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Business vs. Architecture

March 20, 1988

Leon Whiteson's series on architects has been an interesting look at some of the personalities behind our region's built form.

As a young architect with my own design firm, I found his latest article, "Struggling to Build Careers as Architects" (Feb. 24), both accurate and disturbing.

It is accurate as it describes the growing subculture of recent graduates who live on academic ideals and small commissions. These architects, spewed forth in record numbers by the five architectural schools in Southern California, typically are good designers but have little training in business or communications skills.

It is disturbing because the practices of these architects hurt the public's perception of the profession (as opposed to the art) of architecture. Our highly regulated and litigious society makes it very difficult to design the expensive and complicated objects inhabited by people. The professionals who do this work should be compensated. Articles aggrandizing architectural "monks" who virtually give away their services (through working large hours for small fees) to profit-making clients hurt all of us who are trying to get just compensation for our work.

DAVID WEAVER

Los Angeles

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