- Category: Previous events
- Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 12:11
- Published on Thursday, 11 February 2010 10:29
- Written by Mike Waring
I must start this report with an apology that it has taken nearly 4 months for it to be written. This also means that my memory will not be as good as it might be. All errors and inaccuracies are therefore down to me and do not reflect in any way on the quality of the talk. So, with that being said...
A smallish group of CIIG members met at the offices of Max Fordham LLP to hear Max Fordham give a talk on his life in the construction industry.
Max started his talk by explaining that he had been forced to re-evaluate his work when he was put up for the Prince Philip Designers Prize. This was in the sense that he had always thought of himself as a services engineer rather than a designer. Once he started to think about it, however, it became obvious that services engineers (and certainly those of the quality of Max. Ed.) are in fact designers in the traditional sense.
To quote the Design Council Chief Executive David Kester
'Max Fordham is a true pioneer of sustainable design. He’s been the Intel Inside at the very heart of groundbreaking low and zero carbon projects in the UK and all over the world. Building services are responsible for almost half of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, so it’s timely that the Prince Philip prize - which rewards a lasting design contribution to society - should this year be awarded to an engineer whose legacy to the planet is genuinely environmental and sustainable design. '
After talking about the place of design in engineering, Max talked about his school years and how that encouraged him to ‘get his hands dirty’ helping with the maintenance of the school (yes it was one of those schools) and how this inspired him to become involved in engineering.
He then talked about his time at Weatherfoil’s and at Arup’s talking about the projects he had been involved in and the design strategies behind them.
Finally Max talked about setting out on his own and the formation of his own practice, Max Fordham & Partners, and the philosophy behind it. He then talked about some of the early projects that the practice undertook.
The evening finished with an informal Q & A session with Max fielding questions on anything the audience felt like asking.
I think I can say that all those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the event, Max proving to be a very entertaining speaker.