Futures Fair '10

David Marks

  • Macro economic situation and recent developments have forced business models to change
  • Now business must reflect the pressing need to reduce its reliance on debt
  • Businesses need to be encouraged (by regulation, incentives?) to find a new relationship between investment and debt – need to end the beneficial accounting of debt as opposed to investment
  • The aim should be to encourage entrepreneurial activity, SMEs, increase stability, create sustainable growth and reward innovation

Geoff McCormick

  • Growing realisation that the design process should be shaped and driven by peoples’ experiences (for both consumer product and building design)
  • Increasing requirement for designers to specify more clearly, particularly in an outsourced global market with diffuse centres of design, production and sales
  • Specification and user experience-based design lead to lean innovation and responsible design, based on real user needs

Dave Hampton

  • Critical importance of tackling carbon – the new business imperative
  • Reducing carbon makes business sense – lower costs, less energy use, added value, PR and CSR, and insulates business against future rises in energy costs
  • Businesses need to take a creative and human approach to reducing energy use to achieve large reductions

Ian Chance

  • A new creative and cultural leadership is emerging – ‘creative entrepreneurs’
  • Creative entrepreneurs are about maximising social and cultural benefits, not just commercial opportunities
  • This holds challenges for architecture as traditionally architecture practices are narrow in their ways of working, and there is little encouragement of entrepreneurship in architectural training

Overarching Message – the power that design has to improve people’s lives at the same time as delivering business success


Q) How to get carbon challenge communicated to Government?

  • Seek to identify creative approaches – cannot be business as usual
  • It can’t just be reliant on Government
  • Society/business need believable role models
  • Challenge wasteful systems
  • Challenge the client

Q) Does bureaucracy and regulation affect creative entrepreneurs?

  • Creativity and entrepreneurship are the same thing
  • Don’t let regulation get in the way – take chances and work around problems
  • E.g. the London Eye was originally a losing entry to an ideas competition but is now a commercial, internationally renowned iconic success story


  • A growing gap between graduates in the UK and what is needed in the global market (not just among architects)
  • Greater crossover between faculties, and between education and business is needed (through programmes, and co- location)
  • Question whether architects leave university with the required business skills