Thought for Friday

Future city

A vintage image of the future

Here I go again with A thought for Friday but due the fact that on Friday I’m going to be in that place again where I have no access to the internet, I’m going to have to post this today (Thursday). So forgive me.

I was having lunch with a good friend of mine in FACT recently. We were discussing the details of the architecture of the building surrounding us and the methods by which both architects and designers approach problem solving and project management. My friend is an architect by profession and was telling me how architects don’t like looking backwards when designing a new building and would prefer to develop something new or even cutting-edge given the chance, but often the client would prefer something that looks, shall we say, ‘more traditional’. This got my grey matter working (what’s left of it anyway).

In an earlier post I mentioned “design at the centre of economic and social renewal”. I think the ‘looking back’ attitude that designers and architects and probably many others encounter is largely based on fear of the unknown and an unwillingness to take risks. This attitude is often repeated in government where vision beyond the next 5 year term is sadly lacking. If politicians were influenced more by engineers, architects, designers, writers and artists instead of bankers, civil servants, and accountants I sometimes wonder what kind of society we could make.

Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but that’s part of my forward-looking attitude.

On the other hand: Sir Richard Lambert (outgoing chief of the CBI) recently cited the government’s failure to publish a promised white paper on growth, originally scheduled for publication last autumn. “The impression was given that there simply weren’t enough good ideas around to justify such a publication,” he said.

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