We preserve our routines because it makes life easier, and because we don’t see the effect of inaction clearly enough. When it comes to expressing my own view, finding the voice is a start but it can’t be the whole thing. In which case: what’s next? What can I do differently?Read More
I never truly believed I had a shot at bidding for something offering so much potential. And I wasn’t really surprised that somebody could afford to pay at least 164% of the guide price and still turn it into a profit-making opportunity. Even so, the extent to which I didn’t stand chance was still rather demoralising.Read More
Almost any building you care to point to has its own story and identity. Whether it's an architect trying to get one over a competitor, an architect trying to outdo him or herself, or an architect responding to some social or physical constraint, there is personality in every pane of glass, every steel support, and every brick or block of limestone.Read More
Once the full extent of the VW scandal became clear, it was not uncommon to hear suggestions that the performance of buildings - and housing specifically - should be highlighted as a similar scandal in an effort to raise public awareness.
How outraged were people really, though?Read More
We can all reel off topics we think should have been taught at school. Subjects that might have made finding our way in the world that little bit easier; that would have been more relevant to our everyday lives. Mortgage interest rates over quadratic equations, that kind of thing. Is it time building performance became one of those subjects?Read More
Being open, being vulnerable, is phenomenally difficult. Even more difficult than we often acknowledge. You can think you’ve got it cracked, only to come up against fresh obstacles and new insecurities - or the exact same old ones, just in a different guise.Read More
The optimism communicated by much of the book is infectious. Its compelling arguments for a brighter future almost help you to forget chapter one’s alarming summary of how it will take nothing less than significant action to avoid reaching a tipping point for the climate in 20 or 30 years.Read More
Why can’t I do that?
Maybe because I’m not interested in fine art and haven’t held a paintbrush since finishing a mediocre watercolour of an Italian villa for a school art exam when I was 14?
Why do I do this to myself?Read More
One of the attractions of the authentic diner experience is that ritual of having your coffee cup repeatedly topped up. On my first morning in Chicago last autumn, taking a seat in the Sweet Maple Cafe, I realised I could partake in that ritual. There was just one problem: I don’t like coffee.Read More
Our chats were stimulating and inspiring, taking me on rare conversational journeys and making me give voice to my own ideas and beliefs. Having settled into something of a comfortable routine recently, writing only for work, those two conversations left me compelled to commit thoughts to paper. They also left me with an altered perspective.Read More