Chief Architect Announced At Government Design ConferenceFri 15 Feb 2019
Andy Von Bradsky, former chair of housing architects PRP, was announced as MHCLG’s chief architect. It is a new post, another sign of government’s commitment to putting good design at the heart of housing and fulfills a Farrell Review recommendation. Andy may not have the profile of Amazing Spaces presenter, George Clarke, but he has already made progress behind the scenes to promote design and is a popular choice.
Better Design for Better Places was MHCLG’s design conference in Birmingham, covering favourites like offsite construction and the role of policy and guidance but done with a new spirit of honesty.
Ex Barratt and Homes England’s rising star, Steve Kinsella, spoke of a ‘new sense of excitement’ but admitted that a more diverse profession would ‘help us immeasurably’. Acknowledging that we have been saying the same things for years, Lynda Anderson OBE, urged us not to miss the brief opportunity driven by the combination of health crises, climate change, obesity, growth (bringing increased congestion) and resistance to development, to take a new collegiate approach to designing places for people.
George Clarke, really free to say what he thought, had the starkest message: ‘We have lost sight of what matters; the system doesn’t care’.
Andy Von Bradsky is going to have to work very hard indeed to restore faith, but if anyone can, it’s him.