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Why is construction so backward? [Paperback]

James Woudhuysen , Ian Abley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 36.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Feb 2004
Construction is vital both to Gross Domestic Product and to today′s politics. Prime Minister Tony Blair himself chairs a cabinet committee on the Thames Gateway development, to the east of London. Housing has proved a big factor in Chancellor Gordon Brown’s worries about the Euro. But the construction sector is one of the world’s weakest in innovation. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s target of just 4000 homes to be made through prefabrication shows how building remains a 19th century affair, not a 21st century one. Drawing on the latest technologies that have emerged both inside and outside the sector, Why is construction so backward? forms a detailed, practical alternative to the conventional wisdom in building design and urban planning. It is a powerful call for reform, and a sharp polemic against architecture as social engineering and environmentalist dogma. Contains a foreword by Martin Pawley Includes contributions from such high profile figures as Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning Praise for Why is construction so backward? : ‘ Very compelling… a significant piece of research and thought leadership. Essential .’ Colin Bartle–Tubbs, UK Operations Director, Deloitte ‘ Welcome and timely… takes on an industry that has revelled in complacency for too long .’ Bernhard Blauel, Principal, Blauel Architects ‘ The authors are prepared to be daring, reframe the question and posit new paradigms. Reflecting effortlessly across the literature of property, business, market research and construction, the book’s kaleidoscope of ideas, examples and images gives it a refreshing depth of insight and breadth of vision .’ John Worthington, Founder, DEGW ‘ A tour de force of polemical provocation. This timely work forces one to think about construction in the broadest terms. Required reading. ’ Paul Finch, Editorial Director, EMAP Construct ‘ A must–read for architecture students and also important for practitioners, this is a passionate critique of the construction industry and the planning process, and brings new depth to debate about the relationship between architecture and society .’  Penny Lewis, Editor, Prospect ‘ Shock therapy for construction policymakers .’ Austin Williams, Technical Editor, The Architects’ Journal ‘ The introspection of architects, planners and politicians involved in urban, housing and planning issues needs a little turmoil, perhaps. The book is persuasive, at times heavily prescriptive, and certainly argumentative – but it may catalyse a wider and more informed debate on the future of UK housing policy .′ Michael Hulme, Director, International Centre for the Study of Media, Technology and Culture, Henley Management College  ‘ The pleasure of this book is not only that it takes apart, with great gusto, the all–pervasive environmental prejudices of our time, but that it does so with such detailed scrutiny of construction and with such passion to build more and better. ’ Alan Hudson, Director of Studies in Social and Political Science, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education ‘ Important not just for architecture and design, but also for marketing – especially given how the corporate world uses different design elements, such as buildings, to build brands .’ Lisbeth Svengren and Mats Frick, Stockholm University School of Business, Sweden


Product details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (4 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470852895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470852897
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 16.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 709,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

James Woudhuysen is Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester.

A St Paul's School scholar and physics graduate, he has a knack of registering trends before other people, and offering counter-intuitive proposals on what to do about those trends. The only things James does not forecast are the weather, the stock market, the horses and your own personal destiny.


My formation was in the 1960s and early 1970s, before the end of the Vietnam War. Inspired by the Space Race, I wanted to be an astronaut - so I decided to read physics at university. I went to Sussex, where I followed my degree with an MA at the Science Policy Research Unit.

After that I pursued journalism, before going on to coordinate postgraduate studies at what is now London's University of the Arts. For more than 20 years since that time, I've consulted for major corporations and for government.


Product Description

Review

"…this impressive book…[is] exhaustively researched and entertainingly written." (Financial Times, 25 March 2004) “…a welcome and necessary book…” (Architectural Review, July 04)

"…this impressive book…[is] exhaustively researched and entertainingly written." (Financial Times, 25 March 2004) “…an interesting book which ranges across and touches on many key issues…extremely thought–provoking and should be essential reading for all members of the industry…” (Building Engineer, July 04) “…a welcome and necessary book…” (Architectural Review, July 04)    

From the Back Cover

Why are homes so expensive to buy and to maintain? Construction has emerged as a mainstream political issue. Yet the building trade is one of the world’s weakest: it is fragmented, barely globalised and behind other sectors in introducing disruptive innovations to its basic processes. The modest worldwide scale of prefabricated building confirms how construction remains a 19 th –century affair, not a 21 st –century one. Drawing on the latest technologies that have emerged both inside and outside the sector, Why is construction so backward? forms a detailed, practical alternative to the conventional wisdom in building design and urban planning. It is a powerful call for reform, and a sharp attack against architecture as social engineering and environmentalist dogma. ‘Very compelling… a significant piece of research and thought leadership. Essential.’ Colin Bartle–Tubbs, UK Operations Director, Deloitte ‘Welcome and timely… takes on an industry that has revelled in complacency for too long.’ Bernhard Blauel, Principal, Blauel Architects ‘The authors are prepared to be daring, reframe the question and posit new paradigms. Reflecting effortlessly across the literature of property, business, market research and construction, the book’s kaleidoscope of ideas, examples and images gives it a refreshing depth of insight and breadth of vision.’ John Worthington, Founder, DEGW ‘A tour de force of polemical provocation. This timely work forces one to think about construction in the broadest terms. Required reading.’ Paul Finch, Editorial Director, EMAP Construct ‘A must–read for architecture students and also important for practitioners, this is a passionate critique of the construction industry and the planning process, and brings new depth to debate about the relationship between architecture and society.’ Penny Lewis, Editor, Prospect ‘Shock therapy for construction policymakers.’ Austin Williams, Technical Editor, The Architects’ Journal ‘The introspection of architects, planners and politicians involved in urban, housing and planning issues needs a little turmoil, perhaps. The book is persuasive, at times heavily prescriptive, and certainly argumentative – but it may catalyse a wider and more informed debate on the future of UK housing policy.′ Michael Hulme, Director, International Centre for the Study of Media, Technology and Culture, Henley Management College ‘The pleasure of this book is not only that it takes apart, with great gusto, the all–pervasive environmental prejudices of our time, but that it does so with such detailed scrutiny of construction and with such passion to build more and better.’ Alan Hudson, Director of Studies in Social and Political Science, Oxford University Department for Continuing Education ‘Important not just for architecture and design, but also for marketing – especially given how the corporate world uses buildings to build brands.’ Lisbeth Svengren and Mats Frick, Stockholm University School of Business, Sweden

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book. 1 Nov 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A thorough and provocative read into many aspects of the construction industry. The book is more suited to the industry professional and student and may prove daunting to the lay reader perhaps, but proves worth the effort as it opens up new avenues of enquiry.
The book packs a punch from start to finish and does so fairly objectively - from ground workers to government, projects and methods, architects and ideology, not much escapes cricism. Whilst it is easy to criticise, Abley, Woudhuysen and co. do not shy away from offering ideas of their own.
In an era where progressive ideas are frustrated 'Why is construction so backward?' makes an impressive case to question convention and take matters forwards. Recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you must read this 4 Aug 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is an extremely good read. Its a very useful book for would be architects studying to passs their part three examination as it deals with all the attempts to modernise the construction industry in a completely refreshing way. Whilst Ian abley is a practising architect, James Woodhuysen has obviously brought his IT and product development background to bear on the question of the title - Why is construction so backward? This is not another boring book about Latham, Egan and Rogers but a critique of all the talk about management, sustainability and community that professionals love to indulge in.
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