Because I was otherwise occupied on Valentine’s day, Cabe and the RIBA invited me to a speed-dating event on 13 February.

I was excited about the prospect of finding some potential architect and developer dates for my single friends, but soon realised that most of them were taken and that the event’s purpose was more about getting the parties around the same table to make work contacts than to fall in love.

Still, all the participants were chatty and stuck to the five-minute rule for most rounds – even Niall Cairns, director of Assael Architecture, who suddenly found himself sitting opposite an old school friend.

“She was in the year below me at a small school in Ireland,” he says, when he tears himself away. “Unbelievable!” He shakes his head in disbelief.

“She was probably his high-school sweetheart and he doesn’t want to admit it now,” colleague John Assael says.

True to the Valentine’s theme, Gordon Evans from PCKO Architects is also talking about ladies. “The industry definitely needs more women developers,” he tells me. Looking around the room, he might be right – out of the 20 developers present, only one is female.

Gordon is also keen to share with me that he is part of a “free range” architectural practice. “If you think about other firms as chicken batteries, where they are all squashed together – we are like free range chicken,” he tries to explain.

His colleague Andrew sees my confused expression and clarifies: “That means we have more room in our offices.”

Rupert Cook and Niel Pratt from Architecture PLB agree that it would be beneficial for the industry if developers and architects got “into bed with each other” more. They are so pleased with this verdict that they pin it on the suggestions’ board. I wonder if these tips are supposed to be taken literally …

Luke Tozer from Pitman Tozer Architects takes a more moderate stance on dating developers.

“It depends on their personality, he says. “On a professional basis, a good relationship is important but it’s often like going on a date – you can decide within the first five minutes whether you like or dislike them.”

Well, my first 10 five-minute dates with developers and architects were certainly positive. So much so, that I might even suggest that my single friends restrict their online dating profiles to “architects and developers only”.

Venue: New London Architecture, central London 

Ambience: Heart-shaped balloons, heart-shaped glitter, heart-shaped architects … well, almost 

Topics: Developers dating architects, architects dating developers and long-lost school friends 

Drinks drunk: As much free alcohol as possible

Niall Cairns Assael Architecture
John Assael Assael Architecture
Gordon Evans PCKO Architects
Andrew Ogorzalek PCKO Architects
Rupert Cook Architecture PLB
Niel Pratt Architecture PLB
Luke Tozer Pitman Tozer Architects
Karolin Schaps Building