UK Architects and Developers Give Speed Dating A Try


So here’s maybe one of the weirdest stories we’ve read in a while, unintentional as the humor is. It’s the Times story, “Speed Dating for Architects and Developers,” which is not in any way a jokey title. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has teamed up with the Royal Institute of British Architects in putting together speed dating-esque nights, where architects and developers swivel around a room, spending limited blocks of time together, hopefully forging a relationship and deciding to built together. Here’s a bit of the weirdness:

“Nobody takes on board the monumental housing requirements we have to work with,” said [Gareth Wilkins]. “The problem we all have is planning. Do you know how many committees you would have to approach in order to get a building done on a brownfield site in east London?” I confessed I didn’t. “About 20. It’s no wonder we have a housing crisis.” [Charles Calverley] looked vaguely sympathetic, but overall seemed more interested in a bowl of jellybeans than in Wilkins and Hock’s overtures. But that’s the speed-dating scene for you. “The thing is, we have to keep an eye on the commercial aspect,” he murmured.

This appeared to be the fundamental flaw in any putative romance between the two professions. No sooner did architects start waxing lyrical about levels and aesthetics than developers started shifting nervously in their chairs.