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Part 3 is the place for teaching procurement

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Letters

Your editorial last week implied that, in questioning the inclusion of Egan in the curriculum for Part 1 and Part 2 at the last Architects Registration Board board meeting, I was against collaborative working and 'constraints'.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the most ingenious design solutions and best buildings in history have come from constraints of cost, technology and regulation.

Throughout history collaborative working has also been a major feature of the building process. The point I was making was that knowledge of process will never be a substitute for, or provide, design excellence.

In an educational climate where 'bums on seats' are the economic imperative; where real tutorial time available to teach design is generally declining; where 25 per cent of the 180 weeks of full time education on an architecture course can be spent learning Russian or French; where the great majority of students and employers believe schools are not providing adequate technical education; and where some schools of architecture have given up teaching building technology altogether, trying also to cram procurement methods in as a significant topic merely reduces even further the time available for sound teaching and exploration of design problems.

Part 3 is where procurement should be taught and if its increasing diversity demands it to be extended from two to three years, so be it. High-quality design and competent technical skills are the most important legacies. Without them no amount of procurement knowhow will leave the nation anything of lasting worth.

Marco Goldschmied, RIBA president

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