Ove Arup Key Speech

In 1970 Arup’s founder – Ove Arup – made a speech articulating his vision for the firm and principles for its operation. They continue to guide us in our work today.

On 9 July 1970 Ove Arup spoke to a UK meeting of his partners from the practices around the world bearing the Arup name. His talk was in response to their collective desire to work together. It addressed the changes that would take place as the founding partners progressively retired and gave up ownership, handing over control to their successors.

The pre-natal name of 'key speech' for this talk has endured, in recognition of the fact that in it Ove both states the aims of the firm and analyses in his very distinctive way the principles through which they may be achieved.

From time to time we have asked whether what he said in 1970 remains valid despite the fact that inevitably some specifics he refers to in passing, about the firm's organisation and individuals’ roles therein, have changed over the years. On each occasion we have found that it does, and thereby reaffirmed our commitment to these principles.

The speech is required reading for each person who joins Arup, who wants to be reminded of what we are all about, and for those who want to learn about us.