This week, surveyors bewail their lack of social esteem, the witches from Macbeth get a makeover and cladding gives way to icing as the finish of choice
You are really spoiling us
The RICS' decision to increase subscription fees has caused quite a stir among its members. At last week's annual meeting, chartered surveyor Edward Reeve declared: "Despite the RICS' promises, we are still the butt of every joke in the industry. We are thought of as people who go round fields with tape. Just look at the After Eights joke – as soon as a chartered surveyor is mentioned, the party comes to an end."

Blimey, if that's the case, you can bet there isn't a single chartered surveyor on the guest list at the ambassador's Ferrero Rocher reception.

I got this chap in Battersea...
The June issue of House and Garden magazine included a list of its favourite 10 architects for the benefit of readers who might be considering building a new home. The names includes some you would expect to see, such as the neoclassicist, Robert Adam and the markedly modernist Seth Stein, and one that you wouldn't – Ken Shuttleworth of Foster and Partners. Fair enough, the Crescent House that he designed for his family is the finest abode in Britain, but with a practice dedicated to global megaprojects, is he really interested in commissions from the county set? Or is the collapse of the London commercial market more serious than I thought?

Your clamp's undone
Cable and component maker Jakob is used to displaying its products at industry shows; however, this month its range of architectural ironmongery will be one of the catwalk stars at the St Martins School of Art and Design. One student has decided that zips, buttons and flies are rather "last year". Instead, she has specified clamps and wires from the Jakob Inox Line for the outfits in her final degree collection. Jean Paul Gaultier is bound to approve.

Mutton dressed as glam
My thanks to retail, leisure and entertainment fit-out and refurbishment contractor Vivid Interiors for a press release on their Fab or Drab colour test. This light-hearted assessment is designed to promote the company's website by testing participants' knowledge of trivia in the worlds of retail, leisure and entertainment. I can only assume that the three lovely ladies shown on the flyer are the firm's directors.

Forum Aid
This month marks the second anniversary of the strategic forum. By common consensus it is much more lively and focused than its predecessor, the Construction Industry Board. There's only one problem: it is currently running at a deficit, after the refusal of industry bodies – notably the Construction Confederation – to stump up their £10,000 contribution. Some members are privately fretting that it might have to be wound up unless the contractors, or the government, or the new Construction Clients Group, put their hand in their pockets. Alternatively, perhaps the body could launch a version of The Big Issue, sold outside site gates, or stage a benefit concert.

Phase one: The sponge

Architect HTA has reimagineered the concept of the environment-friendly skyscrapers. HTA staff presented chairman Ben Derbyshire with a cake on his 50th birthday which had Swiss rolls as towers. These “eatotowers” went down so well that the architect has decided to ditch its model maker and represent all its developments as cakes in future. Well, if Will Alsop can build doughnuts on sticks...