In a series of blogs, members of the A&DS Board explain what inspires them, their policy priorities and what they wish their secret built environment super power would be. Here Sandy Beattie, a planner and A&DS Board member, gives his reflections of being a part of Architecture and Design Scotland.
What inspires you day to day about being a board member of A&DS? Is there anything that frustrates you?
The people at A&DS inspire me: the variety of backgrounds and experience that collectively make up the A&DS family. I love the range of work and projects that we influence, demonstrating the value of design in everyday decision-making. I think as a small team, we achieve much more than we ought to!
What things/activities has being a board member of A&DS enabled you to get involved with?
Participating on a board – it’s not something I’ve done before and it’s helped broaden my strategic horizons. It was a little challenging stepping back from the operational role I was used to being involved in, but rewarding because of it. I’ve really enjoyed getting involved in national strategic planning and design work, taking part in engagement on architecture and place policies. Being a board member has also encouraged me to develop better networks in the North East and also help gain a good understanding of the national context. Being part of A&DS also generates respect in my day job in local government.
From your perspective, what are the best projects or activities A&DS has done? Why?
I really enjoyed the way in which A&DS was able to bring together so many people from so many different design, planning, built and natural environment backgrounds in the Arbroath Place Challenge in 2015. The way in which the team pulled everyone together and generated so much output in such a short space of time was truly inspiring!
What future work is A&DS involved in that particularly interests you and why is it important?
The delivery of quality places: ensuring housing quality is linked effectively with multiplicity and flexibility of use to generate long-term sustainability. Also ensuring that we are creating truly walkable neighbourhoods linked to the natural environment to encourage active travel and encourage a healthier Scotland.
If you could make built environment policy … what one issue would you tackle first?
Make sure it is design led and responds to locality.
What built environment super power would you like to have?
The Negotiator: ability to influence quality design for people and place (and get it right first time!).