I was pleased to see the article on DQIs in last week's AJ (1/8.8.02), but a bit surprised it was hidden away on page 40. I attended the launch that Austin Williams refers to and indeed my firm is one of the 40 or so 'design' trailblazing firms (100 in total across wider sector), and possibly one of the only SME's involved. The article portrayed a very accurate account of the event and does not set out to stir the debating pot, but no doubt there will be a lot said on the subject in the coming months.
I hope the architectural profession (particularly some of the smaller firms) use the DQIs positively, and do not think it is the rest of the industry gatecrashing their party (although it is really and rightly so, as I believe the clients send out the invites! ) To date, it is fair to say that only a small proportion of architects have joined the 'rethinking construction/accelerating change' agenda and the best practice clubs etc (Egan/Latham et al).
There are a lot of adverse 'client' comments about the profession and designers generally, so this is the chance for the design sector to show we care about out clients and other stakeholders.
It is hoped that the DQIs might light the touch paper to stimulate the involvement of designers generally.
Simon Pole, Pole Associates Structural Engineers, Wimbledon, London,