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‘The quality of Scotland’s
built environment is
important, not only to
our own quality of life,
but to the perception of
the country abroad as an
outstanding place to be.’
First Minister Jack McConnell
The most successful countries
place high value on their
buildings and on the spaces
between their buildings.
They recognise that good
buildings and public spaces
enhance the quality of life for
both citizens and visitors. If we
in Scotland are to ‘raise our
game’ as a country we too need
to ensure that we have a built
environment to match the natural
environment that attracts visitors
and provide a high quality
of life.
In 2001, The Scottish Executive
published A Policy on Architecture
for Scotland setting out the
Executive’s commitment to the
promotion of good architecture
and good building design
and its actions to encourage
improvements in the quality of
our buildings. Architecture and
Design Scotland (A+DS) is the
latest development within that
policy and has been established
by Scottish Ministers to be the
champion for good architecture,
design and planning in the
built environment.
On April 1, 2005 A+DS took over
the Design Review role from the
Royal Fine Art Commission for
Scotland. In addition we have new
roles and Ministers are expecting
us to operate in new ways.
This introduction to A+DS sets
out our starting position. We
know that Scotland possesses
many good developments that
provide an international quality of
place. We have good designers
that can compete with the best
of the rest. We have public and
private clients that aspire to the
highest quality. We have planning
committees and staff that regularly
encourage better development.
So we have a good basis upon
which to develop. We at A+DS
know that we will only be able to
help promote better buildings and
spaces by working in partnership
with a wide range of players.
We look forward to working
with you.
A+DS is the new Scottish public body charged with:
Inspiring excellence in the built environment.
Encouraging high quality public buildings and public
Stimulating and supporting a demand for better design
by clients and the public for improved quality.
We are committed to:
Working in partnership to develop effective design policies
with local authorities, government agencies, professional
bodies, NGOs, clients, and, local communities.
Improving design skills in the built environment by working
with universities and professional bodies.
Communicating and disseminating key messages in a
clear and accessible form to a wide audience, including
the media.
Building up evidence on the value of investment in
good design.
Considering new thinking on key drivers of change e.g.
climate change, the sustainable development agenda,
technological advances and demographic changes.
Photo: Brian Sweeny
Our main activities will be:
Design Review
Enabling and Advocacy
Research and Communications
Design Reviews
Our approach to Design Reviews is to:
Offer an expert review of the quality of design for selected
Involve a range of views – see inside back cover for the
members of the Design Review Panel.
Take place as early as possible. Ideally before an
application is made to a planning authority.
The projects to be considered can be of all types and
Projects of strategic significance, making a significant
impact on the local environment, or particularly sensitive
sites or setting new standards for the future will be
considered through meetings with a Design Review Panel.
Other projects will be dealt with by the professional staff of
A+DS, in consultation with members of the Panel.
Detailed advice is given in Scottish Planning Policy
(SPP) 20.
Ministers attach great importance to the Design Review
process and will have regard to the views of A+DS.
The development industry must demonstrate what account
has been taken of the views of A+DS.
In exceptional cases A+DS may refer planning applications
to Ministers who may wish to call them in for determination.
We will give priority during the summer of 2005 to reviewing
the way in which the Design Reviews are undertaken, and
will consult planning authorities on our proposals.
We intend to develop an Enabling and Advocacy
programme which would:
Embed the qualities of good design in the procurement
Give early hands-on advice for a range of organisations.
Help client groups with the development of briefs.
Explore key design issues with stakeholders.
Promote design training and organise workshops to
improve possible skills gaps.
Support events such as conferences and seminars
targeted at key decision makers, local authorities,
developers and clients, as well as community groups.
Assist local authorities who wish to run design training
schemes for planning officials or members of its Planning
This programme will be developed during the coming
year. We will consult widely.
Our Research and Communication activity will include:
Baseline information on attitudes that will enable us to
monitor and evaluate our effectiveness.
Collecting evidence that demonstrates the socioeconomic and environmental value of good architecture
and design.
Developing research programmes with academic
institutions and linking into research being carried out
Focusing on the ‘building futures’ initiative to identify
and address the key drivers that will shape the built
Developing a website including a digital library of best
practice projects, with exemplars in architecture and
Working closely with partners, particularly
The Lighthouse, the Commission for Architecture and
the Built Environment (CABE) in England and the Design
Commission for Wales (DCfW), local authorities, public
agencies, private and voluntary sector bodies.
Reporting annually to the Scottish Parliament
We will publish, in late autumn 2005, our 2005-08
Corporate Plan, setting out the development of all our
Left to right:
Sebastian Tombs, Chief Executive
Raymond Young, Chair
Brian Evans, Deputy Chair
Malcolm Fraser, Deputy Chair
Design Panels are chaired by the
Deputy Chairs and will involve the
following Advisors:
Karen Anderson
Alison Blamire
Margaret Hickish
Disability Design Consultant
The Policy Board involves the
Directors and the Advisors.
Eelco Hooftman
Landscape Architect
The Company Board involves the
Directors and the Chief Executive as
Company Secretary.
Gareth Hoskins
John Irvine
Chartered Surveyor & Developer
Rob Joiner
Housing Association Director
A+DS Staff:
Senga Bate
Helen Brown
Jo-Anne Martin
Terry Mackie
Catherine Newton
Eleanor McAllister
Town Planner & Economist
Angela Williams
Jill Malvenan
Morris Murray
Civil & Structural Engineer
Professor Ric Russell
Paul Stallan
Professor Steven Spier
Academic & Architect
Stephen Tucker
Town Planner
Brian Veitch
Civil & Structural Engineer
Sebastian Tombs
Bakehouse Close
146 Canongate
Edinburgh EH8 8DD
T +44 (0)131 556 6699
F +44 (0)131 556 6633
Design by Skratch | www.skratchdesign.co.uk