This House Believes Too Much Consultation Inhibits Great Design

Consultation Saturation?

Panel of Consultation Debate

supporting
stephen bayley – author & commentator with Alex Lifschutz – architect lifschutz davidson sandilands

Stephen Bayley alex lifschutzs

opposing
john twitchen – sauce consultancy/the consultation institute with anna minton – writer & journalist

John Twitchen Anna Minton

Autumn, 14th October 2009

LISTEN TO PODCASTS

STEPHEN BAYLEY
JOHN TWITCHEN
ALEX LIFSCHUTZ
ANNA MINTON
RUTH REED

All building schemes, masterplans and projects of scale are obliged to consult and notify the public of how it may affect them. It is part of a democratic process in the UK that also covers policy legislation and law making and is aimed at upholding transparency and fairness, but what has been its impact on the process of design?

Architects and urban designers now have a huge range of methodologies with which to engage and consult the public. Town meetings of old characterised by who shouts loudest, egos, propaganda and heckling have been replaced with a set of community driven programmes, frameworks and charrettes, on top of which lie reviews, public audit, evidence gathering and ever expansive inclusive agendas. Consultation has empowered communities and individuals to have more of a say and in many cases reigned in heavy handed authorities, but what has been its impact on what gets built and at what speed? Building Futures itself has invested heavily in bringing a new and creative method to designers with the aim of establishing its own brand of non-confrontation and alternative engagement through the Building Futures Game, but in the pursuit of democratic ideals have we over ‘bureaucratised’ design?

Building Futures hosted an evening discussing the merits of consultation. Have we overcomplicated the process? Have we applied a system of design that imbeds mistrust in the abilities of the professional to deliver? Have we reached consultation saturation?

Chaired by the new RIBA President Ruth Reed and featuring contributions from Stephen Bayley, author and cultural commentator and Alex Lifschutz, Director of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands with John Twitchen, Managing Director of Sauce Consultancy and partner of The Consultation Institute and Anna Minton, Journalist and author of the recently released book entitled ‘Ground Control’.

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BD ONLINE 30th OCTOBER 09


For more information on this event contact emma.emerson@inst.riba.org

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