News reaches me from across the Pond of a rival to Bob the Builder. Step forward Amanda the Architect. Amanda is a sophisticated brunette with a Dip Arch from Smartees University. Cynics may sneer that she is nothing more than a Barbie doll with a career. But the Smartees website assures us that she has a nobler purpose, to wit "providing girls today with realistic and positive role models that build confidence and self-esteem by emphasising education, independence and personal excellence". Fun or what?
Meanwhile, Barbie is getting a career of her own. Her parents at Mattel have set up a web poll asking girls what career Barbie should adopt – librarian, policewoman or architect. I gather that certain RIBA members who are well over doll-playing age have been attempting to influence the outcome …
Don't forget to write
I was delighted to see the bulging postbag received from irate Building readers, thrashing that rotter Prescott within an inch of his worthless life. The letters were occasioned by the deputy prime minister's vicious attack on the performance of our own dear CITB. However, a recent call from one correspondent made me wonder how spontaneous these epistles were. Our correspondent revealed that she was "encouraged" to voice her discontent. It seems our friends in Norfolk have been marshalling the anti-Prescott forces well.
Surely it was meant to be. I hear that the president of the Institute of Carpenters will be none other than Tim Carpenter. My congratulations go to Mr Carpenter, a regional boss of Willmott Dixon. It would be nice if this sets a trend in the appointing of people with appropriate names – how about Annette Curtain for the interior designers? Or Henrietta Bush for the landscape gardeners?
Hip to be square
Is it me, or do you see a slight contradiction in the photograph to the left? The sign shouts "imagination", but the boxy building says precisely the opposite. Still, so delighted was Bexley Civic Society with this new warehouse, designed by Higgs Young Architects, that it gave it a design award. And in case you can't quite see it, the society tells us that the building "provides a welcome departure from the uninspiring efforts seen on most industrial estates". Well, if you say so.
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