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Maria Smith books the meeting room

Design Team Meeting 

Date: Sometime last week, can’t remember

Present: Every conceivable consultant

Apologies:  None, though countless due

Review of previous meeting minutes and action points: The project manager skirted around admitting that he had not taken any minutes of the last meeting and all confirmed that as all personnel were either on holiday, sick leave, or had been replaced, this meeting would supersede everything anyway.

Architect’s report: The architect tabled a napkin with the remnants of a pasta sauce on it and explained that he had done a drawing on another napkin from the same restaurant but mistakenly kept the wrong one.

It was agreed that telephoning the restaurant to retrieve the correct napkin would be desirable but that the budget would not stretch to the additional specialist consultant required to undertake this work.

The architect attempted to recount the napkin sketch and redraw it onto a piece of tracing paper during the meeting but this unfortunately did not yield any sketch recognisable of the project in question. It soon transpired that the architect had been thinking of another project that had come to him in a dream and that he would rather be working on. All agreed that given the total lack of regard for build-ability considerations that typifies dreams, the new scheme would be progressed with immediately. 

Engineer’s report: The engineer responded cagily to the new scheme, citing the lack of provision of detailed structural models of the dream scheme in his defence. It was proposed that an inexplicably incorrect detailed structural model of the dream scheme be commissioned, analysed, crumpled up, ironed, re-appraised and lost. 

The engineer further agreed to comment on the likelihood of gravity in any way affecting dreams in a dedicated report to be tabled at the next meeting.

Planning consultant’s report: The planning consultant very slowly explained that the planning authority would likely have little recourse to reject the dream scheme as planning policy did not extend jurisdiction to the imagination of architects. It was agreed that a series of very expensive outsourced verified views of the entire city would be required to ratify this advice.

Unnecessary consultant’s report: The chicken breeding professional proposed that chickens be protected from the dream scheme as no studies providing conclusive evidence of the effect of the scheme on chicken procreation had been undertaken.

Another consultant that nobody realised was in the room until that moment repeatedly assured the team that no chickens would be harmed in the construction of the landscaping surrounding the building; however the proximity of a fried chicken outlet to the site would likely impact the programme and gratuitous time contingency should be added.

Architect’s report: The architect tabled a napkin with the remnants of a pasta sauce on it and explained that he had done a drawing on another napkin from the same restaurant but mistakenly kept the wrong one

Suspect community engagement report: The community engagement consultant confirmed that nobody had attended the unadvertised consultation and that 400 mince pies were still in the boot of the hired car if anyone wanted any.

The need to consult aliens who may or may not one day see the scheme through worm-hole telescopes was discussed at length and no conclusions reached.

It was confirmed that additional consultants would be required to translate jargon into another kind of jargon that nobody would ever understand but that may prove relevant if the scheme were to survive the eradication of the earth and come under scrutiny from litigious extra-terrestrials. 

Client’s sister-in-law’s report: The client’s sister in law confirmed that the wedding pictures she took with the client’s brother would be post processed to reflect the new scheme. She further confirmed that she would not be attending any further meetings unless specifically invited on recycled paper. The sustainability report was updated accordingly.

Design manager’s hamster’s vet’s godfather’s report: It was reported that the hamster run in the previous scheme would require substantial redesign. It was agreed that the pasta sauce smear would serve this purpose more adequately than the dream scheme.

Landscape architect’s report: The landscape architect confirmed that no proposed species would be detrimental to the enjoyment of fried chicken. It was requested that the landscape architect review all proposals with a view to creating a new species of carnivorous plant that would sustainably digest fried chicken wrappers.

QS’s report: The QS confirmed that he had lost his calculator.

AOB: The architect requested some information from the client purely as a power move.

Action points: It was agreed by all that any resemblance of a decision reached at this meeting would be summarily forgotten and thoroughly reviewed at the next meeting.

Next meeting: Date to be confirmed following arduous and ultimately futile diary consolidation systems proposal.

Post meeting note: The client’s sister-in-law confirmed that the client had left the country some years ago and as no representative had ever been found, the client would be unable to issue any instructions for the remainder of the project. The project manager advised that this will cause no delay to the programme but that all fees should be reviewed urgently. 


Maria Smith is a director at Studio Weave