The above are thumbnail sketches of the predominant building-focused professions. There are many other professions of relevance, and hackneyed (and sometimes pertinent) descriptive short cuts to match:
'Economists, the cliché goes, say, "It looks as if it will work in practice, but will it work in theory?"' 'They have an automatic response that the market will work, even though it can create negative externalities, and although economists invented externalities, they tend to think disturbances should take care of themselves as the remedy is worse than the cure.'
'The project manager in essence derives from quantity surveying -you have to ensure the job is closely specified throughout to avoid deviations from the bill of quantity so no cost overruns occur and to ensure you're not held up in terms of critical path management. Time is money, so specifications are everything - just think of the penalties.' 'They are not a creative breed, you can't let good ideas get in the way of a tight time and budget schedule.'
'They're a fire-fighting occupation.' 'They gaze over the abyss so much that they become depressed - they are socialized into where their clients are, they have total empathy with the group they are looking after. The environment is so powerful on them and gets in the way.'
'These people from community development backgrounds also hold stereotypes about other people, such as "the council is the enemy of the state" or "the private sector by definition has it in for you", and they are very process-oriented.' 'It's still very threatening for them when a non-professional comes in with a mission, say linking the arts to a social goal. "Who is this loose cannon?" they think. They're just as much into silos as any other profession.'
'The cultural people, they are marginalized.' 'If you want culture in the mainstream of city development you have to understand other languages. I'd be in a far weaker position had I not been able to speak the language of education, or had not worked with the property division and got into the priorities of engineers or surveyors.' 'If you don't understand where they are coming from, you get nowhere. It's like going to France with no French.' 'We need more people who can translate across professions, and people with a cultural background are good at this.' 'Actually for most professions, you look to a bible, like for planners or engineers. There is no rule book in culture. Culture is about assessing what's important in a place and this is different from place to place. Most rules are there so you follow them - for good reason - but it squeezes out flexibility. Take the cinema complex, for example. It's worth £2 million and we want to spend £4 million to refurbish it. To the cultural sector this is not an issue - as value is also cultural, not only financial. When we talk of culture in this way we're seen as oddballs, and when we break rules to empower people this is a big challenge. But being a maverick has its limits. If you're seen as a nutter, you're not taken seriously, which is why we must mainstream.'
'And then as an overlay on this you have the civil servants, who feel themselves to be good - they are risk-averse, you mustn't rock the boat, accountability is key; they start off as being honest and right and then become distorted. They then [become] so much involved in managing risk, they stop doing the best for life as life is not risk-free.
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