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George Clarke talks about why he set up MOBIE and how important it is to train and support the next generation of sustainable architects, designers and construction experts

In 2017 I founded MOBIE, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education, with a single revolutionise the way we design and build homes and create communities in Britain – and the way we intend to do this is by inspiring young people to transform an industry that is stuck in the dark ages.

Young people have the most incredible passion and energy and I’m lucky enough to spend time with them in schools, colleges and universities.

But, I hear first-hand how they feel disappointed by a housing market that has left them behind.

They see house prices soaring at the most incredible rate, they see low-quality homes being built on the edges of their towns and cities and they see how much debt they would need to take on in order to be able to buy one of these homes that they don’t actually hold in high regard.

We are quite simply in the middle of the biggest home affordability crisis the country has ever seen and that crisis is hitting many people very hard, particularly the young and the vulnerable.

I’ll dedicate the rest of my days to the cause, because the people who work so hard to buy their homes deserve it and our built environment deserves it too.

George Clarke George Clarke Architect, writer, lecturer and TV presenter

Lobbying Government

For years I’ve wanted to do something about it. I’ve lobbied government and I’ve lobbied some of the big housebuilders, but neither want to change the status quo.

They just carry on building low quality homes on poorly designed estates. It is all about profit and meeting the government’s housebuilding numbers, rather than putting people and communities first.

I realised nothing was going to change in the corridors of parliament and nothing was going to change in the boardrooms of the super powerful housebuilders...but I did realise that over a longer period of time I could create the fundamental changes the home building needs by inspiring the next generation!

Generational change is the only way to do this.

That is when MOBIE was born. An educational charity that would work with schools, colleges and universities to say “enough is enough...we want to design the most ecological, the most sustainable, the most beautiful 21st century homes the country has ever that are of the highest quality, that suit modern living and that sit in life-enhancing communities for many generations to come.”

Accredited courses

MOBIE is nearly 3 years old and the work we are doing has blown me away. We have achieved so much. We now have accredited Further Education and Higher Education courses that we partner with a number of colleges and universities across the country.

We run MOBIE Design Challenges with school children to empower them to design the homes that they want to live in. MOBIE exists to train and support the next generation of sustainable home designers, architects, construction experts, home builders and developers harnessing the very best in modern methods of construction, off-site manufacturing and intelligent technology.

But, it’s not all about new, modern design. MOBIE are also passionate about how we transform our existing housing stock.

Not just the new

We have over 25 million existing homes in Britain. Each year we build less than 1% of this number as new build housing.

So whilst it is right that we transform the design and delivery of new build homes, Britain also has a massive challenge to make the millions of our existing homes comply with the current building regulations, never mind meet the government’s target of being zero-carbon by 2050.

The retrofit challenge of existing buildings is one of the greatest challenges the built environment faces!

Without a MASSIVE change in the entire culture of what is currently a very broken housing system we don’t stand a chance of meeting that ambitious target.

Fixing a broken system

The young people of Britain have the most fantastic opportunity to change the broken housing system, to create a new culture in Britain that understands and values high-quality home design.

Such a significant change could bring health, happiness and genuine well-being to the nation. After years of anger and discontent with a system purely built for profit, we will have a new system, that provides better homes, more beautiful homes that we will be proud of and that we will all love to live in.

Homes that work with nature rather than destroy nature. Homes that use renewable forms of energy to heat and power themselves.  Homes that put people first and not profit.

MOBIE is simply an exciting and inspirational means to help young people make the changes that most of us want to see in housing developments across Britain. 

I’ll dedicate the rest of my days to the cause, because the people who work so hard to buy their homes deserve it and our built environment deserves it too.

To blindly carry on building homes the way we are just isn’t an option anymore.  It’s time for generational change!

To find out more visit the MOBIE website.       

George Clarke is an architect, writer, lecturer and TV presenter, and a founder of TV production company Amazing Productions.