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MP slaps down design critics

ENGINEERING DESIGNERS were this week told to stop carping and get behind the Movement for Innovation.

'It saddens me to hear the defensiveness of some in the design community who see the Rethinking construction initiative as a threat,' said Construction Minister Nick Raynsford, who was delivering Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's speech in his absence. 'Everyone is crying out for better design. So why be so scared, so timid, so negative? Why not grasp the opportunity, join in with the team approach, share your expertise, demonstrate what good design can deliver?'

Raynsford was responding to criticism from the design community that initiatives like standardisation of components and modular design being promoted by M4i would stifle creativity.

Leading engineering designer Chris Wise has said that preaching about cost reduction and standardisation was hindering engineers from demonstrating their true skills - producing innovative designs (NCE 6 May).

Raynsford maintained that 'good design is an integral part of Rethinking construction.' He said that evidence from the demonstration projects underlined the importance of design and bringing designers closer to the client.

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