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Details in the working make it interesting

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Richard Shepley's letter (AJ 10.2.05) highlights a dilemma at the heart of the Working Details programme. On one hand, Working Details are intended to show the 'cutting edge' of construction and design; on the other, they should accord with sound construction principles.

We endeavour to publish details which demonstrate good, sound practice, but if the details only followed the standard textbook approach I suspect our readers would not find them very interesting. Detailing is an integral part of design. As part of the design process some architects may go beyond the tradition of Mitchell's Building Construction; they approach the boundary of what is feasible and sometimes, I agree, they may go a little beyond it.

In my view, the Working Details are aimed at an informed readership - qualified architects who are familiar with the technology of building construction and who want to see a creative use of that technology. From the outset, Working Details were published with the intention that they would be a basis for discussion, so that the whole of the profession would benefit from individual experience. We welcome readers' views, both positive and negative ones.

Susan Dawson, AJ Working Details editor

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