I have been trying to hone my blog skills away from writing Full Blown Articles - believe me I am the first person to glaze over if text creeps anywhere near the fold. So I chose my longest post ‘Vote Here; The Lines Are Free’...and tried to edit it down to size.
I did I did! with the best of intentions...rewrite...rewrite...and rewrite some more, but had to decide this is an article and I had probably covered too many bases so my longest post on...now exactly what was it on? stays intact only for those with Text Stamina. So without rehashing I did actually notice something else that touches very simply on the subject;
Nuclear Power Stations and Right Said Fred.
Yup that’s right.
Couldn't embed this : P so this link will have to suffice.
While stifling a yawn through another episode of Newsnight a couple of evenings past (no its not Newsnight per se – it’s just their eagerness to get p.o.l.i.t.i.c.i.a.n.s. on who never answer the questions and quite frankly deserve Jeremy Paxman). They got to some of the more interesting stuff and showed an article about Finland’s over budget and over-ran....er....disaster? of a Nuclear Power Station. Apparently the work has been constantly interrupted by ‘improvised’ workmanship ie; just plain dodgy - bit of a no-no one would think for a Nuclear Power Station. The improvisations were little things like drilling holes through the concrete container? I’m not a scientist but it sure doesn’t sound like it’s ripe for ‘Builder of the Year Awards’. The problem seems to have arisen because of lack of standards by the contractors, basically employing workers who are not skilled enough. Hey! well that’s Contractors for you!, keeping costs down to compete for a tender, hence the lack of skilledness. Not the fault of the employed but the employers I would argue.
So Finland’s foray into Nuclear Power has nearly ended in a toytown version of the real thing – shame with all that money being spent and everything. So I pondered was this about needing more rules? more regulation? well someone has to call the shots. But no, I think it is just that, about being skilled. Fit for purpose employees delivering a fit for purpose project.
Skilled and improvised do not go together in this case, absolutely not. Nor in other projects that demand a precision of execution. But when having a project ‘contracted out‘ in the design field improvised creativity is part of the call along with skills and the two walk a fine line – think Anthony Caro, Arup and Fosters Millennium Bridge - the wobbly version or Gormley’s Angel or more poignantly Thomas Heatherwick’s B of the Bang Starburst thing (poor sod) that gave Manchester Council a panic attack cos it was too scary and too spikey. Creativity improvisation and skill go hand in hand. Creativity and skill go hand in hand. Skill and improvisation, same. But creativity and improvisation on any level without skill is dodgy ground. Walk on it, buy it, even dictate how you want the finished work to be, but don’t expect it to stand up.