Thursday, 20 June 2013

PLACE at the launch of the Architecture and Built Environment Centre Network (ABECN)

On June 18th Saul Golden represented PLACE at the launch of the Architecture and Built Environment Centre Network (the ABECN), a collective of fourteen centres from around the UK. The occasion was more just a celebratory launch, as representatives from ABECN were joined in a Roundtable discussion by a cross section of participants from government agencies, developers and multi-disciplinary professions. Architecture Minister Ed Vaizey officially launched the Network in the morning before the roundtable examined how to improve design quality across all areas of the built environment. Topics ranged from the influence of government policy and economic factors to the value and efficacy of design reviews on project quality and delivery, and focused in particular on how to collectively improve the quality of residential projects.

Representatives of UK Architecture and Built Environment Centres at the ABECN launch, 18 June 2013 in London. The event was launched by Ed Vaizey MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. PLACE was represented by Board Member Saul Golden (6th from left).

Throughout the morning, a serious and frank discussion ensued that linked fashion and culture to endemic socio-economic challenges for better quality human environments and place specific considerations of urban and rural society. The discussions also touched on the Governments current review of the future of architecture with Sir Terry Farrell, critically bringing the wider perspective of 'industry experts' from disciplines and agencies beyond architecture to bear on relevant topics from policy and procurement to more effective roles for consultation, and more cross-disciplinary capacity building in professional education.

Further roundtables will follow as the ABEC Network moves to engage with different regions and professional bodies around the UK to share knowledge about a range of relevant topics and outreach activities. PLACE welcomes the launch of the Network and is poised to share its role in Northern Ireland within the broader discussions about effective approaches to better quality, sustainable and liveable environments.

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