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Why is construction so backward? - At the Royal Institution 30 March 2004

We are pleased that the book is launched in the Main Library of the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, London. Founded in 1799, the oldest independent research body in the world, the Ri also houses the Michael Faraday Museum.

Why is construction so backward? James Woudhuysen, Ian Abley, Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning

The Faraday Museum is worth visiting before the book launchIndependent research to challenge convention is what audacity.org is all about, questioning the assumptions and rhetoric of the contemporary attempt to modernise the construction industry. We wanted to underline the importance of taking a questioning stance by launching Why is construction so backward? in London at the Royal Institution - the oldest independent research body in the world.

The public launch of Why is construction so backward? on Tuesday 30 March 2004, is between 6.30pm and 9.00 pm, at the Main Library of the Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS. (see map below showing underground stations) The event is free of charge.

The evening will consist of a wine reception, with brief presentations from the speakers - all of whom have had an involvement in writing the book - and there is an open invitation for a discussion at the end.

Permission to photograph courtesy of the Royal Institution.

The Main Library is to be partially seated for the presentation and discussion, and the refreshments will be served in the adjoining Long Library, where there will also be sponsor presentations and the book will be available. Please feel free to move between both rooms during the course of the evening.

Please register in advance by emailing Ian Abley with your name and address, as this helps us cater for attendance.

The Main Library on the first floor

Permission to photograph courtesy of the Royal Institution.

We are grateful to the Royal Institution for the venue, the main sponsor for the evening Asite for their hospitality, and Whitby Bird Engineers, Symonds Group and the NBS for their support in setting up this event.

Click here to visit Asite

We are pleased to announce that the speakers at the launch are:

Click here for more about Ian Abley and audacity.org Ian Abley

Click here to visit Whitby Bird EngineersIan Abley is a co-author of Why is construction so backward? and currently works as a senior façade architect at Whitby Bird and Partners Façade Engineering. He will briefly introduce the book as part of the ongoing project of the pro-development website www.audacity.org to advance science and technology in the construction industry, and at a time when architectural design often seems like Voodoo.

Click here for more about Richard McWilliams Richard McWilliams

Click here to visit SymondsRichard McWilliams is a senior consultant at Symonds Group, London. His brief is to establish a new line of business in IT consultancy, specialising in the practical application of emerging technologies in the construction industry. Following his contribution to Why is construction so backward?, Richard will introduce Avanti, the recently launched, government-backed programme to help project teams work in an integrated way using a 'Single Project Model' or 'Common Data Environment'. What is Avanti about, and how can you and your projects benefit?

Click here for more about Richard Waterhouse Richard Waterhouse

Click here to visit NBSRichard Waterhouse is managing director of NBS, the publisher of the industry standard National Building Specification. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne with about 100 staff, the NBS is committed to developing innovative software that enables specifiers to improve the quality and production of project documentation. Richard will outline his hopes and fears for the future of technical specification in the British construction industry.

Click here for more about James Woudhuysen James Woudhuysen

Click here to visit De Montfort UniversityJames Woudhuysen, Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, and principal author of Why is construction so backward? will consider the future for construction. He will suggest how the development sector might progress beyond present day risk aversion, reflected in the managerial, naturalistic and therapeutic perspectives of the construction industry.

The Main Library

Permission to photograph courtesy of the Royal Institution.

Ian Abley, a practicing architect and co-author of Why is construction so backward? commented:

Construction in a city like London is logistically awkward while a source of disruption to the travelling public"The book launch presents a wonderful occasion for people interested in architecture, engineering, IT and the wider construction industry - from the DIY enthusiast to the professional - to consider the question that nags all of us on a daily basis: Why is construction so backward?"

"We wanted to launch the book in the Royal Institution, London, founded in 1799, and the oldest independent research body in the world. We are doubly pleased at audacity.org that the guest speakers were keen to discuss the book and their insights on the question that James Woudhuysen so forcefully answers in Why is construction so backward?."

The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

For further details on the launch please contact Ian Abley by telephone on 07947 621 790, or by emailing abley@audacity.org.

For further details on the Royal Institution telephone 0207 409 2992 or visit www.rigb.org. To visit the Michael Faraday Museum in the basement of the Royal Institution please make a reservation direct through the Ri website.

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Location of the Royal Institution

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.

Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey.

Click here to visit AccelrysThere is another reason why we are grateful to the Royal Institution. The Ri at www.molecularuniverse.com and Accelrys at www.accelrys.com were kind enough to grant us use of their molecular model images to provide a theme to this website. The graphic idea came from the film Powers of Ten, produced by Charles and Ray Eames in 1977 with IBM sponsorship.

Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, 1977, and sponsored by IBM, inspired the graphics on this websiteProbably the best known of the Eames Films, Powers of Ten starts at a one metre square image of a picnic. The camera moves 10 times further away every 10 seconds, reaching to the edge of the universe; then the journey is reversed, going 10 times closer each ten seconds, reaching the interior of an atom by travelling through the man's hand, and returning to the human scale of the picnic. The portrayal of the human scale of action and contemplation at the centre of everything in the known universe appealed as a theme for the website. The intention remains to develop the website graphics, and include images of space exploration alongside the molecular models. A wealth of publicly available material from NASA is accessible on the internet to complement the graphics from Ri and Accelrys. For that we need commercial sponsorship for website design.

Sustaining Architecture in the Anti-Machine Age, edited by Ian Abley and James Woudhuysen

This website is maintained by abley@audacity.org and all material is Copyright © 2004 Audacity Limited where not copyright of the originator.