20 x 2: 26/11/15

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The annual light-hearted and high-speed exposition of all things healthcare was hosted by NBBJ London on 26th November 2015. A regular and popular feature of the Architects for Health programme, the headline refers to invitations to up to 20 members to present a topic of their choice for no more than 2 minutes. There is no prescribed format and content can be any topic with at least a passing nod to healthcare design and environments.

Attracting a sizeable audience which, thanks to NBBJs gracious hospitality, was keen to provide ad hoc interjections of support or otherwise, the evening heard a wide range of differing two-minute monologues with accompanying ubiquitous PowerPoints.

Topics ranged from latest hoist design, development of repeatable rooms, data hungry hospital and thoughts on latest social media and communications; through to the project specific – a children’s hospital and ENT for a London Trust.

The rigour of the two minute limit always brings out a range of differing performance styles – this year’s presenters were all well prepared but two minutes flashes by – to be signalled by chairman for the day, Bob Wills, supremo of the gentle sounding of a bell (improvised to biro on wine glass) and accompanied by a crescendo of audience interjections.

At the conclusion of the presentations, the audience submitted their votes for best two-minutes-worth and after further generous refreshments, Bob announced the winners.

In third place – Kim Bevan of Steffian Bradley Architects who expounded some thoughts from her Part 2 thesis on dementia and its national importance.

In second place – a double act from Stuart McArthur and Martin Allinson of Laing O’Rourke, entitled “Stuart and Martin Save the NHS”, a Batman and Robin-style novel take on reorganising NHS finances.

The Winner – Gonzalo Vargas of NBBJ – “The Journey”. A remarkable and slick exposition of the process of a project, the project team, the highs and lows – using a sequence of ‘adapted’ film promotion posters, names and titles adapted with great skill both graphically and as points which resonate in the unique, often frustrating but mostly rewarding world of NHS projects.

Architects for Health are most grateful to NBBJ London for providing facilities and refreshments and all who went along had a good time.

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