D G Rodwell
There are one million empty homes or buildings that can readily be converted into homes. If we are really serious about housing issues, and not simply about job creation for architects and developers focused on consuming yet more land for building on and new-build, the direction needs to be changed. The housing issue is about homes for people; not just about developers and architects. There is wide range of procurement and implementation routes; we are fixated about less than a handful of these. The whole post-WWII housing saga in the UK has been one disaster after another. Are we ever going to extricate ourselves from this circus?
Thank you to all who have supported the destruction of Syria. Your success: 250,000+ deaths; 10m+ displaced; 4m+ refugees; the destruction of cities including Aleppo and Homs; of entire ethnic communities; and now sites including Palmyra. Well done. Hide yourselves in shame ... or stand up and resolve the accelerating problems by accord not discord.
'Iconic' buildings have a very poor reputation for budgetary control, dating from at least the Sydney Opera House. We must consider whether the 'genre' is not fatally flawed in its conception.
Comment on: Profession reacts to Scottish referendum no vote
Now let's all pull together and resolve the longstanding socio-economic problems across large parts of post-industrial Scotland.
The Referendum was a needless distraction. Blaming a constitutional issue for decades of evasion and neglect within Scotland, especially at a local level, must now come to an end.
The people of Scotland have been energised as never before. It is a bottom-up not top-dowm revolution that we need.
A successful people drive a successful economy. Inequalities and deprivation must be addressed as the priority.
For architects, this means place-keeping, not place-making; raising the general standard in cooperation and harness with local communities; and no more vanity projects that only favour a few individuals and interests.
We must recover a social democratic mission for architects, re-framed in 21st century terms.
John Kenneth Galbraith, ‘The Economic and Social Returns of Preservation’, in: ed. National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation: Toward an Ethic in the 1980s, Preservation Press, Washington DC, 1980, p.57:
“The preservation movement has one great curiosity. There is never any retrospective controversy or regret. Preservationists are the only people in the world who are invariably confirmed in their wisdom after the fact.”