• 230416 WAF 34 – Send that email back……!
    Some 20 years or so back news cameras caught the moment a scaffold collapsed in Knightsbridge, central London. Not an uncommon occurrence, but one not commonly ‘caught’ on T.V., so, as no-one had been injured, what could have been a tragedy made for some very entertaining viewing on the evening news. It had all started […]
  • 230222 WAF Feb 2023:  A Pox Across Our Nation
    It seems that an awful pox has enveloped large parts of the housing stock of our nation. Across the entire land, be it large city or small town, older Victorian stock, or the newer housing estates of the early and middle 20th century, that pox is everywhere to be seen. Indeed, barely a street has […]
  • Infra-Structure and Safety Nets: Our Duty to Provide Resilient Security
    Paul Hyett challenges design leaders across the globe — regardless of their political context — to meet the real needs of our planet and its peoples. The Scene Luton airport, just after midnight, awaiting a family of Ukrainian refugees, my friend stooped to chat to a thin, hooded person slumped in a corner. The Man “Mick,” just […]
  • 221109 – WAF November 2022: ‘Sold a Pup…’
    I gave a talk at an international conference last month entitled ‘We’ve Been Sold a Pup’…. It caused an extraordinary stir and, to my surprise, split the room into two apparently irreconcilable factions, more of which later herein….    The term ‘Sold a Pup’ alludes to a swindle. It comes to us from English Medieval times and […]
  • Honey, We’ve Shrunk the World
    Paul Hyett reflects on IT’s distortion of time, interval and distance. Can design benefit from its impact? The Old Rules: Where and What?  Since time immemorial, technology has had a huge impact on  the where and the what of architecture and building. From the  earliest days of urban settlement, beyond any Stone Age decision to bunch […]
  • Paul Hyett on Architecture Education, Fire Safety and Grenfell
    The following article was published in Dezeen, the online architectural magazine, on 14 June 2022 the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Craftsmanship and QA
    Standing at our local bus stop the other day, I pondered the miserable structure that purported to offer shelter from the heavy rain blowing in on the prevailing wind. Worse still, its gutter-less roof pitched south-west towards the road so the water sheeted down and puddled around our feet. With its uncomfortable sloping bench seat […]
  • Safely back home
    Published in World Architecture Festival Q3 2021 If you have yet to make your first post-Covid visit to another country, let me forewarn you: from start to finish you will be challenged. There’s no doubt of course that we had become accustomed to easy inter-country and inter-city movement, but what I have just been through […]
  • Colour on our streets
    Published in World Architecture Festival Q4 2021 It’s astonishing that colours seem to have all but vanished from our roads. I mean proper colours like reds, greens and yellows, or those lovely deep maroons and blues once favoured for larger sedans. Everywhere you look nowadays, be it on the motorways or in the side streets, […]
  • Responsibility
    Published in Design Intelligence magazine, Q2 2022 ‘You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today’. Never were those words of Abraham Lincoln more prescient than now…. For the architect the terms professional and authority are synonymous with responsibility. The former establishes the obligation, the latter facilitates its dispatch. In its narrowest sense […]
  • Professional Interaction: a Higher Calling
    Re-examining the tenets of interpersonalresponsibility Written by Paul Hyett and published in Design Intelligence magazine, Q2 2021 “I did not like the tone of your letter — pleasedon’t ever write to me again.” So wrote avant-garde architect Cedric Price to Pat Enright, then a director of Murphy, the builder responsible for constructing the new InterAction […]
  • The view from here: ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’.
    Published in Design Intelligence magazine Q1 2021 Paul Hyett reflects on three challenges facing RIBA’s new president and Britain’s architectural profession: Brexit, The Grenfell Disaster’s Insurance Impacts, and COVID-19. Simon Allford, the recently elected 60th president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, faces greater challenges in terms of scale, breadth, and complexity, than any […]
  • Pace and Place, Planet and Purpose: Reinvention Required
    First published in Design Intelligence 23 Dec 2020, by Paul Hyett THE WORLD WE LEFT BEHIND If Christopher Wren had walked into my father’s new office, he would have felt very much at home. Albeit a small practice, like architects’ offices of all sizes across the country and around the world, the basic tools of […]
  • All Change?
    Originally published in Panstadia magazine, Q4, 2017 I get mighty irritated by fans who struggle to get out and take a pee during soccer games. Unlike American venues UK soccer stadiums were not designed for this: we have narrower tread depths and the assumption is that spectators will sit tight during play and not disrupt […]
  • China and B2B2C
    Originally published in Panstadia magazine, Q2, 2017 In Beijing in early June to give a presentation entitled “Smarter Buildings, Better Profits” I came across the term “B2B2C”.  A little research revealed that B2B2C is one of over 1 million acronyms held on the ‘Acronym Finders’ website. Those which comprise both letters and numbers often become […]
  • FREI OTTO – Impact and Inspiration
    Originally published in Panstadia magazine, Q3, 2015 Frei Otto died in March 2015 at the age of 89. What is incredible, when considering his place amongst the truly great names in architecture and engineering, is not so much the contribution that he made in terms of creating a whole new language and form for buildings, but […]
  • Expressing ‘Collective Identity’
    Originally published in Panstadia magazine, Q1, 2015 Paul Hyett of Vickery Hyett explains the importance of designing host stadia that are conducive not only to the global sporting event but more importantly to their local community; reflecting their environs. Music, Food, Language, Poetry, Literature, Song, Dance, Clothes and Furniture: these are just some of the […]
  • Proscription, Prescription, Liberty and Freedom
    Originally published by World Architecture Festival, May 2020 Here, in an increasingly beleaguered Britain, many analogies have been made between Covid-19 and World War II:  ……the biggest threat to our freedom since fascism; the virus personified as a hidden, ruthless and cruel enemy random in its attacks; the impact on our economy, manufacturing output, distribution […]
  • Responding To Emergencies
    Originally published by World Architecture Festival, April 2020 It is an extraordinary coincidence that two of the past buildings of Paul Hyett Architects – both featured as building studies in the Architects’ Journal – should have been indirectly involved in the tragic events surrounding the Grenfell fire. The Fire Research Testing Station, completed in 1995, […]
  • The Worst Ever Land Deal and Design Intelligence
    Originally published by World Architecture Festival, October 2019 Ever heard of Run? You should have, especially if you are either in Real Estate or American. And if you are in American Real Estate and you don’t know about ‘Run’ then shame on you…… The account of Run was just one of many fascinating stories that […]
  • Redefining Crowds, Space, Time – and Buildings?
    Originally published by the Design Intelligence Institute, 2020 Paul Hyett shares musings on life, togetherness and technology in the United Kingdom. We are indeed living through incredible times. Aside from the seismic socio-political and economic changes that were already rocking the stability of our western boat, we are now in the midst of an unprecedented […]