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Comments (27)

  • Comment on: Gender pay gap 2019: Foster + Partners reports small improvement

    Atticus 's comment 24 January, 2019 11:28 am

    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.

  • Comment on: Brexit deal defeat: Profession left ‘in an impossible situation’

    Atticus 's comment 16 January, 2019 6:46 pm

    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.

  • Comment on: Budget 2018: Hammond set to further loosen permitted development rules

    Atticus 's comment 30 October, 2018 10:37 am

    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

  • Comment on: RIBA Stirling Prize reaction: ‘The money wins it’

    Atticus 's comment 11 October, 2018 9:21 am

    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.

  • Comment on: John Pardey appeals after New Forest Council refuses lakefront house

    Atticus 's comment 10 September, 2018 11:22 am

    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).

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