“A manifesto for change!”
Book Launch at Oxford Brookes University
It was fantastic to see such a wide range of interest in the audience at the book launch hosted by Oxford Brookes – thank you to all the students, teachers, clients, friends and others who came along!
The launch began with an introductory talk by Piers Taylor (presenter of The House That £100k Built, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, and founder of Invisible Studio). Piers, like Clare, is determined to see a better standard of housing and placemaking in the UK, and wrote the foreword for Clare’s book. The talks by Piers and Clare provoked some interesting discussions among the audience. They debated the nature and popular perception of vernacular architecture and its relationship to place, and considered the role of government, regulation and planning in delivering the housing we desperately need. The topics were far too in-depth for a short Q&A session, but there was plenty of food for thought!
Matt Gaskin, Head of Architecture at Oxford Brookes, summed up the evening by describing the publication of Clare’s book as “timely and brave”, for addressing the issue of healthy, comfortable, affordable housing in the UK. Many other designers choose to shy away from asking the type of difficult questions that she does. Matt reiterated Piers Taylor’s description of Clare’s book: “A manifesto for change” – let’s make it one!
Clare was also hosted by HTA Design, whose housing scheme in Portland features as a case study in her book. The audience of architects and designers were interested in Clare’s research process, and what had attracted her to the case studies she had chosen.
The interest and engagement at Clare’s book talks has been hugely motivating and energising for the CNA team. Improving the quality of housing we deliver is, and will continue to be, a challenge, but it is one we can take on, as individuals and as an industry. As Clare says in her book: