The Farrell Review hosted a successful fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham last Monday. The event, in conjunction with RIBA and Cabe at the Design Council, discussed implementing the recommendations of the Review and how Government and industry can come together to improve design quality, include architecture in education and move towards a more proactive planning system.
The panel of guests included Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sir Terry Farrell, RIBA President Stephen Hodder and Design Council CEO John Mathers and the event was chaired by Chris Rumfitt of CRC. The fringe event took place in Fazeley Studios – the place to be for events hosted by the creative industry at Conference. A packed audience of over fifty Conference delegates attended, with journalists, local government officials and industry representatives eager to participate in the discussion.
Sir Terry kicked the show off by highlighting key points from the Review, which he feels most passionately about. These include embedding architecture and the built environment in primary and secondary level education, as well as encouraging apprenticeships within the industry. Sir Terry noted that we have the best and brightest architects coming through Universities and the planning system should not be about saying “yes or no” to developments but instead encourage proactive planning and creating quality design for the future.
The idea of proactive planning was supported by the panel as a whole. Ed Vaizey MP in particular noted that Planning Officers need to develop the skills to take part in place-making to ensure they take the lead in proactive planning. John Mathers from the Design Council stated that the industry needs to look at Place in a holistic way. He noted that Oxford was a successful example of this approach. Mr Mathers believes that this approach is needed on a wider scale.
Stephen Hodder, RIBA, outlined the Institute’s recommendation that an architecture policy is needed. He noted Denmark and Copenhagen as success stories in regard to a specific policy which has seen professionals who work in the built environment profiled. Further, Mr Hodder recognised a need for a Chief Architect in the same way that we have a Chief Medical Officer.
Attendees were keen to discuss the Review and a number of topics were debated. These included the importance of rural planning as well as urban planning, the issue of poverty in Cities and community participating in the planning process.
The fringe event was extremely well attended and the panel had a lively discussion on the key issues in regard to the future of the build environment. The Farrell Review team would like to thank Ed Vaizey MP for his continued support of the Farrell Review and encouragement of the adoption of a proactive planning.
Over the coming months the Review team will be meeting with MPs and industry leaders to discuss implementing the recommendations of the Review. For updates and more information on the Farrell Review, please go to http://www.farrellreview.co.uk/explore. Or if you would like to get in contact with the Review team, please email FAR@terryfarrell.co.uk.