Don’t look to the Government for help

More on the subject of free- pitches I’m afraid, as I believe this to be the most important issue facing the profession at this time.

Giles Velarde and Richard Fowler wrote last year urging that the Government step in (Letters, DW 30 September 1994). Well they might, for they, in the form of the Department of Trade and Industry (the department with the Minister for Design no less) have wrought irreparable harm.

There existed a large department devoted to the preparation of design and management of construction contracts for subsidised joint-ventures with British trade associations at overseas trade fairs.

Those buzzwords “market forces” popped up again and it was decided that design and construction should be lumped together and that design-and-build contracts should be offered on a free-pitch basis to anyone nominated by the relevant trade association, with the Government’s erstwhile design department (hived off with a naive hope of eventual privatisation) being given the opportunity to pitch. This department, having thus been shot in the foot by its parent, closes its doors finally in the spring of 1995 having participated in the education of executives of every trade association in Britain to think the free-pitch to be the norm and perfectly respectable.

Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson Design Associates



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