riba president Marco Goldschmied was set to preach the secrets of quality design to an audience at the Design Build Foundation's annual conference today.
Goldschmied said he would be asking the developers, architects and planners attending the 'Building Better by Design' conference at London's bafta what kind of urban environment they wanted to leave behind for their grandchildren, stressing that 'short termism' was a 'relic of previous thinking'. There is an obsession with process, he told the aj, rather than reflections on quality outcomes. Buildings had to be flexible and sustainable with regard to future users, but no one method of procurement offered a 'holy grail'. The construction industry and development professions were at fault, however, through doing things 'on a shoestring' rather than researching and developing extensively beforehand, as other industries such as petrochemicals do.
Also important was an experienced client with authoritas - offering an informed contribution, authority through knowledge, as opposed to potesta - power through money and a position of uninformed authority.