How understanding tone of voice can help architects, designers and creative businesses win work and get noticed.

A bookshelf showing some of the writer’s source books, including The Economist Style Guide, Steven Pinker’s ‘The Sense of Style’, ‘The Universal Journalist’ by David Randall and titles on copy-editing and Practical English Usage.

When I go into an architecture practice as a freelance writer, one of the first things I do, after a good nose around the projects, is get a sense of their tone of voice. In some cases, this has been thought about by someone; it’s easy to pick up and…

In Homer’s Odyssey, while Penelope waits for her husband Odysseus to return, she weaves. To keep her suitors at bay, she tells them she’s weaving a funeral shroud for Laertes, her father-in-law, and promises to choose one of them when it’s finished. She weaves by day and unpicks the shroud…

Sometimes Nicola Dale and I make work together — we are friends, and shared a studio as students. These days, she’s a full-time artist and I’m a writer that can’t quite let go of the idea of making things for their own sake. During 2020, we each developed our own…

Sarah Simpkin

Writing about buildings, mostly

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