• Question: If you had unlimited funding to do whatever you want to do in your own working sector, what would you do?

    Asked by damionpodmore to Andy, Bill, Grant, Kayleigh, Rain on 16 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Rain Irshad

      Rain Irshad answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      Launch the first British spacecraft with its own rover to go play on Mars.

    • Photo: Bill Price

      Bill Price answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      Besides hosting a worldwide version of Construction Rocks (which would be excellent!) I would like to invest in something called dynamic architecture (basically a skyscraper that can rotate, check it out here http://www.dynamicarchitecture.net/) – we were approached to work on the concept but so far no-one has decided to try a build one. I think it would be very impressive…

    • Photo: Bill Price

      Bill Price answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      I would also try to get rapidly growing and undeveloped parts of the world to use the best design methods and systems possible. For example if China were to adopt the best aspects of (most efficient) Eurocodes they would use a lot less concrete and steel in their buildings and structures. In the UK we are quite good at shaving a little bit of carbon off our buildings but it doesnt make that much difference really. If on the other hand China really tried hard the amount of carbon saved would be on a vast scale – and that might help the world in sustainability terms. But this will take investment in training, education, computer software and political influence – all that costs money which is what I seem to be being offered…………………

    • Photo: Andrew Hearn

      Andrew Hearn answered on 18 Mar 2012:

      I’d pour it all towards free / libre and open source software, so that even more people especially students, and developing nations can get more involved. There’s almost nothing like the feeling of belonging and sharing when you’ve contributed some code (small or big) into making something better which you and your friends can use and share about.

      As a small example-scenario: supposing I wanted to use some specialised software, but I can’t afford one of these £1,000 packages, but I also can’t write all of that code on my own, so I and a small group of friends, with the same kind of thinking, agreed to write code for a part of the package that we want to use, and as this package improves, more and more people benefit from it, they in turn want to contribute towards it, and in no time it will become something better than the crazily priced package. Other people who can’t write code usually contribute towards the documentation, writing instructions, which are equally as important as the code itself.

      It would be like a small village with no village hall having all the people doing their own bit and build it for everyone in that village to use – one man would take forever to build that hall, and if he did, he’d want some compensation for his time from the other villagers, but with a community being involved, that hall gets built quickly and it then belongs to everyone. It would be better than a small group of people from a big city building that hall and then charging crazy rent for the villagers to use it.

      A lot of these projects need money to keep the computers running (electricity isn’t free, nor are the buildings that house the servers) so that all contributors can to connect to from all corners of the world, and to raise awareness in others.

      There are already projects that have been so successful:
      Vector Graphics:

      Raster Graphics:
      And one of my favourites, animation:

      You pay nil to use these software. These projects thrive on as many users using their stuff, to that they can get suggestions, bug-reports, documentation writers, and so on.

      These projects all have one thing in common, they need to run server computers somewhere, and some advertising to raise awareness. These are never free!

    • Photo: Grant Cairnie

      Grant Cairnie answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Invest in Alternative power research. There must be better ways out there to power things along.

    • Photo: Kayleigh Messer

      Kayleigh Messer answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      I’d give every one a ticket to an F1 race so they could experience the race live at least once in their lifetime, it’s amazing!

      I would start my own F1 team in York as that’s where I would live if I could.

      I’d also create a company that would come up with the rules and regulations and give them as much money as they need to test out new ideas to make sure that the racing is as good as possible!