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Friday, March 24, 2006
New housebuilder design champions
I really wonder if initiatives like this make the foggiest bit of difference, or whether they are the design equivalent of greenwashing in the CSR/environmental field. Maybe we need a new term - design-washing doesn't really work - anyone got any ideas? It's all well and good to be a 'design champion' but if all it means is more crap 'modernist' blocks rather than crap noddy boxes, it really doesn't cut the mustard. How are these guys going to be trained to know what they are talking about? and it's not as though many people have that much faith in CABE's training schemes either...

Senior executives at six of the country's biggest housebuilders have joined CABE's design champions initiative. CABE has challenged every publicly quoted volume housebuilder to follow by appointing a board-level design champion with responsibility for delivering design quality.

David Pretty and Stephen Stone, the chief executives of Barratt and Crest Nicholson respectively, are joined by Paul Pedley, executive deputy chairman of Redrow, Graeme McCallum, the operations director of Taylor Woodrow, James Wilson, David Wilson Homes' group development director, and Tony Pidgley, managing director of the Berkeley Group. The six have promised to champion good design in their businesses in the year ahead.

Pedley has pledged to set up an Urban Design centre at Redrow's Northampton office, and Wilson says managers at David Wilson Homes will assess the designs of all the company's housing layouts.

(via Building

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