Monday evening was spent sharing the speakers’ platform at a Museum of Architecture event, shedding some light on the question 'How do architects design for diversity?'.
It was a fascinating evening with different angles on the subject presented by Pooja Agrawal from the GLA Regeneration team, Manisha Patel from PRP and myself. Ably chaired by Hilary Satchwell from Tibbalds, we discussed how our design work responds to different strands of diversity, whether generational, social or ethnic. I presented our Buccleuch House scheme as a case study. There followed a lively and provocative discussion, which ranged from the responsibility of clients - particularly those in the public sector - to respond more to our diverse communities, through to the lack of ethnic diversity within the architectural profession. The main question left hanging for me was that if we are to design for a diverse community, how are we to do that effectively without a diverse profession? Pooja also challenged the audience to join the public sector, as she has done, to raise the quality of commissioning buildings, neighbourhoods and infrastructure.