We read with great interest your report of Geoffrey Reid Associates' involvement of senior staff in its research programme. As a practice with published research over the last 20 years, and a current Department of Trade and Industry-funded three-year project ourselves, we recognise the benefits of these proposals and, as a visiting professor at Kingston University, I consider it essential that we develop greater links between active practitioners and academia.
One of the most difficult challenges, with the advance of electronic communications, is to ensure that published information is of a suitable quality and is properly validated so that practitioners or their clients can be confident of its value.
If the industry is to benefit and the information is to be of real commercial and marketing value, it must be part of a properly administered and organised programme.
We are aware of several practices undertaking research, and believe that it may be of mutual benefit to establish a forum to exchange information, even if only to avoid duplication of effort or, by joining forces, to produce an output of greater significance for the participating practices and their clients.
We have found best practice programmes and other joint activities to be useful and envisage that a research forum could be an informal organisation where those with like interests could exchange ideas from how to get funding to what levels of monitoring or peer review are needed.
I would be happy to hear from anyone interested in participating in such a forum at walkera@dlg architects. co. uk.
A J T Walker, Damond Lock Grabowski + Partners, London