Last night I met the industry’s cycling clique at a reunion for those who rode to MIPIM for charity (which doesn't include me). I learnt three things:
1) Cycling is hard. After a 500m sprint on the stationary bike I had to lie down for half an hour in a nearby churchyard, trying not to vomit. So well done to winner Justin Lomas.
2) Capita Symonds MD Jonathan Goring is a great example of percentage look-a-likes: 60% Jonathan Edwards, 30% Richard Gere, 10% the bad guy from Terminator 2.
3) Architects are posh and contractors aren’t.
I only started working at Building a few weeks ago, and that third point was an obvious preconception, but I didn’t expect to have it confirmed so quickly by a contractor I spoke to:
Me: “Are you an architect then?”
Contractor: “Do I look like a f@*king architect?”
Well... Suit, spiky hair, northern accent (other than Manchester), pride in use of Excel F functions and no Zaha Hadid back catalogue on his iPhone. Clearly a contractor. But why is there still such a class divide between architects and contractors? Why do architects have Brideshead haircuts, scarves and undecided shoes, whilst contractors have unhappy suits and big hands?
I suppose architecture is more expensive to train in. Then there’s pretension – posh people value ‘creativity’ over profit margins. And architects spend more time indoors, thinking and being inspired, whilst contractors have to do sums and wear muddy boots. Whatever the reason, I’m sure it adds a nice dimension to site politics.