This issue of Brick Bulletin coincides with the Brick Awards.

It showcases a number of buildings entered in the awards that demonstrate the wide variety of buildings that the judges are presented with each year.

Whereas some architects are prepared to explore the rich diversity offered by the use of brick, others seem content to indulge in the use of materials that are not so challenging or rewarding.

Protagonists of the off-site movement have sought to polarise views, presenting prefabrication as a Holy Grail and in-situ construction as archaic practice. This distinction is as false as it is irrelevant because in order to solve the problems of the supply chain we need a fully functioning industry.

It is just as important to try to foster the growth of off-site, as it is to review on-site practices and develop rationalised masonry construction. The whole industry needs investment of time and thought. However, the ultimate question is not how we build but what we build.

Unless we make spaces and places that enhance people’s lives we are all wasting our time. Some materials have helped to enhance people’s lives for many generations and they have the potential to continue to do so despite the changing context of construction.

I hope this issue makes that point.