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Cohesive approach

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Another aspect of the Dutch system that surprised Wilson was that 'people in the planning offices actually make models'. Tess van Eyck Wickham, who as a partner in Wickham Associates practises in both the Netherlands and the uk, praised Holland's 'cohesive approach to planning'.

Planning studies is another area of opportunity for young practices. But Ben van Berkel (Van Berkel & Bos) warned that in some towns this happy situation is disappearing, as the money runs out. Wilson is also concerned that the introduction of ec competition policy 'has made it almost impossible for young architects to get a foot in the door'.

The Dutch system is not without its detractors. Carel Weeber, professor of architecture at Delft University and chairman of the Dutch equivalent of the riba, is apparently not alone when he grumbles about 'state architecture'. Wickham describes the Dutch as 'collectors of codes', but she is more worried about the rise of a new materialism, a 'corrupting tendency to diversification' and the adoption of 'meaningless mundane theories from the world of advertising'.

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