Saturday, September 7, 2013

The building that fried an egg on the sidewalk

This story, which I've been following on the British BBC News as well, is just too funny, especially for anyone interested in solar power and building design.

But it also will help me develop useful themes in general education classes for years to come, related to the management and institutional problems caused by hubris and ego, as well as technological, geological and ecological ignorance.

A rhetorical question for the B-school theorists among us, especially those very few still tolerant of what I sarcastically term the "Fuhrerprinzip" of hierarchical leadership:

If this hapless architect, and the cost-cutters that contributed to the ruin of his already-flawed design, had collectively crowd-sourced even a little constructive criticism from experts and well-informed lay commentators, wouldn't they have then saved a lot of time, money, and their careers?

They obviously thought consultations would waste time and money. How wrong can you get?

Natural consequences. Because the only employment this poor fellow is good for now, unless he can pull off a successful Reggie Perrin, is the design of concentrating solar power plants!

Actually, on reflection, he might make a good comedian too. His comments (mentioned at the bottom of the Grauniad article) blaming the elevation of the sun in the sky and climate change show that he really knows how to milk a good joke.

Unless, of course, he's serious.

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