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Everyone discounts, in large amounts

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Ian Martin pimps pimped himself on the mass-market discount network

MONDAY. Pub lunch with Rock Steady Eddie the fixer. Brazil’s where we should be pitching he says, through a mouthful of peanuts.

‘Got to follow the new middle classes. They’re like whatever, truffles in the global forest. Leave the mushrooming to losers…’ I hate this reasoning. Why should we dreamweavers, with our insight and genius, simply trail round after the world’s middle classes?

It makes me so angry. There are alternatives. What about the not-for-profit community technical aid centre I’ve been running for months, bringing together underemployed architects, engineers, neighbourhoods, seizing the environmental agenda, giving power back to the people?

And that’s just one of SEVERAL possible projects that have been at the back of my mind for some time now. I can’t finish my chips, Eddie does.

TUESDAY. It’s very wearing, this Twitter mentality swirling around everything like an invisible, inflammable cloud. People are so bloody mean-minded and volatile and fat and stupid.

So WHAT if I pimped myself on some mass-market discount network as an ‘affordable plasmic arts auteur specialising in loft conversions’? It’s a free world. Or at least one in which my initial consultation fee may be reduced by 70 per cent. Certain people have accused me of besmirching the profession. They are jealous sluggards.

And hypocrites. Exactly the same thing happens every year when the epic space community goes all Christmassy about the homeless. Architects sign up to give free consultations, the client’s money goes to charity, and professional bodies give a little elbow nudge and remind you that all exposure is sound practice marketing. So if I keep my own fee, it’s NOT sound marketing? Make up your mindz, haterz.

Meanwhile, I am making up my day rate. Nobody really knows what an affordable plasmic arts auteur is, or what they would normally charge for an initial consultation, or what that consultation might involve. I’m offering a one-hour thinking session (chatting to the client in an abstract way, gazing out of the window etc) plus a blown-up picture of their house with meaningful scribbles all over it: ‘Inside + outside = upside – downside.’ ‘Bit more eco? THINK GREEN SMUDGE.’ ‘Find the space that isn’t there, create the space that is’.

Even with a 70 per cent discount I’m still charging a grand a go so ha ha laterz, haterz.

WEDNESDAY. I’ve been consulted on the government’s three key proposals for speeding up planning applications.

My thoughts so far…

1. I like the idea of reducing nationally-prescribed information requirements. Information requirements are vague enough at the best of times. The fewer the better.

2. I oppose the requirement that councils update their local information requirements every two years. Again, too many requirements.

3. A cautious yes to simplifying rural development by replacing agricultural land declarations and ownership certificates with a Country Build Platinum Donor Card.

THURSDAY. Outrage over my heavily discounted services is still simmering in the bourgeois section of the internet.

‘I yield to no-one in my admiration and respect for ordinary people…’ splutters one eminence of the learned plasmic society. ‘But sometimes they are fools. Why would anyone with any sense procure CHEAP plasmic art advice? Would this foolish ordinary person procure the cheapest surgeon? The cheapest vintner? I wonder sometimes which universities these idiots went to, even though as I say I have great admiration and respect for them’.

FRIDAY. Un-bloody-believable. All this fuss about discounting, what about straightforward plagiarism?

The Royal Institute for the Pop-Uption of British Architects has announced its new corporate mission statement: ‘Find the space that isn’t there, create the space that is!’

I procure a lawyer to get on to this right away. I never know which lawyer to choose so as usual I go for the second cheapest on the list.

SATURDAY. My lawyer (time and a half on Saturdays!) has bad news. The RIPBA’s (probably more expensive) lawyer insists the phrase ‘find the space that isn’t there, create the space that is’ originated in the public domain: ‘furthermore, the crucial addition of an exclamation mark is where genuine architectural value has occurred. So fuck off’.

Moral: find out who the RIPBA’s lawyer is and hire her next time.

SUNDAY. To the most expensive church I can find. It’s a Groupon Communion; I put 70 per cent less money than usual in the collection plate.


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