Poor old architects were hit rather hard by the slump, and many a London circle of friends has thrown a gloomy going-away party as a result. For those with citizenship elsewhere it’s often meant simply packing up a few crates and shipping out – and bypassing the old ‘when do I leave London?’ question altogether. Nothing like a redundancy letter and a dwindling bank account to focus the mind.
As for the ones who have stayed, well things are picking up and there are jobs appearing again and bids being won. And architects are generally an inventive bunch – one enterprising group have set up the East London Design Bureau. I dragged a few mates along a couple of weeks back to buy up their booze and generally show up a bit of support at their opening party, and a great night was had by all – we left just after midnight, but it looked like the party was just beginning as taxi-loads of people arrived at the industrial park in the backwaters of Clapton.
You can rent studio space at very reasonable prices and it’s been fitted out with a bathroom and lots of workbenches – some of the architects live above so it’s quite the buzzing community.
Good luck to them! And speaking of parties in East London, this weekend is Hackney Wicked – so much going on I’m ready for an early night just reading it, but it’s only Monday, after all, I’m sure it will look inviting come the weekend.