In a recent Los Angeles Times article, "Overbuilt to the Hilt" (Dec. 28), Michael Flagg paints a gloomy picture of the building industry's response to the downturn in the Orange County office market.
While the article does state that diversification makes sense, I'd like to reiterate that the decision to diversify resulted from the lessons learned from the recession of the early 1980s. It is not a hasty decision resulting from the recent office market downturn.
I find it difficult to understand Flagg's term of "taking up the slack," as architects are commissioned to design public buildings and these projects are "smaller and less glamorous." Public works projects are important projects and provide architects and society with challenging design opportunities.
Orange County architects make significant contributions to public buildings and will continue to embrace their responsibility to produce socially conscious architecture whether or not the "spec" office market goes begging.
President, LPA Inc.
and President, Orange County chapter of the American Institute of Architects