A day by Tower Bridge, business planning.
But how do you decide what you want to do?
Visit stimulating places,
The London Sketch Club was founded in 1898 by a few prosperous illustrators of the day. It’s been on the go since and I enjoyed some dining and sketching in their fantastic first floor studio on Dilke Street in Chelsea.It’s a club open only to those who make their living from drawing. And you have to be invited. Surrounded by silhouettes of past members, their beautiful works, and the items that make a studio a studio, I gave a talk on what I enjoy about sketching.
The rich history of the place makes for a great atmosphere and hopefully I can go back to do some life drawing one Tuesday night. Many thanks to the London Society for the invitation to talk, and the sketch club for hosting.
At the launch event for Cycle to MIPIM 2016.
1450 km from London to Cannes in five days. All for good cause: children’s charity Coram. It’s in March, so bring on some Scottish winter training on the bike.
Lotus founder and all round genius Colin Chapman designed the Lotus Seven in 1957. By the early seventies it no longer fitted the more luxurious aspirations of Lotus, so Caterham bought the rights and carried on building it. Almost 60 years after it was first designed you can still buy more or less the same car.It’s simplicity itself. I love that it makes up for not having much power by not having much of anything at all. It’s tiny: you can walk around it in a parking space. ‘Just add lightness’ was the Chapman design philosophy and we enjoyed the thrilling results on a sunny day in Fife.In Soho in London. A little extra space on the corner of Berwick Street and Broadwick Street makes for a busy spot. People using their phones to text, talk and find their way to their next meeting. This corner gives them room to pause without being in the way and lets me watch urban life in narrow streets with lowish buildings. Lots of activity in not a lot of space.
When the London office moved to Kentish Town there weren’t many cafes selling fancy and expensive coffee. There are now. Places change and something gets lost. Off to the board meeting to discuss the ethics of working in Uganda, and London.
Start! F & I are off to school.
People should get more information to be able to compare the homes they’re considering buying: space, cost in use, broadband speed etc. The Housing Forum are pushing it and I went along to hear Ben Derbyshire talking us through how it would work.
It seems like a good idea, there’s more about it here:
I was at a conference, so was quickly on to a new topic, a debate on Regeneration and particularly the accusation that it’s a process of gentrification. We need to improve the physical place but we need to improve the lives of the existing population, not just displace them. No disagreement there, but different ideas about how that can be achieved and how the approach in the south isn’t going to work for the rest of the country.Then some football watching followed by a meal with Crestel. This was generally relaxed but interspersed with some emotional discussion of the upcoming referendum.
I feel fortunate to be taking part in a vote that arouses this amount of passion, a marked contrast to the parliamentary elections and the main stream parties.
At the Planning Committee to speak in favour of the third phase of our regeneration project at Mill o’ Mains in Dundee, It’s for 70 homes, mostly replacing old and unpopular flats with new houses. I’ve been turning up at planning committees in Dundee since 1999, so some of the faces are familiar. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t let me speak. I watched our democracy in action: councillors standing up for another application for housing for folk with mild learning difficulties, in the face of considerable local opposition.
They approved our proposals too. It’s another step, but there’s still along way to go to complete the transformation that the Home Group are aiming for.
Slightly out of sequence, this is Bernard Hunt’s last board meeting as chairman of HTA. I’ve learned a fair bit from a number of architectural and business ‘fathers’ and I think I learned a fair bit here. Bernard had been at the helm of the firm for 43 years. We bought him out and, on 12th April, set up HTA Design LLP. I hope the body language is be better going forwards!