Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sydney Sojourn

I have just spent a very enjoyable and busy week in Australia shaking hands attempting to charm the big names in property.

Haron Robson had a successful 25th party at the top of the Museum of Contemporary Art. I got an exceptionally warm welcome, a surprise mention in the speeches and some unforgettable mini Aussie meat pies. I also met some very helpful and friendly people who I hope to see again next time I’m in town.

Amongst meetings with a variety of companies I also got introduced to the Green Building Council of Australia’s star rating system for sustainable buildings and attended the Australian Property Institute (API) award ceremony for Excellence in Property at the Powerhouse Museum. The setting for the latter was impressive, the MC quite funny and the company excellent but the awards themselves were dull as almost every entrant received a prize of some description – for the API at least, everyone’s a winner.

As it was my first working trip to the city I saw a number of new sides to Sydney – So I thought I’d wrap up this entry with my ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ of the week.

Surry Hills - Sydney’s answer to Shoreditch
Australian property market fourth fastest growing in the world – good news
Sydney Theatre Company’s Political Review – very funny
Bloody good coffee – the rumors are true
Bathers Pavilion - fantastic food, friendly staff
Australia’s Asylum Law changes regarding children in detention – excellent news
Aussie-Pomme relations – a very warm welcome

AUD reaches parity with USD – widely celebrated but not by my wallet
Taxi drivers without a sat-nav  - useless
City center wireless Internet access – for love nor money

Until next time …

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Going Down (Under)

I am flying out to Sydney (16-23rd October) to attend Haron Robsons 25th Birthday Celebration at the MCA on Wednesday 20th - a gorgeous location and I’m very much looking forward to the event.

While in Sydney I am hoping to meet with professionals within the construction industry, namely Architects, Building owners, Agents and anyone in an Facilities Management or building consultancy role who may need our services as experts/consultants in the Vertical Transport / Building Maintenance Units.

here’s my personal Linkedin profile:
Laura Boardman Linkedin
+447971 149513

Monday, 11 October 2010

October in the Buff

The Buff Dining Club celebrated it’s 20th year last Thursday at the RAC in central London. Just to clear up any confusion, the ’Buff Club’ is not as the name implies, a naked networking event. As dedicated as I am to my business development role I was quite relieved about that! (The origin of the club was attributed to the British regiment of the same name and is incidentally a breed of chicken)

Matt Battle chaired the event and Paul Morrell gave a speech about the future of the construction industry. Paul spoke engagingly on the subject encouraging us all to become greener, leaner and brighter in the way we work.

The guest list was impressive and I enjoyed conversations with a diverse range of people, although I use the word diverse I should perhaps be more specific, I am referring to job titles and not the demographic. Although for what began as a gentleman’s dining club, set in a gentleman’s members club it was a pleasure to see other female faces in the room and I enjoyed a lively and interesting discussion about women in Architecture with the guests either side of me. This was a conversation I don’t think would have got off the ground at Bangers wine bar where I was earlier that day; courtesy of The Doyle Club, although if you contest this statement please feel free to respond.

Overall Paul’s projection for our future was that it will be challenging and although he softened the blow of the tougher points with well-woven wit I sat with a mouthful of chocolate pudding as waiter re-filled my glass of wine and reflected on his ‘leaner and greener’ statement. Feeling neither, I wondering how willingly the rest of the room would change their business behaviour and tried to recall whether the car I’d seen displayed downstairs in the foyer was a hybrid?
The Buff Dining Club

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC)

Friday, 24 September 2010

The Skyroom Design Week 2010 - Talking, but not to everyone.

Design Week 2010

I joined a small crowd of architects and designers last night, gathered in David Kohn’s Skyroom on Tooley Street to hear Indy Johar talk about ‘Manifesting Change 21C’. Indy was relaxed, engaging and characteristically passionate about the topics of sustainable futures and strategic design. It was fascinating to hear him discuss his view of cultural shifts; economically, technologically, environmentally and as a result corporately and how they in turn have an effect on the way Architects are working. He paints a picture of a future where briefs are more open, clients more enlightened and architects consult anthropologists and use digital context analysis models (I had to google that).

Huddled amongst creative minds in the Skyroom which floats between the semi erect Shard and the blocks of More London it was easy to be sold on Indy’s vision and the buzz in the Skyroom began to take on an almost celestial quality until that is, David Kohn himself asked a question.  Your relationship with clients is adapting and moving forward but ‘what is your relationship with the construction industry?’ Indy was flummoxed, it hadn’t crossed his mind to talk to anyone ‘downstream’. At one stage in the evening someone referred to clients as ‘creatively dead from the neck up’ are those of us in the construction industry tarred with a similar brush? Or are we, as Indy’s lack of consideration suggests much worse from a creative perspective?

Is the purpose of the industry solely executional or are we capable of joining the conversation? If so, how can we prove that we are more progressive than architects perceive us to be?  It was great to watch successful architectural minds engage in a lively debate but if the way we live and work is changing and as a result so too are our living and working spaces, when do you talk to the people in hard hats?

Venue: Rooftop of The Architecture Foundation
Client: Roger Zogolovitch, Lake Estates
Architect: David Kohn Architects
Talk: Manifesting Change 21C: Indy Johar, 00:/

Indy Johar 00:/
Architectural Foundation