Importance of Public Speaking in Architecture
The life of an Architect is centered around giving presentations…loads and loads of presentations. It starts as an architecture student presenting design concepts in the university to the real life design concepts to the individual clients to massive organisations. All of this takes effective communication. If you all the design skill in the world but are a poor communicator of your ideas, it will still not work. Having excellent ideas is great but not being able to communicate them to your audience effectively is bad. I have realized that ideas need not have to be great or super awesome but your delivery has to be. Even a simple idea maybe not even an original one if delivered effectively with confidence can seem like a great idea to the audience. Speech has power and magic in it!
When I was in architecture school, I had batch mates that were really excellent with design but terrible at presentations. They literally shivered when they went on to present to the class or to the jurors. Their designs were amazing but they lack proper delivery. Shivering on stage is the worst thing that could happen to you when you are presenting on stage. This is only because of lack of confidence and practice.
Look at Steve Jobs speak. This is the kind of confidence you need in order to succeed. He is an extraordinarily amazing speaker!
For all of you wanting to become an Architect, it should be borne in mind that Architects have to be essentially very good speakers. Being able to communicate to the audiences of different types and sizes is always a challenge. Everytime I have discussions with my clients, it feels like I am presenting. It is a one to one presentation. Presentations are an important and indispensable part of an Architect’s life.
Role of Planning Theorists from a Planning Practitioner’s viewpoint
Planning theory has always been criticised by a number of practitioners. They are of the opinion that planning theory does not make sense. It does not link planning practice. Sandercock and Forsysth, 1992 argue that there is a huge gap between planning theory and planning practice. However, there are some other planners who believe that planning theory plays a significant role in planning practice and cannot be ignored. Friedmann, 2003 argued that planning practice cannot exist without planning theory. Planning theory acts as a base for the planning practitioners to present solutions to the practical problems in planning.
The planning system would not work without theories. Theories act as a base for the planning practioners.
A lot of confusion revolves around the relationship between planning theory and planning practice. I decided to interview one of the planning practitioner. I had an opportunity to interview one of the councillors named Paula Goncalves at Brighton & Hove City Council. Her point of view was in favour of planning theorists.
Here is what she explained:
Theorists try to make sense of what happens in planning (how policies are devised, how decisions are made, how particular interests influence policy making and implementation, the role planners, politicians, developers, communities and others involved in the planning process interact and so) .
There are various ways in which theorists do this.
Some seek to identify patterns and to describe/explain in a structured manner how planning works to produce in order to improve how things are done.
Others use seek theory to communicate a more radical vision of places should be like, their utopia, let’s say.
What is clear is that planning theory changes over time and even at any particular time it is likely that there will be a number of different, at times, competing visions of what planning should do.
The article discusses some of the problems faced by coastal towns. The elements of tourism and resort activities have to be considered for the upheaval of local economies. This has been the development pattern since the 18th century forming a part of industrial revolution. Understanding the past is necessary to place the current situation in place. English seaside resorts have always heavily depended on the domestic markets. The coastal towns have tried to preserve their distinctiveness and authenticity with regards to Architectural and cultural heritage.
Lack of innovation and loss of media credibility took place in the last generations. What kinds of coastal or seaside town are at issue, how the resort element in their economies fits into past trajectories, present circumstances and failure options, to what extent the problems we identify in the early 21st century are new; what options are available; and what kinds of intervention might be helpful across a broad spectrum?
General issues in coastal towns
- Poor communication between different sectors
- Lack of knowledge regarding different organizational cultures
- Technical standards need to be discussed
- A shared realization among stakeholders to ensure impending problems do not occur
Planning System and its complexities
The UK planning system is constantly evolving. It lays a huge emphasis on flexibility which enables the planning system to meet diverse requirements and keep up with the pace of changing nature of problems. Regulating the development and use of land in the public interest has been a major objective of the British planning system. This is where land use planning comes into play. It is a process through which the land uses are determined. Politics, conflict and dispute are at the centre of land use planning. Planning is an important tool that can be used to solve these conflicts.
Cullingworth and Nadin, 2006 define planning as the process by which government resolves disputes about land uses. The increased importance of public participation in the planning processes is to effectively reduce the scope for future conflict.
My argument is that if it is possible to have a planning system which would predict future changes that may have an impact on the system.
Policy making is significant. The clearer it is, the lesser scope it gives for arguing and easier is its application and implementation. Policies keep evolving. Sometimes there are cases where there is no relevant policy to analyse the case against it. This is where policy makers come into picture.
The major difference of the plans in the UK and many other countries is that plans in the UK are not part of the law but made under the law whereas in other countries plans to be issued or enacted as law gives them considerable importance. This feature makes the UK system more complicated than the others. Hence, more room for disputes and the number of courts in the UK have risen.
Internet giant Google is acquiring smart home and connected devices company Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest Labs is best known for designing modern connected thermostats and smoke detector systems. Nest Learning Thermostat launched in 2011 is an automated HVAC controller which learns your habits and helps you save energy. Nest Protect is an internet-connected smoke and carbon monoxide detector which can me remotely monitored.
Google is ready to enter the young and fragmented active sustainable systems, home automation and green tech industry, and leverage its global platform reach to take it by the storm. Google had hinted about its plans for its own home connected platform Android @Home.
The agreement is currently pending government regulatory approval, which wouldn’t really be a hurdle for Google at this point.
Google recently bought Nest, a smoke alarm and thermostat combined. I wonder if this will happen… pic.twitter.com/uGDDBsJW8C
— Give me Internet (@GiveMeInternet) January 22, 2014
Distribution of Land uses in a town/city
Zoning is done at different levels. Macro level and micro level. Macro level zoning includes the representation of all the natural bodies such as sea, rivers, lakes, mountains, hills, valleys, large open areas and potential sites for building new towns and cities. Micro zoning includes the zoning of individual towns or cities. It consists of six distinct parts.
1. Town centre
This is the place where major commercial activity takes place. It indicates the central area containing commercial and administrative blocks, theatres, principal library, museum etc.
2. Residential area
It is evenly distributed across the town depending upon its suitability. This part is mainly used for providing residential accommodation to the inhabitants of the town. But it also contains small shops, primary schools, gardens and small service industries.
3. Commercial area
We have retail and wholesale commercial spaces across the town. Commercial area is the heart of any town or city. Without commerce, the town/city would not survive. Hence, it is very important to have commercial areas spread evenly across the town.