Talk:Tom Barker (designer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography (Rated Stub-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
 
Note icon
This article has been automatically rated by a bot or other tool because one or more other projects use this class. Please ensure the assessment is correct before removing the |auto= parameter.
WikiProject Industrial design (Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Industrial design, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Industrial design on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Wikify etc[edit]

I made a couple edits to get the wikification going. I see a couple of obvious things to work on next:

Wikify the references and include links to online versions of the articles if available.

Remove the non-notable portions (see WP:N and WP:NPOV). --Ronz 04:18, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I took a stab at the references, and came up empty. I found the one now listed while looking for "Great Myths of our Time", Building Magazine, 2004-06-1. --Ronz 21:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
The following are the references I couldn't find:
CNN Global Business. "Innovation with Professor Tom Barker", CNN, 2005-08-31. (A news broadcast perhaps?)
Tom Barker, "Great Myths of our Time", Building Magazine, 2004-06-1. (Is there a Building Magazine other than the one I found? [1] I thought it too much a coincidence that there is an article by Barker in the 2004-06-11 issue.)
New Design. "Tom Barker", CNN, 2004-07-04. (Another broadcast?)
Building Magazine. "Where did we unlearn to innovate", 2004-04-08. (Doesn't appear to exist unless there's a different Building Magazine, or the date is far off.)
Design Products & Applications. "Why not risk good design?", 2004-07-26. (I couldn't find any archives for this journal nor a citation of the article.) --Ronz 21:39, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Jonathan Bell, "New communicators", Blueprint Magazine, June 2002, p76 (No searchable archives available?)
Sara Hart, "21st Century Alchemist", The Architectural review, April 2000 (I cannot find Hart's name listed as an author in the Jan-Jun 2000 index [2]) --Ronz 21:50, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Time to trim back the article to a stub if no other sources are forthcoming.--Ronz 17:05, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Notability[edit]

The notability tag has been removed, but before any evidence of notability has been provided. This entry seems to me to be a personal resume, or self-advertisement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.128.107.124 (talk) 08:57, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

The article is really quite a mess, largely (I found, while seeking references) because paragraphs were copied from Barker's page at the RCA, where he is not only the youngest professor ever appointed: he is the head of its Industrial Design Engineering department. I'm going to take this article under my wing and see what I can do to improve it. It may take a few days. — Athaenara 03:50, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

You're doing a great job so far! --Ronz 04:04, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! — Athaenara 04:10, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Comments about my edits[edit]

I had some comments on my page about my edits. As both b consultants ltd and SmartSlab Ltd were already referenced here and the additional information is factual and can readily be referenced at Companies House, I fail to understand the difficulty.

Londoner1961 22:43, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

BLP concerns[edit]

Moved here for discussion. There are WP:BLP concerns with such information appearing in the article before the source is verified. Additionally, Londoner1961 has declared a WP:COI in the matter, which requires even more caution:

b consultants subsequently went bust, the investors in the company losing all their money. Tom Barker, although a majority shareholder, did not invest any money in the company. SmartSlab Ltd has also so far failed to pay any dividend to investors. Tom Barker, although a majority shareholder, did not invest any money in the company and, while he was sole director, investors had their interests diluted by 90%. At the time of the dilution, Tom Barker purchased a 50% stake in the company for £0.001 a share, shareholders having shortly before paid £2.00 for equivalent shares. Source: Companies House records.

--Ronz 22:53, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Can you identify this "Companies House records" source in full? --Ronz 00:14, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Please refer to http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/ for the public accounts of both b consultants ltd and SmartSlab Limited.
Londoner1961 01:07, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
No Search Results for 'smartslab'
No Search Results for 'tom barker'
Search Results for 'b consultants' - neither link mentions "b consultants."
Athaenara 02:01, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
You need to use the WebCheck service at that link.
See http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/toolsToHelp/findCompanyInfo.shtml
Name & Registered Office:
B-CONSULTANTS LIMITED
BRENTMEAD HOUSE
BRITANNIA ROAD
LONDON
N12 9RU
Company No. 01393552
Status: Liquidation
Date of Incorporation: 11/10/1978
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Company Type: Private Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
7420 - Architectural, technical consult
Name & Registered Office:
SMARTSLAB LIMITED
SUITE 1
54 BROADWICK STREET
LONDON
W1F 7AH
Company No. 03889277
Status: Active
Date of Incorporation: 06/12/1999
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Company Type: Private Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC(03)):
7420 - Architectural, technical consult
Londoner1961 11:48, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, WebCHeck allows direct links: Company details (WebCHeck links timeout, so posting them here is useless as far as I can tell.) All I can find using WebCHeck is a "Company details" page which provides very little information, certainly not enough to verify most of the information above. I didnt find anything else. --Ronz 16:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
The information can be verified by downloading the annual accounts for the companies which have been filed, as required by law, with Companies House. The accounts of all English companies are available for public inspection.
Londoner1961 21:11, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I could use some help finding where these account can be downloaded.
It might be worthwhile to discuss WP:WEIGHT at this point as well. Given the nature of this material, it needs to be well-referenced to pass BLP (which we're working on). Further, WEIGHT/NPOV requires independent sources for us to determine if and how this information should be presented. Basically, we need sources that help us determine how important this information is in the context of an encyclopedia article about Tom Barker. --Ronz 21:43, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
You simply use Companies House WebCheck to find the relevant company, then click on the "order more information" link on that page.
Londoner1961 10:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
So we have primary sources only? We have the facts, but no source to determine WEIGHT. If we can't come up with an independent source, then I don't think the material should be include in the article per WEIGHT and BLP. --Ronz 16:41, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
There is a reliable, published, online source in the accounts and other public filings of these companies. There can be no serious dispute about information recorded and made available to the public by Companies House, which is a reputable agency of the UK government. Factual information about these companies derived from the Companies House records is not in dispute, and therefore cannot be regarded as a minority point of view. Regarding weight, the article currently has a tendency towards the effusive. For example, it mentions the MasterPlanning Tool and Curvatex without noting that both ideas were failures. It introduces b consultants ltd without noting that it is now in liquidation and that the investors in the company lost all their money. It introduces SmartSlab and again fails to note that investors have so far seen no return on their investment and have been subject to a severe dilution of their interest. These facts are all easily verifiable and not in dispute. Tom Barker was CEO and controller of both companies and has operated them for many years, so it is appropriate that an accurate, even if brief, account of their colourful corporate history should form a part of this biographical page.
Londoner1961 11:15, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I think you have some good points here, but my personal preference is to follow BLP and NPOV very strictly in these situations. I'm hoping someone else will also comment, but we could also get some help through WP:BLPN. --Ronz 03:47, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
WP:BLP/N is a a good idea, and WP:RS/N might also help. — Athaenara 06:42, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Many thanks, I would be grateful for any further guidance on that point.

Can you also assist me with another question? This Wiki page was created by Tom Barker, largely from the referenced RCA staff profile, which appears to have been self-written and which is misleading or inaccurate in various respects. Of the other references on this page, one is from a lecture by TB, and a further five are quotes from interviews with him. Do these references and this material meet Wiki standards? There is currently very little on this page which seems to me to be referenced to a high standard. Indeed, hardly any of the text in the third and fourth paragraphs is referenced at all!

I don't want to sound too picky, but I find it a bit strange that verifiable data from published accounts is being questioned as to appropriateness when the bulk of this article is currently either unreferenced or based on self-published information and it reads a bit like a PR piece.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Londoner1961 09:16, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I started with BLPN: Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Tom_Barker. Let's see what comes of this before trying RSN. --Ronz 15:45, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

BLP/N response[edit]

The problem that I see regarding the paragraph quoted above isn't so much a direct violation of WP:BLP as it is a violation of WP:NOR. Companies House information, while verifiable and reliable, is still a primary source, similar to items filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Using the information from Companies House to state, however indirectly, that Tom Barker is responsible in any way for the failure of these companies is original research in violation of WP:NOR, as the source being cited doesn't say anything about Mr. Barker's role in the companies' failure or lack of ROI. Before anyone says "but that paragraph doesn't actually say he's responsible", I'll point out that the way it's written and the way the facts are laid out, a reasonable person would assume that's what is meant by that paragraph.

I'd strongly suggest finding a reliable secondary source that actually makes the connection between Mr. Barker and the failure of the two companies before restoring the paragraph above to the article. Until then, if you want to mention the current status of the companies, I'd suggest doing it in a much more neutral way that doesn't draw a connection to Mr. Barker -- but then, why have it in the article at all? Perhaps it's best to leave that information to the articles on the respective companies (if such articles exist) until a source is found. --Darkwind (talk) 21:10, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair points. We seem at least to be agreed on the "undisputed facts" issue, for which I am grateful. Am I correct in understanding you to be saying that a factual point such as an item from an SEC filing may be quoted on Wiki provided that no interpretation is drawn or inference suggested? For example, could it be mentioned that neither of the companies has paid a dividend and that one is now in liquidation? Or that there has been a corporate revaluation and shareholder dilution? If so, I will see if I can attempt another edit free from any interpretative bias, although as TB is CEO and controller of the companies, and the original author both of this Wiki page and that on SmartSlab (writing as Oskar9), and therefore also the first to mention them, it will be hard to avoid drawing any connection between him and his companies. I have added a comment to the discussion page of SmartSlab entry on Wiki, and would be interested in comments on that. There is no Wiki entry for b consultants ltd. It seems unlikely to me that any reliable, published secondary source for the corporate affairs of either SmartSlab Ltd or b consultants ltd exists or will emerge, as both are small unlisted companies of little interest to any except the promoter and shareholders.
As I noted on my own page, I do have a COI here, in that I have specific knowledge and a financial interest, which I am happy to verify, but, and I will put this point as neutrally as I can, it would be disappointing to see Wiki being used (and I put this in entirely general terms only) as a vehicle for corporate and personal promotion, especially where there might be an issue relating to the honesty of such promotion.
Londoner1961 22:40, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Essentially, yes, to the first question you ask. I would consider Companies House and the SEC to be reliable sources, but you have to be careful (in any article, not just BLP's) to avoid synthesizing conclusions not specifically stated in your sources, or laying out your prose to create the appearance of synthesis. Yes, you could mention the facts you specify (the status of the companies, etc.), if they're relevant to the article. I'm personally not entirely sure that they are—the article is about Tom Barker, not the two companies involved; but I won't pre-judge prose you haven't written yet. That being said, if he is responsible for the status of those companies, then you can easily state that in the article, once you have a published reliable source that's already made and stated that connection. I agree that it might be difficult to find such a source, but you never know what you'll find. If the companies were publicly traded, you might try locating some analyst's reports.
There is indeed a fine line to dance regarding neutrality, verifiability, and a good encyclopedia article—welcome to Wikipedia, where you'll dance that line often. :) --Darkwind (talk) 03:33, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, that was helpful, and I may propose a further edit in due course. To my amusement, I noticed that Tom Barker had also added himself to the list of notable RCA alumni on the Wiki RCA entry, despite not featuring on the college's own current list of such notables. No shrinking violet he!
Londoner1961 06:44, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Unreferenced paragraphs[edit]

As Londoner1961 pointed out, most of two long paragraphs can be cited only from Barker's own pages.

Paragraph 3: several international experimental projects, Go global initiative, postgraduate students, RCA, Tsinghua University, TCDC, design and production projects in Uganda, Future of Food in Japan, Tsukuba University, UNESCO, fairtrade accredited designs, design fellowship with Garrick Jones.

  • (Found citation only for design fellowship with Garrick Jones. Removed the rest.)

Paragraph 4: 12 story eco tower, Peabody Trust, modular building systems, Hanssem, Korea, composite panels for oil industry, structures for theatre projects, project engineer for London Eye capsules & boarding systems, photovoltaic solar products for BP Solar, new technologies on Millennium Dome zones, folding refugee shelters, Bluetooth wireless headset for Emkay, V/SpaceLAB, Masterplanning Tool digital city planning system, Curvatex.

  • (Found citations for Millennium Dome zones, V/SpaceLab and Curvatex. Removed the rest.)

Note: as the London Eye info is not cited, there isn't an encyclopedic reason to have the image in this article. I suppose we could leave it with a {{fact}} tag, but as the item has been uncited for so many months I simply removed it. — Athaenara 22:25, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Sense of value[edit]

This article seems to have been originated by Tom Barker himself, and its difficult to see why Ronz and Athaenara are so keen to police it. It contains inflated or pointless claims for the value of Barker's work. It's not terribly important if he is 'the youngest professor'. Citations are stll needed for other claims. Why reference the book (not curreently available)? The award of £60,000 for a project is not a big deal - many UK acaemics regularly bring in projects bigger than that. The whole thing reads as little more than a selfadvertisement. Despite his inflated sense of self-worth, Barker is not really 'notable'. For comparison see the modest and truthful article on Barker's truly notable boss at the RCA - Christopher Frayling. Bristolian42 (talk) 14:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Please provide better rationale for your removing sourced information from the article. We've worked hard here to make sure the article meets WP:BIO and WP:NPOV. If you cannot provide better rationale, the sourced material should be restored.
We're keen on policing it because the article attracts editing by people out to defame Barker. See WP:BLP. --Ronz (talk) 17:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not so much a matter of defamation as keeping things in proportion. There is no point in including transitory and unimportant details such as a current research grant award. What's the significance of 'youngest professor'? Somebody has to be! It is clear that this entry originated as a bit of narcissistic self-promotion. It still has un-cited claims, and several that are cited to sources that seem little more than press releases (probably from you-know-who. Come on Ronz, you don't seem to be applying your usual standards here! Bristolian46 (talk) 18:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I've been trying to limit my involvement here. You may want to direct your questions to Athaenara, who researched and [re-]wrote most of the article. --Ronz (talk) 19:08, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Both Bristolian42 and Bristolian46 have been removing referenced content. Are they the same user? Please note that such removal, if persistent, may lead to a user block. — Athaenara 06:51, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
But, Athaenara, you keep replacing things that have been removed with good reason. I removed the sentence about the research fellow award because it's just a news item of a very modest event, that does not belong in a biographical record. It is not a notable event - it's a modest award for a small project, and does not mark the eminence or notability of the subject. Most UK academics regularly get research grants like this - and much larger. The sentence was originally inserted by the subject himself (of course).
So I suggest that in the interests of improving this article to Wikipedia standards that we start to weed out such trivia and self-promotion. Please remove the sentence about the fellowship award.
Athaenara, you have worked assiduously to improve this article, but it is still far short of Wikipedia standards. Please give your attention to the citations:
[3] gives no relevant information for the cited item – it’s just a poster for a lecture.
[4] is presumably meant to be a link to content on the subject’s own web page but gives a ‘Not Found’ return
[5] gives general references to the Venice Biennale, but does not document the photograph
[11] gives a very tenuous link that does not document the referenced V/SpaceLAB
[12] does not give access to the documentation
[13] does not give any documentation of the award
[14] is just content from a press release
The footnote ‘Tom Barker, “Reach and Grasp”’ is a link to a brief magazine article written by the subject himself – hardly evidence of notability
The footnote ‘Jonathan Bell “New Communicators”' is just a link to the Wiki very general entry on the magazine Blueprint. Bristolian46 (talk) 15:14, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
You haven't answered the question. Are you Londoner1961 as well? Wikipedia:Username policy#Using multiple accounts applies. — Athaenara 22:33, 22 December & 01:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't really see the relevance of the question. Yes, I am both the 42 and 46 Bristolian (I forgot my password for the 42!). I am not Londoner 1961. Are you in any way related to Tom Barker? 86.128.172.186 (talk) 11:08, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The "relevance of the question" is specified in the policy section which I linked in my post.
A comparison of 00:46, 19 December 2006 (UTC) and 22:05, 19 December 2007 (UTC) versions sheds some light on how much the article has been changed by edits (such as Ronz's and mine) in conformity with the neutral point of view policy. Before my first view of the article four months ago (August 2007) I knew nothing about Barker. I am in no way related to him or to his work. — Athaenara 03:24 & 03:40, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Neither am I, I only came across the article by chance at about the same time you did, and thought it ridiculous. I agree you've done a good job, and thanks for the recent edits. I have also contributed and continue to edit articles on (genuinely notable) British designers, using my real name. We disagree about the 'notability' of this person (I don't think there would be this article here at all if the subject had not started it by uploading his own cv). I can assure you that the Royal Commission award (news item uploaded by the subject himself) is not a notable achievement. It is not an honour or recognition of achievement; it simply means that Barker and Jones applied for and received a grant (£60,000) to employ someone (a research fellow) on a specific research project for two years. It doesn't belong in a genuine biographical note, and merely continues to display the subject's inflated sense of self-value. Please remove it.
Bristolian46 (talk) 09:19, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
"It doesn't belong in a genuine biographical note, and merely continues to display the subject's inflated sense of self-value. Please remove it." Please read WP:BLP and WP:TALK. Thanks. --Ronz (talk) 18:11, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Ronz, I'm not sure what you're trying to communicate here. What I am trying to do is follow guidelines such as: BLP - "Wikipedia also contains biographies of people who, while notable enough for an entry, are not generally well known. In such cases, editors should exercise restraint and include only material relevant to their notability." and TALK - " The talk page is particularly useful to talk about edits. If one of your edits has been reverted, and you change it back again, it is good practice to leave an explanation on the talk page and a note in the edit summary that you have done so. The talk page is also the place to ask about another editor's changes. If someone queries one of your edits, make sure you reply with a full, helpful rationale. . . . It is always a good idea to explain your views; it is less helpful for you to voice an opinion on something and not explain why. Keep discussions on the topic of how to improve the associated article. . . .if you feel something is wrong, but aren't sure how to fix it, then by all means feel free to draw attention to this." Athaenara is threatening to block me if I remove the sentence, which I don't think belongs as 'material relevant to their notability'. Bristolian46 (talk) 16:24, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Please focus on discussing how to improve the article, rather than using this page as a venue to defame Barker. Thanks. --Ronz (talk) 17:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, I take the point: we're not supposed to surmise why someone would upload their own cv and continue to make minor additions to the edited article. However, I still think my comments on the relevance of the Royal Commission award are valid: it's not relvant to notability, it's not a recognition of achievement, nor an honour - it's a transitory news item about a fairly normal event in academic life. I propose that it be removed, in the interests of improving the article. Bristolian46 (talk) 14:04, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
And, incidentally, Athaenara, the 'research fellowship' link within the sentence proposed for deletion is to the entry for 'The 1851 Research Fellowship', which is (misleadingly) rather different to the Research Fellowship in Design. Bristolian46 (talk) 14:18, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
What precisely is "misleading"? — Athaenara 15:15, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
First of all, I hope you agree that it is simply an incorrect link - it is a link to a different Fellowship than the one being referred to in the sentence. It is misleading precisely because it is for another category of Fellowship, with different aims and criteria. The 1851 Fellowship "is intended to give a few PhD level scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity for conducting research for a further period of two years", whereas the Fellowship in Design is "Similar in framework to the Fellowship in the Built Environment, awarded every other year, this fellowship is offered in intervening years and is aimed to support high level research into the future needs of design. The [2006] award. . . is to explore the Future of Design in Business." The difference is that the 1851 Fellowship is an award to outstanding, young individuals (mostly scientists) to continue their personal research; the Fellowship in Design is to a selected project proposal within a specified context ('The Future of Design in Business' in this case). In this respect, the latter is just like other academic research awards made to specific project proposals (often, as in this case, to joint applicants). Bristolian46 (talk) 12:07, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, by the way, the quotes above come from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, including its Newsletter to Alumni. Bristolian46 (talk) 12:28, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
The commission lists and links all such fellowships on a single Research Fellowships page. — Athaenara 14:34, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know, but that's not a relevant response. It doesn't mean that all the fellowships are similar in aims and criteria. Can you not accept that? And, as I pointed out, the 'research fellow' link that you provided in the sentence goes to a Wikipedia link on the 1851 Fellowship only. This is inaccurate, and potentially misleading to a reader. I have provided reasoned argument and evidence in my posts here (well, in the latter ones, anyway), but you still seem to resist any change. It really is time to delete the whole sentence. Bristolian46 (talk) 17:11, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, Athaenara! That's just going from bad to worse! Instead of just un-doing the incorrect link from 'research fellow' to '1851 Research Fellowship', you've altered the article on 1851 Research Fellowship to try to justify making the link. I'm sorry you're still confused about this, but I have tried to explain. To reiterate, a 'Research Fellowship in Design' is not just the same as an '1851 Research Fellowship', and references to either are not interchangeable. The latter is "intended to give a few young scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation for a period of two years. Approximately eight awards are made each year. Fellowships will begin on 1 October in the year of award and Fellows are required to devote their whole time to their research project for the duration of the Fellowship." (Royal Commission regulations document.) A Research Fellowship in Design, like a Research Fellowship in the Built Environment, is "A single Fellowship awarded every other year for two years' research in a specified study area." If you look up Barker in the Alumni database, you will see that he is listed as having received an award for a 'Design Fellowship', whereas others are listed as awarded a 'Research Fellowship' (or whatever is the personal case). So please don't continue to confuse the two. I will edit the sentence in the article, to try to make it precisely factual. Then perhaps we can return to the substantive issue, which is whether the sentence should be there at all (a proposition to which you have not responded). Bristolian46 (talk) 15:29, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Trying to reach agreement[edit]

Athaenara, we should try to reach agreement, don't you think? In the interests of improving the article? I removed the sentence about contributing to Building magazine; your response was just to revert it, but putting it in the past tense. My point - as I put in my comment - is that the occasional journalism by Barker is not only well in the past, but also irrelevant to his notability, and therefore does not belong in the article. His notability is as a designer/inventor of new applications of materials, etc. for display and architectural purposes, and perhaps (yet to be proven) as an academic. The journalism was very occasional comment pieces. The sentence about it only ended up being in the article because one piece was a self-reference inserted by Barker. You generalised it into 'occasional contributor to'. Now you defend your editing simply be reverting that of others. The journalism is not part of the case for notability. Bristolian46 (talk) 10:32, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Just revisting this after a few months away. For the record, I am not Bristolian46, and have no connection with him, but share his deep scepticism about the extent to which Tom Barker is genuinely notable as opposed to being a self-publicist. Bristolian is correct in noting that this page was originated by Barker himself. Possibly that is acceptable on Wiki, but it still comes across as an advertisement. I will also note that Barker's business history has been very "colourful". The concerns about "attempts to defame" Barker may be correct in the Wiki context but it is somewhat irksome (content removed per WP:BLP --Ronz (talk) 18:23, 13 February 2008 (UTC))


Londoner1961 (talk) 16:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

As the linked citations do not evidence the "youngest professor" claim I have deleted that part of the entry.

Londoner1961 (talk) 08:57, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Youngest Professor?[edit]

I have had doubts for some time about the "youngest professor ever appointed by the RCA" claim in this Wiki article. Of the current references for this claim, the official press release issued on Barker's appointment is silent on the point (in itself this absence seems a bit suspicious for such a notable event). The basis for the claim appears to rest on 1) a newspaper interview with Barker, where the reporter appears to be repeating Barker's claim; and 2) Barker's profile on the RCA staff link pages, which I suspect Barker wrote himself. I have now found two obituaries of Professor Richard Guyatt, who worked at the RCA for many years. These were published in The Guardian and in The Independent in late 2007, and they both state that Guyatt was hired as the RCA's youngest professor in 1948. As Guyatt was born in 1914, he would have been 34 on his appointment. As Barker was 38 on his appointment, his claim to be the youngest ever appointee would seem to be disproved. The Guyatt obituaries can be found here Professor Richard Guyatt (Independent) and here Professor Richard Guyatt (Guardian) Londoner1961 (talk) 14:37, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

As Richard Guyatt appears to have been a genuinely significant British designer, as well as having been Professor and later Rector of the Royal College of Art, where he worked for 34 years, I have added a new Wiki entry for him. --Londoner1961 (talk) 16:33, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
See WP:OR --Ronz (talk) 19:03, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
After going over the Richard Guyatt references, I think it is best removed. --Ronz (talk) 19:15, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. If I may say so, this pruning and the many others implemented over the article's history, could be indicative of a certain carelessness over veracity of its original author. (Go ahead, delete this comment, Ronz. ;)) --Londoner1961 (talk) 21:10, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Broken Links[edit]

I see that several of the links cited on this page are broken. --Londoner1961 (talk) 16:39, 29 September 2008 (UTC)