of mediocrity in the areas where the bulk of the profession work: monster cottage private housing and dreary workplace buildings. Areas that are sneered at by the overtly left leaning sjw architectural media and institutions. However, I would applaud some of the above reviewers such as Alan Dunlop who straddle the divide with good outcomes.
We are encountering the same issues. Planning policies intended to protect for instance the "Openness" of the Green Belt, ie urban sprawl and ribbon development as it manifest itself in the 1930's, now being interpreted to prevent sensible intensification by enlarging existing properties. This has reached its ultimate absurdity where Guildford have rejected a completely buried and hidden basement as being damaging to the greenbelt. There are many rural 1930's bungalow estates which could be intensified without damaging the green belt, yet enhancements are refused on the basis of proportional increase alone rather than subjective assessment. Planning officers have become jobsworths, applying rules like a script, without any rational basis other than to protect themselves from criticism. This is not helping the housing crisis or mobility of labour. In this regard the planning proffession has lost its way and become intellectually bankrupt, delegating decision making to appeals that are often awarded against the councills decisions (ref recent AJ article citing the huge number of residential planning approvals won at appeal). Having attended planning committee mtgs recently I have been astounded by the inadequacy of the members to understand the complex issues they are dealing with and to make decisions based upon personal bigotry and political bias rather than acting as custodians of a fit for purpose planning system. All the result of the govt opting out of responsibility and leaving NIMBYsm to take too high a profile in decision making. A complete dichotomy of central government mindset considering that the UK population is increasing by 1m every 3 years, 85% due to immigration (govt's own statistics).
Great plan. Perfect synopsis of contemporary clients ideal living requirements. Great job. Rising stars. Watch this space...……………...
I was purposefully provocative and wrote from personal experience. Nobody could be any more accommodating than me. What the snowflakes on here have missed is that my practice goes to great lengths to accommodate parenting architects, male and female, but in the end too many of those who we try to accommodate with contrivances of flexibility just dump us in the poo. And its usually unavoidable from their part. But we still end up in the poo. A point that none of the self righteously myopic "have it all" respondents have acknowledged. Whats interesting is the fathers who have worked tight hours to do the school and nursery runs for wives with more distant commuting jobs, have all made up any time lost to inconvenience and child sickness by making up later in the evening or weekend on our remote access computer network. To a one, the women haven't. This is just fact, not a fictitious slight against women. Jordan Peterson bears this out by quoted statistics. Men tend to work harder and have greater conscientiousness. And as one respondent noted, I was careful to qualify with "some women". I've known extremely conscientious women architects who've outpaced their male colleagues and risen to the top because of it. You get out what you put in. Its a meritocracy, not a socialist state legislating for equality of outcome and all the unproductive consequences that entails.
PS, the AJ survey of equality of employment based upon pay alone doesn't pass first base as a scientific study because it doesn't take into account all the complex issues at play in its topic. So as to end in a constructive note, it would be really interesting if a survey of a comprehensive list of issues that influence equality in the architectural workplace were to be carried out. That may throw light on how the profession can best help...or not... But I fear that would be too "logical" as facing up to logical arguments seems to be avoided at all costs by the liberal / feminists on here. It might lead to a Cathy Newman/Jordan Peterson style "Gotcha" moment.
Ps, the arrogance of the previous comment is unbelievable " Clearly BDP's flexible working is not that flexible unless it works for them." Well why else would they do it? Because it doesn't work for them? Get real.