Vox Pop

Architects made a prominent showing on the shortlists of many a Design Week Awards category this year (DW 2 March). Do you see this as a threat to design or are there ways the industry can harness the talents of a sister profession?

‘On the one hand, work gets done and if it’s good work then it’s good work, whoever does it. On the other, the architectural profession has its own organisational support systems and there are boundaries constructed around the profession which make it impossible for designers to cross over. Architects can work in design, but non-architects can’t enter architectural awards and competitions, so there is an imbalance. It will never be a two-way street.’

Ben Kelly, interior designer and founder, Ben Kelly Design

‘The growing number of architects working in design is very positive for the industry. Architects are educating the building industry about the value of design, thereby creating opportunities for everyone. Also, there are advantages for young designers as a new field within design is emerging: “working with the architect”. For the architects themselves, the knowledge gained from working closely with manufacturers and designers is fed back into the building process, improving the results.’

Duncan Jackson, head of industrial design, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners

‘It is encouraging to see that, at last, architects and designers are winning Design Week Awards. Great design comes from creative thinkers – the discipline is unimportant. The best architects and designers share these qualities and neither should be threatened by the other. More interaction between all creative professions should be encouraged. For the record, I am an architect running a design business.’

Sue Wheldon, architect and managing director, BDG McColl retail and leisure

‘Architecture poses no threat to design. On the contrary, I have never recognised a distinction between the two disciplines. Architecture’s reach has long since extended beyond buildings; it permeates everything, from furniture to interior design. The differences drawn between design and architecture in this country are artificial and peculiarly English – in mainland Europe, architecture forms the base training for most design disciplines. It would be best for everyone if the distinctions were removed.’

Lorenzo Apicella, partner, Pentagram

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