The Arts Council has announced that it is to suspend Architecture Week while it reviews the public value of the event. How important is the event in your view?
‘Wot, no Architecture Week?’ The thing is, it has all the potential to big up the fantastic buildings and initiatives that are so relevant to everybody and how we live our lives everyday, but it seems to be geared towards ‘industry’, those ‘in the know’ and academia. If a review repackages ‘architecture’ into an accessible celebration that opens it up, then it should bring an exciting focus to an already inspirational event.
Keith Fowler, Client director, Household Design
Maybe the event has had its day. Given the Prime Minister’s interest in housing and regeneration, perhaps we should have a national festival to highlight the importance of architecture in the UK. Glasgow City of Architecture 1999, the Six Cities Design Festival and the current plethora of TV programmes have demonstrated that there is an appetite for architecture. Of course, the new festival should be run by The Lighthouse in partnership with the UK Architecture Network and the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Stuart MacDonald, Head of Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University
After a few moments of indignant out- rage that the Arts Council could be quite so thoughtless – how could it question a country-wide activity that seeks to focus attention on the best in contemporary architecture, and to open the eyes of children and the wider public to the beauty of the built environment? – I calmed down and considered that, maybe, ‘a review into the public value of Architecture Week’ would be a particularly valuable subject for an Arts Council grant. Let’s see how we, as architects, really do connect with ‘our public’ as a profession. We should have the courage of our convictions. I think I’ll apply.
Jon Tollit, Principal, Studio 585, Gensler
Architecture Week was designed to demystify a profession that is shrouded in mystery. Actually, the profession is not a mysterious one at all, just a complex one, one that involves many interested parties. Architecture Week, celebrating the processes and products of architects, has been a fantastic event for the public and can only benefit the profession.
Jonathan Clarke, Director, Universal Design Studio