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CABE man attacks 'simple' developers

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A CABE commissioner has labelled developers 'simple people' and called on greater communication between architects and clients.

Talking after the 'Does London Need More Office Space?' debate last week, Paul Morrell told the AJ: 'Giving a developer a site and expecting them not to overdevelop it is like giving Sooty a soda siphon and expecting him not to squirt you in the face.

'Developers are very simple people, operating on a very simple equation, in terms of what will make the most money, fastest. In design terms they will often not consider the context of a building. They will want to build big. But equally they don't get out of bed in the morning saying, 'I'm going to build a crap building today.'' Architects didn't escape Morrell's ire either. He said: 'There's always a bit of grandstanding that goes with office design, without understanding what it will do for the occupier.

'People want to be different without understanding how a space will be used; namely how a design reflects the brand of a business. Architects need to engage developers in conversation rather than adopting the Changing Rooms approach of returning in a year and it all being done.' Morrell is a partner at chartered surveyor Davis Langdon and is president of the British Council for Offices.

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