March has been a good month. The weather is improving after what has felt like a very dark 6 months and new work is coming in and buildings are still coming out the ground. There seems to be a spirit of lets just get on with things unil the banks and the government get their act together. I spent the last recession in local government employment while still studying at Glasgow School of Art and was generally unnaffected although I wote to around 30 practices in 1996 and received 6 replies with only one offer of an interview which I was unsuccesful in due to the fact I was still studying part time. Luckily I was kept on by the council after reorganisation and was able to complete my studies. I think the effect of the current situation will  be felt by local government in the next 12 months. My practice has worked on council projects for over the past 5 years and I have concerns over the level of work that will be available practices like mine over the next few years as most may be kept in-house even with the savings that using term providers such as I can  bring in terms of fees. The other difficulty is that companies may compete against us at loss leading rates, totally unsustainable and something that local goernment should be wary of if overlooking local businesses and the benifits this brings in favor of dicounted rates from bigger players.

I have been criticised a lot for basing my company outside the city centre and dealing with more ‘provincial’ projects, however, I have over the past 20years, having lived and worked in the area, developed an understanding of the social, physical and political landscape of the area and hope this brings some added value.

Took the opportunity to view the BBC building in Glasgow. Being not overly keen on the exterior I was impressed by the internal space seen in the picture below. It is an impressive space and one that would probably be unfeasible in a purely commercial orientated building due to the loss of floor area by creating an atrium, however, you can see from the image, that a space like this can bring a huge inprovement to the working environment. It would be interesting to know how well it works on a practical level.

BBC Glasgow

BBC Glasgow

I have booked a trip to Seattle in May which, although I have travelled a fair bit over the years, will be my first 2 weeks off for nearly 5 years since I went to New Zealand in 2004! Really looking forward to it.

38 in April, I never shy away from birthdays but beining to see the 40 in my sights……


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