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Conference to inaugurate research into design 'delight'

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The importance of finding a way of measuring design will be at the centre of a 13 June conference organised by the Construction Industry Council ( CIC). 'The whole day is a launch for work on a design performance indicator which has reasonable funding from the DETR, ' explained outgoing CIC chairman Robin Nicholson. His successor, Michael Dickson, chairman of Buro Happold, will chair a group developing the performance indicators. The actual research will be done by a team headed by David Gann at the University of Sussex.

The indicators will, said Nicholson, be designed both for clients to use and to 'make them think about the issues they don't want to think about. They will range from relatively easily measurable things like energy consumption through to issues such as delight which are far less easily measurable.' The researchers will start by examining the scoring systems for awards such as the RIBA regional awards and the British Construction Industry Awards.

The entire development process, including testing and refinement, should take 10 months.

Speakers at the conference, which is sponsored by Emap Construct, include CABE chairman Stuart Lipton, Kate Priestly, chief executive of NHS Estates, Dickson and Nicholson. AJ readers get a concessionary rate of £195. For details: tel 020 7637 8692.

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