Architects give reasons for Yes

Alasdair Stephen | 22/08/2014 | 1 Comments


Some of our members reveal reasons why they are voting Yes on September the 18th.

Sally Ruel Architect   I support the declaration, and believe that an independent Scotland gives the opportunity to create a more equal and democratic place.
I. Duncan Porteous Architect   As a Scottish Architect, I'd love to see Scotland being being a revived, forward-thinking creative country.
Graeme Ditchburn Architect   This is an historic opportunity and I am pleased to stand alongside others in my profession in support of an independent Scotland. One of the many interesting things to come out of this debate is the shared consensus among many Yes supporters on the kind of values that an independent Scotland might uphold.
Philip McLean Principal   I'm old enough to remember that this was supposed to happen back in 1979. As a final year student at the University of Strathclyde back in 1976 I together with Jim Campbell designed a Scottish Maritime Museum on a dry dock site in Govan while fellow students designed a new Scottish Parliament building on Calton Hill. I then studied for a year in Copenhagen where I saw what a small independent nation could achieve. From Copenhagen I moved to London where I worked for Nicholas Grimshaw and Terry Farrell and American architect Bruce Gilbreth during which time I worked on projects throughout the UK and Europe. I moved back to Glasgow first in 1985 with DEGW and again in 1992 with Aukett Associates before setting up my own practice in Stornoway in 1995. It's my firm belief that architecture will flourish in an independent Scotland - as indeed will all the arts - and that will be to the benefit of all who live here.
Charles Strang Architect   I shall be voting YES on September 18 for a number of reasons relating to the belief that sustainability (not "sustainable economic growth") must be practised meaningfully in the new Scotland. And because I reject the idea that my country should finance, accommodate, and contemplate the use of weapons of mass destruction.
John Devlin Director   For a better, fairer nation.
Fei Low Part II Architect   It is the first time of the 6 years I am in Scotland that I have seen hope, dream and unity in Scottish.
Sandy Anderson Principal   It's time Scotland stood on its own two feet in the world and made its own decisions, its own mistakes, ceased to blame the English for our problems and proved what we already know; that we are a bright, blessed and resourceful country.
Jonathan Mennie Part II Architect.   Inquisitiveness is what defines humanity, and it's only through self-belief rather than acceptance of the status quo that we can expand and improve ourselves.
Colin Baillie Part II Architect.   A representative government comprised of individuals who live and raise their families in Scotland, who we can ensure enact policies which reflect the needs and aspirations, the principles and ideals, and the priorities of the people of Scotland is fundamentally better than a government based in London, an Eton educated millionaire elite making decisions on our behalf. The future is always uncertain but full of opportunity, lets face that future with the power to shape our own society and its place on the world stage, a nation in our own right and an equal partner with our friends and neighbours.
Peter Ruadh Drummond Principal   Change is essential: Independence is the best way of ensuring it happens.
Frank Arneil Walker Emeritus professor    Recovering national dignity and removing the democratic deficit demands a Yes vote.
Garry Freckleton Principal  

The people best equipped to take decisions on issues which concern Scotland are the people of Scotland. Westminster, understandably, does not have Scotland's best interests at the core of its decision making process.

I will vote Yes in the belief that we can achieve a more socially just and equitable society, for the benefit of us all, for the Common Weal.

Dorian Wiszniewski            Architect and Academic   Independence is not a prerequisite to considering architecture confidently and critically from an international as well as local perspective. However, it will provide us an independent national platform from which to speak internationally about local and international issues.
Honor Thomson                 Architect   Because site specifity creates a better place.
Iain Malcolmson             Partner   A yes vote on 18 September 2014 is a vote for democracy. A yes vote allows us to take responsibility for our own actions, to carry the burden of society on our own shoulders. But above all a yes vote is a vote for opportunity. An opportunity to build a new future for ourselves, with our own unique stamp. I would hope a yes vote will give us the confidence to bring out and show to the world how creative, free thinking and innovative a nation we are.
Jill Andrews                       Chartered architect   It is important that we help facilitate the best future for Scotland.
Graham Hogg                   Architectural    Voting yes for Scottish people to make the decisions that matter to Scotland
Michal Scieszka                Part II Architect.     Hope to see Scotland flourish, and I do believe being independent, it would. By far, my favourite place in the world...
Gordon Smith                   Architect   An independent Scotland can lead the way it regenerating its own economy and a self belief, 'brick by brick from the foundations up'.
Ruth Arlenne Mclennan      Architect   I believe in a Yes vote is important for the future of Scotland. Especially in creative industries such as architecture we need to be able to shape the future of our country and be able to make a lasting impact. Of course this can only happen if we are in control of our future, that's why I am voting yes.
Christine Graham              Undergraduate Student   I think a Yes vote is the only way to have control over our own affair on everything from home policies to where we stand in the international community.
Gary Paterson                 Practice owner   I say YES and let's start designing a Scotland we all want to see.
Jordan Byrne                  Architecture student   I want Scotland to be a fairer and independent nation. Architecture can bring about this equality, and change even the poorest of people's lives for the better.
Alasdair Stephen             Partner   Scotland sees itself as a country.  It should have the courage to act like one. Taking the responsibility of independence is the first step to making our society better for the disadvantaged and weak. 
Don MacLean              Managing Director   Signing this declaration as an individual who is convinced in the long term benefits for Scotland's people that independence will bring!
Tom Smith                  Director, Lateral North   Only with a yes vote can we fully utilise Scotland's vast resource opportunities. If managed wisely, Scotland has the potential to become one of the wealthiest nations in the developed world whilst maintaining a social equilibrium among the mass population.
Euan Lochhead          Part II Architect.   I want to play my part in creating a better and more equitable built environment in Scotland. I believe that this will be only possible by shaking up the current systems of procurement and land ownership. I do not see this happening in the confines of devolution.
Douglas Strachan      Principal   I support the redistribution of decision making power to the geographical areas most directly affected by them. This includes the significant increase in powers afforded by independence, as well as further devolution to local communities.
Megan Ward           Architecture Graduate   I believe independence is a way to reinvigorate the people of Scotland, not only in the architectural profession, but culturally & economically. We should strive for a country which is fairer, we need to be ambitious and I believe we can rise to the challenges independence brings. With independence we could secure the education of future architects, without excluding the poorest families. Hopefully a stronger 'Scottish' architecture could flourish, there could be more opportunity and more influence on the arts and architecture in an independantt Scotland.
Sean Edwards            Part II Architect.  


1. a nation with its own government, occupying a particular territory.


1. the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office.

Vote YES to ensure the future of our country is decided by the people who live in it.

Stuart Graham         Senior Architect   Only independence can give Scotland the means to tackle future social, cultural, economic and political challenges in the best interests of the people of Scotland
Alex Hobday            Part II Architect.   An independent Scotland can unlock many opportunities for positive change especially for the built environment which in turn can have a great impact across all areas of society.
Olli Blair                     Architect/ Director   I wholeheartedly agree with this declaration and believe in an independent scotland, where the vote of the individual will count for so much more, architects have an important role to play
Gordon McGregor      Architect  

I am totally tired of the negativity of the No campaign. I feel that they are not being truthful about Scotland's financial position and I am sure that we are better off than is let on.

Architects can change people's lives for the better. We are optimistic by nature and to be part of the rebirth of an old nation would be amazing and exciting beyond belief. I can see a great burst of creativity after independence is achieved. We need to believe in ourselves and vote Yes.

James Munro             Director - The Architect Room Limited   It is now time for Scotland to stand and take full responsibility for her own actions and move towards a fairer and more democratic society.
Gordon Darge           Architect   I'm voting YES for a fairer, more prosperous society with no WMDs but most importantly to gain democracy for Scotland.
Craig Stewart              Architect   I'm a yes voter because I want to live and work in a country which is as democratic as it can be and where I can engage with and vote for a parliament which puts my own country's interests first.
Martin Baillie Part II Architect.  

The people of Scotland should choose our governments in an open and transparent system of democracy. For too long Westminster has led a privatising neo-liberal agenda, an interventionist foreign policy and a commitment to nuclear weapons that the majority of Scots find morally repugnant. Scotland's future in Scotland's hands.

The considerable sums contributed by Scotland towards HS2, Crossrail, the Olympics, London sewerage systems, nuclear weapons and foreign wars could be better invested in infrastructure and affordable housing here in Scotland. It is a matter of priorities, keeping services Public, diversifying the economy and distributing wealth more fairly are choices we can make.

Sally Mackay Associate, Taylor Architecture Practice   Let's bring a demand for high quality publicly funded architecture to the forefront of the Scottish Government's thinking.
Thea McMillan Director Chambers McMillan Architects   A fairer society will also encourage an accessible and inclusive built environment. People should be able to share spaces however they move around.
Ian McMillan Director Chambers McMillan Architects   Being closer to decision and policy making is a real possibility with independence.
Neil Dargie Architect   A more equal society can reinvigorate the profession.
Niall Anderson Part II Architect.   With the plethora of opportunities (political, social, environmental...) which will come in a fairer, democratic, international Scotland, independence can do more to progress the profession and brings huge potential for Scotland to act as a creative beacon for good design.
Andrew Marshall Architect, 3DReid   A Yes vote will allow the profession of architecture in Scotland, to shape a better and fairer built environment
Andrew Black Director Andrew Black Design   Imagine the chance to redefine the role of Architects in Scotland, from scratch!
Stewart Stirling Director, Groves-Raines Architects Ltd   I am a long term supporter of Scottish independence and see it as having the capacity to bring about much needed change in our society and the way it is run. Architecture and the built environment is one aspect of that. We need to grasp this opportunity.
John Purves Architect   I believe that independence provides an opportunity for the profession to redefine itself in areas of community engagement. We can greatly contribute to the promotion and protection of our rich built heritage. We can look forward, with the development of new sustainable technologies, to a better built environment for future generations to enjoy. It is likely that a new nation will have a written constitution that will provide the right for all to have a home. Scotland has much to offer as part of the international community of nations and this includes closer cooperation with other similarly sized states in northern Europe and beyond.
Andy Law Director, Reiach and Hall  

I will vote yes in the interests of democracy. Scotland, as one of the most thinly populated countries in Europe, has a different set of problems and aspirations to England, the most densely populated. 

Britain currently has aspirations to be/remain a world power. It is my belief that all such world powers should be broken into smaller units, which then form collaborative groupings with specific remits such as the EU - possibly the greatest political achievement ever. Independence for Scotland would be a good start.

Daniel Gibson Architecture Graduate  

I am voting yes (amongst countless reasons) 

-to move towards a fairer society, one where the government is concerned with the majority of its population

-so we as a nation can lead the way by setting an example of how to eradicate nuclear weapons- by eradicating them

-to get a grip on the issue of providing mass housing in far more economical, sustainable and frankly, architectural methods 

-to give our admittedly overly expensive parliament building a genuinely significant purpose

-so we can develop our national identity architecturally... funded by exploiting our natural resources, like let's say, Norway, or Switzerland, in providing a higher quality of public buildings. 

-to end the threat of hydraulic fracturing on local communities by foreign oil and gas companies and their representatives in Westminster

-to lead the way in developing green, renewable energy and the massive potential of the industry technologically

-to bring more investment to the north of England, the 'borderland' areas of the island and simply everywhere outside of the bubbling metropolis which is London. 

-to eradicate a governance driven by projecting fear 


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