Cabe has developed the concept of ‘design reviews’ so that now there are panels for schools, the Olympics and Crossrail, and there are design reviews in the South East, Yorkshire and Humberside, and Nottingham. There is though no design review for London, although ten or so boroughs have their own. The design review process, with which Paul Finch has been closely involved, has been instrumental in raising the bar on quality. It is an anomaly that there isn’t yet a panel for London.
Peter Murray, Chairman of Wordsearch and New London Architecture centre
I’d like Paul Finch to encourage building commissioners to be less risk-averse and embrace innovations that will enable the architectural talents we have here to create to their full potential. With informed clients, all parties involved can ensure architectural ideas are realised with a focus on the people who inhabit the spaces created. With responsible commissions the environmental impacts of construction could be tackled as a team effort, with architects and the building industry using innovations to deliver more sustainable spaces.
Joe Ferry, Head of design, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Paul Finch should prevent conservative decision-makers from kyboshing visionary schemes that challenge the normal building principles we have been so good at preserving. The opinions of the likes of Prince Charles need careful tempering if pioneering visions are to be realised. Let’s see him support considered risk-taking and revitalise some of the spirit of the late Jan Kaplicky, with his peanut concept house and explorations, such as the inflatable suit-home in the 1968 Milan Triennale.
Will Carey, Freelance designer
Is there a recurring habit of developers demolishing interesting buildings, only to replace them with new-build architecture? The cynic in me thinks this is mainly to get the best return out of their tenants and satisfy the egos of architects and investors. Where are the visionaries who can look at an old building from the point of view of breathing life back into it? I’m not talking about leaving a facade and building on the back of it. Take a trip around Florence and you’ll see what I mean. Callum Lumsden, Creative director, Small Back Room