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Architects need to play the competitions game

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Will Alsop's assertion that the inadequacy of competition juries leads to poor architecture needs to be challenged(AJ 25.10.01).

Architects themselves have to take some responsibility.

Clearly if you have the talent to design great architecture you should also have the wit to send someone along to interviews who can actually communicate that vision.

Architects really do make it hard for panels. They attend interviews ill-prepared and unwilling to jump through the hoops. Clients want to be delighted and inspired but they also need to be able to consider more mundane concepts such as value for money and fairness.

People who are brilliant at designing but do not know how to work the system often lose out to their less able colleagues.

The answer is not to blame the 'laymen' on the panel, and certainly not to have juries made up completely of architects. If architects could learn some fairly fundamental rules about engaging the non-architectural public, we would see an increase in really good buildings.

Anne Byrne, Stonebridge

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