Response to June 20, 2012 New York Times Article: "Skipping the Architect: Wise or Otherwise?"
Using the new software proposed in Mr. Kurutz’s article is no different than going into an automobile showroom and picking out the color of a new car after it has been engineered and tested by industrial designers to meet safety and performance standards. Architects are trained to integrate the more arcane aspects of building, such as code requirements, building envelope technologies, structural and mechanical systems, and cost, with a creative vision that considers context, cultural values, and environmental impact – this is true design. Our best clients talk intelligently about the effect of design on their lifestyles, community, and budget. If SketchUp and Floorplanner enrich the dialog between client and architect, then these programs will serve a useful purpose. But if clients are persuaded to skip an architect’s expertise and ignore the underpinnings of good design that make a building work, mediocrity will prevail.
posted by David Briggs