Lighting the blue touch paper, and building well

Platt, C.J. and Speirs, Steven (2009) Lighting the blue touch paper, and building well. ARQ - Architectural Research Quarterly, 13 (Issue ). pp. 20-36. (

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Architectural practice has become considerably more complex in the last twenty years, not to mention since the days of Wright. Many more professions are involved in realising a building, and the construction industry has become professionalised in areas such as health and safety, management training and continuing professional development. Procurement methods for buildings are proliferating and roles for all involved changing, especially for the architect. Shorter timescales are common and there is a general consensus that, in the UK at least, there is a serious skills shortage in the industry and a decline in the quality of the building trades. The industry has become both more litigious and more international. Christopher Platt studied at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow. He has held senior positions in architectural practices in Scotland, England (Maguire and Murray), Germany and Ethiopia (Abba Architects). He was until recently course director for BSc. Architectural Studies at the Department of Architecture, Strathclyde University. He is the founding partner, with Roderick Kemsley, of studio KAP architects, whose built work has been published in Germany, Japan, Italy and Scandinavia. He has lectured in the UK, Germany, Ethiopia, Malaysia and China. Steven Spier is visiting professor in the Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, where he was previously head of department. He is currently principal and vice-chancellor of the new HafenCity University Hamburg, a University of the Built Environment and Metropolitan Development. He is the author of Swiss Made.