June 2011 issue

Remember being told that comedy was the new rock & roll? Well, it appears architecture is the new world music! ‘Roots Architecture’ at July’s WOMAD in Chartlon Park “aims to celebrate the work of architects and builders working on humanitarian and emergency shelter projects across the world... against the lively backdrop of a practical building challenge.” Tent; check. Sunscreen; check. Theodolite; check.

The CIOB is supporting the www.thepledge.org.uk which is encouraging organisations to take on graduates as interns. It is claimed that more than twice as many graduates now chase every available job compared with the early 1980s – but surely that’s to be expected with a huge increase in students going on to take degrees. Degrees are no longer an elite qualification, and I think many employers now look at outside interests and experience as well as (even instead of) academic achievements. I’d recommend that unless the degree is an ‘approved’ route to your chosen career, then university should be viewed as a lifestyle choice, and not a job guarantee.

You know that meal you have before you go on holiday, or before you move house, the ‘finish up what’s in the fridge’ meal? An acceptable mix of protein, carbs and veg; edible but not particularly tasty. We’ve all done it. Well the other day I was in house built in the ‘finish up what’s in the fridge’ school of architecture (actually I don’t think an architect was involved). Technically, it worked, it was weather tight and connected to all the mains services. But that’s where any design cohesion ended. Victorian splendour masked by 1950s extension, sautéed in 1970s pebbledash and with a diy sauce over everything – and a nasty aftertaste!

Hope you enjoy!

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