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Why is construction so backward Paperback – March 5, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0470852897 ISBN-10: 0470852895 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"…this impressive book…[is] exhaustively researched and entertainingly written." (Financial Times, 25 March 2004)

“…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. Yetthe building trade is one of the world’s weakest: it isfragmented, barely globalised and behind other sectors inintroducing disruptive innovations to its basic processes. Themodest worldwide scale of prefabricated building confirms howconstruction remains a 19th-century affair, not a21st-century one.

Drawing on the latest technologies that have emerged both insideand outside the sector, Why is construction so backward?forms a detailed, practical alternative to the conventional wisdomin building design and urban planning. It is a powerful call forreform, and a sharp attack against architecture as socialengineering and environmentalist dogma.

‘Very compelling… a significant piece of researchand thought leadership. Essential.’

Colin Bartle-Tubbs, UK Operations Director, Deloitte

‘Welcome and timely… takes on an industry that hasrevelled in complacency for too long.’

Bernhard Blauel, Principal, Blauel Architects

‘The authors are prepared to be daring, reframe thequestion and posit new paradigms. Reflecting effortlessly acrossthe literature of property, business, market research andconstruction, the book’s kaleidoscope of ideas, examples andimages gives it a refreshing depth of insight and breadth ofvision.’

John Worthington, Founder, DEGW

‘A tour de force of polemical provocation. Thistimely work forces one to think about construction in the broadestterms. Required reading.’

Paul Finch, Editorial Director, EMAP Construct

‘A must-read for architecture students and also importantfor practitioners, this is a passionate critique of theconstruction industry and the planning process, and brings newdepth to debate about the relationship between architecture andsociety.’

Penny Lewis, Editor, Prospect

‘Shock therapy for construction policymakers.’

Austin Williams, Technical Editor, The Architects’Journal

‘The introspection of architects, planners and politiciansinvolved in urban, housing and planning issues needs a littleturmoil, perhaps. The book is persuasive, at times heavilyprescriptive, and certainly argumentative – but it maycatalyse a wider and more informed debate on the future of UKhousing policy.'

Michael Hulme, Director, International Centre for the Studyof Media, Technology and Culture, Henley Management College

‘The pleasure of this book is not only that it takesapart, with great gusto, the all-pervasive environmental prejudicesof our time, but that it does so with such detailed scrutiny ofconstruction and with such passion to build more andbetter.’

Alan Hudson, Director of Studies in Social and PoliticalScience, Oxford University Department for ContinuingEducation

‘Important not just for architecture and design, but alsofor marketing – especially given how the corporate world usesbuildings to build brands.’

Lisbeth Svengren and Mats Frick, Stockholm University Schoolof Business, Sweden


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.

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