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1. Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1997, and posted on

Tony Blair's Ten CommandmentsJohn Prescott's Sustainable Communities spending explainedKen Livingstone and the divisive 'key worker' housing policyDavid Blunkett is issuing immigrant construction workers with Work Permits, which are socially divisive and intrusiveJohn Gummer defends PPG7 and planning restrictions on much wanted housing development in the countryside

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To dare and dare again

audacity is a campaigning company that advocates developing the man-made environment, free from the burden of 'sustainababble' and 'communitwaddle'.

audacity organises authoritative international research, large conferences, a provocative website and a dynamic school of writers, public speakers and photographers. Read us, listen to us, write for us and sponsor us with cash!

James Heartfield and James Woudhuysen are the leading directors of audacity, and regularly broadcast on radio and television. Ian Abley is a practising architect, and manages the projects undertaken.

While James, James and Ian write for for free and in a fully independent spirit, they charge clients full commercial rates for the exercise of that spirit elsewhere!

For a listing of our current projects click on:


audacity continually challenges the worldwide discussion of:

  • Architecture
  • Brands
  • Construction
  • Design
  • Energy
  • Facilities Management
  • Global warming
  • Housing
  • Information Technology
  • John Prescott
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Land use
  • Mechanical and Electrical engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Offices
  • Planning
  • Quangos
  • Risk management
  • Surveying
  • Transport
  • Urban theory and practice
  • Waste management
  • Youth
  • Zoning

audacity challenges the doctrine that, in construction as elsewhere, 'if it gets measured, it gets managed'. As Joseph Stalin proved in the old Soviet Union, it is possible to have Key Performance Indicators for everything, and a dreadful performance in everything too.

audacity challenges advocates of sustainability to justify their pessimistic views, as well as the regulation and litigation these views encourage. Have any of them actually read the 28 Articles and two Annexes of the 11 December 1997 Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate - the Kyoto Protocol? (1)

audacity challenges advocates of community to drop their elitist schemes for social engineering, and instead learn a little about real engineering.

audacity believes that the mass manufacture of homes, in Britain, China and elsewhere, could be the answer to the UK's crisis of affordable housing. Both New Labour and a myriad environmental lobby groups seem more intent on preserving redundant farmland in Britain than in allowing its inhabitants to have decent, spacious accommodation. Yet the mass manufacture of high quality, low price housing for the UK would bring enormous economic benefits:

  • first-time buyers would not find getting on to the property ladder prohibitively expensive
  • poorly-paid private and public sector workers could actually afford to live near where they work

Many prejudices against the manufacture of homes still exist today, half a century after the botches of the 1960s:

  • Architects and others protest that any attempt to mass-produce homes will lead to physical collapse or dreary homogeneity. But the new materials, assembly techniques and IT methods that surround today's ultra-complex cars and planes already allow for robust, easily customised home designs to be made offsite
  • John Prescott and the Campaign to Protect Rural England continue to worry about the danger of concreting over the British countryside. Yet less than 12% of the UK's surface area is urbanised
  • Ken Livingstone and Lord Richard Rogers are so obsessed with the need to confine new homes to brownfield sites, they insist that we should be confined to tiny microflats - with as little as 26 square metres for two people to live in

Unless we want people to live on top of each other for decades, the mass manufacture and rural installation of macro flats and houses is the only alternative to political correctness in housing policy.

Mass manufacture of homes could also mean outstanding design, and ingenious technology.

Historically, 'prefabs' have often been temporary, poorly constructed units with little or no aesthetic appeal. Yet Apple's iPod has shown that mass production need not compromise design quality. As people become more design-conscious, mass manufacture will be the only means of meeting their needs and requirements.

People living in the mass-produced houses of the future can expect:

  • to personalise each individual room to their tastes and preferences
  • quality fixtures, fittings and materials to be used for both exteriors and interiors
  • sleek workmanship, perfect tolerances and services that are simple to operate

In the same way that cars come with the latest in satellite navigation devices and leading-edge sound systems, tomorrow's houses will also be equipped, at the manufacturing stage, with:

  • special wallpaper with light emitting diodes that furnish ultra bright, low energy, high definition TV
  • WIMAX - wireless, high quality broadband - as standard
  • domestic appliances and other equipment fitted to the unobtrusive, space-optimising standards that are found in yachts and planes

With mass manufacture, homes will finally become subject to the same expenditures on Research and Development (R&D) as are enjoyed by today's computers or pharmaceuticals.

audacity believes that it's both possible and necessary for architecture and construction to move into the twenty-first century.

Read us, listen to us, write for us and sponsor us with cash!

Why is construction so backward? James Woudhuysen, Ian Abley, Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning Click here for Homes 2016 by James Woudhuysen and Ian Abley, the first Broadside supplement from BlueprintSustaining Architecture in the Anti-Machine Age, edited by Ian Abley and James Heartfield

How to search this site

At the bottom of the main pages you will find the Google search engine, which will search this site or the Internet.

You will find the search engine at the bottom of main pages

Click here for the Building Audacity began work with a public exhibition and conference in July 2000 to critically explore sustainability in construction. This was a part of the launch event of the Institute of Ideas, dedicated to creating a new arena for critical thinking and the space for a robust exchange of views. The edited transcripts of the themed presentations are available on this website, and we thank the speakers and the attendees for their enthusiasm and insight.

Resourcing the future - Will our children thank us for sustainable development? Resourcing the future - Will our children thank us for sustainable development?

Being inspired - Is everything worth building naturally precedented? Being inspired - Is everything worth building naturally precedented?

Standing up for ourselves - Does environmentalism turn humanism on its head? Standing up for ourselves - Does environmentalism turn humanism on its head?

Click here to read Martin Pawley's presentationClick here to read Brian Edwards' presentationClick here to read Paul Hyett's presentation

Click here to visit AccelrysWe are also grateful to the Royal Institution in London. The Ri through and Accelrys at are 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. For that we need commercial sponsorship.

A wealth of publicly available material from NASA is accessible on the internet to complement the graphics from Ri and Accelrys. We are sure there is much more available. If you would like to help us on a voluntary basis in establishing web-links and improving the graphic content of this site, please contact Ian Abley. We will be pleased to hear from you.

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