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Discounting & limiting scope

edited August 2008 in architecture
This links in with a lot of the recent threads on this forum, so here's one more. The naked architect , a small South African archiblog, talks about the perils of fee discounting.  The guy (or gal) was dismayed to find a flyer in his letterbox, presumably from an architect, touting "house plans at reduced prices". His main two beefs were that it is an insult to equate an architects' services with, "someone who draws up plans", and that they would dare to pubically undercut other architects. He  notes, 
"These reductionists are perhaps more hazardous than we think. They have websites with comparisons of normal architectural fees juxtaposed with their reduced fees. The fees are so low that one cannot even buy a roll of paper for a plotter with this sum."
This is something I haven't seen yet in Australia, except for some building designers' website discussed on this web forum in a foul thread from 2004 that has been closed as was causing me grief: butterpaper forum June 2004 . Oh dear I just read it again, have to relax for a moment with a cup of tea...
...
The difference between drawing up plans, and what an architect does, seems to be very difficult for many punters to understand or tolerate. The thread about the Essential Baby forum is a case in point. The Difference is difficult for us to sell as it is intangible and varies with the project. Magazine and awards coverage usually doesn't help as it focusses on high end work that can make the "difference" look like a fashionable exatravagance.
Rather than define how an architect is different from a building designer, which other posts in this forum discuss, I thought I'd look at methods various architects are using to reduce their core services and core fees to get work, keep work, and stay in business :

Removing profit. Deliberately make a loss, buy the job for the turnover, profiles, and contacts it may give you. Big firms are notorious for doing this on houses. New practices do this by restricting their diets to potatoes.
Removing CD and CA. Reducing scope to the front end "valued added" part of the service - ie sketch design only.
Removing customisation. Selling ready-made plans (refer recent blog post).
Strictly limiting scope. Avoiding scope drift and lowering initial fee by charging extra for many things previously included in the service. (e.g. visits to client, phonecalls, measure ups, kitchens, joinery...)
Keeping quiet when the cost of work increases. Not charging adjustments to previous % fees when project estimates rise.
Removing work from CD. The requirements of Contract documentation grow but the fees don't follow. Some push the detailed end of documentation into Contract admin, which can be charged on an hourly basis. Some just don't do the details.
Removing planning from DD. Almost goes without saying these days, but it still sits there under Developed Design in the RAIA Client Architect agreement. This is usually now an extra service outside the core fee due to increased complexity and uncertainty.
Outsourcing CD. Renowned architectural practices often outsource the doumentation stage to specialised drafties on a fixed fee.
Outsourcing olden day core services. Insisting on external consultants for simple structural designs or cost estimates or land surveys.
Doing less design. Rather than doing what you think is required, stop when the fee clock stops ticking.
Design and construct. The architect's fee is swallowed into the building cost.
Refusing subconsultants. Making the client employ them all directly, lowering risks and responsibilities.
Charging disbursements with a multiplier. Rather than charging everything at cost, a multiplier of 10 to 15% can often be justified due to the handling and financial costs to an office.
etc

 
 

Comments

  • edited August 2008
     "The Difference is difficult for us to sell as it is intangible and varies with the project. Magazine and awards coverage usually doesn't help as it focusses on high end work that can make the "difference" look like a fashionable exatravagance."
    Peter, with all due respect, I disagree. I bang on about it but to my eye, as a trained artist and carpenter retraining to be an architect, I can see and feel that there is a world of differance between an architecture and an drafting service and so I cannot understand how you can assert that the differance is difficult to sell.
    It's variability is evident only in so far as the training and sensitivity of the architect has variation. It's tangibility is evident only in so far as the training and sensitivity of the client and the lay public.  When I said that architecture is an art, and I was immediately dismissed by those architects insistent that it isn't, I meant it completely. It takes art to appreciate the effects of the weather and to design accordingly. it takes art to feel the undulation of topography and design accordingly. It takes art to appreciate the foibles and idiosyncracies of materials and to design accordingly. It takes art to negotiate human relationships and to design accordingly.
    If a client has no interest in these things and only wants  to slob about in a block of blob plomped on a flock of block, why give up on educating him that he could have it a whole lot better if he paid a little bit more. It's not as if he wouldn't want it better, he just doesn't know that there is an art to the job that's worth paying for. I can understand that wanting to stay in business is an imperitive, but cutting services until you have just about sold out completely the whole reason you went into the business, is to my mind an invitation to virtual suicide.
    Sure there are b...'s like that fellow above who has sold out his ideals because of the pressure to cater for people with no interest in the art of architecture, but if various architects are indeed using the methods you outlined above to keep work then they are capitulating to an artless state of mind. If one doesn't resist this homogenisation of culture then that's it I suppose for them, they are on the slope. But I refuse. I detest this dillution of purpose.
    I accuse architects who consent to a productivity commission that stipulates architecture to be an unprotectable ideal, to be traitors who deserve the fate they get of joining the ranks of the artless pumpers of tarted up Mc Mansions. If you're an architect that doesn't know really why you are an architect then don't lay down now, the world desperately needs climate sensitive designers like never before. Get up and learn the differance and why you chose to be an architect and get into a position to know why you are demanding a decent return for your services.
    Don't just discount. Don't just give in. Tell it like it is and proudly charge a just price. For God's sake, read that list of sorrowful and painful derelictions of duty that Peter posted and work out why it is wrong to do less than you are able. Then you may be in a position to explain why it is a dereliction for a client to want less than is able to be achieved. Why should we as idealist and architects of the future, derail that future by accomadating into our core beings the total derelictions of the client.
    The client is not God, for god's sake, and it is one of our most important jobs as an architect to remind them of it. It was my job as an artist and a carpenter to be humble before the capacity of God to tear down and destroy in an instant all and any of my pretensions. If as an architect I don't make that frame of mind clear to a client and so clarify for them my abilities to design a house for them that is the quintessence of ease and comfort and sustainability, then I have forgone the first and biggest differance between me and a drafter of artless blobs on the landscape.  I refuse to join ranks with an arrogant public who thinks that the climate and the Earth and the future of our children can all go to hell because he wants a giant airconditioner on his outdoor patio home cinema. Well he's a selfish b..'d and he can go to hell in his handbasket. I will certainly not discount and dilute my integrity in the hope that I'll get work from such people.
    There is a differance and it is humility and it is worth learning about what it means in design terms and for a client it is worth paying for to the point of being almost priceless.
     
  • edited August 2008
    ...................hmmmmmmmm. I could list half a dozen of our staff who live in recently built project homes (McMansions) ...........and have very intense discussions about Plasma screen TVs.
    Australia is a very unsophisticated market. The use of Architects in some countries is legislated................I learnt that from Grand Designs Abroad. ;-)
    It is really worth reading the comments below this article
    www.bdonline.co.uk via tinyURL.com
  • edited 2:41AM
    Mark, for some reason your hyperlinks aren't working.  I have to cut and paste them, but thanks any way, it was a disheartening read and pertinent that Mcleod should, as i believe he sincerely is, attempt to raise the bar for architects and then attempt to undercut them on his own work. Mongrel!
  • edited 2:41AM
    ( Mark I editted your URL - there is something about those BD online ones causing them to break. If anyone is trying to link to a page with a long address full of ampersands and such, it is a better bet to do it via a service like tinyurl.com who'll change it into a nice small address. )
  • edited 2:41AM
    I don't debate that there is an important difference between architecture and building design, though I think slapping the word "art" on the difference is problemmatic. But that is for another thread.
    I have no intention on giving up on selling the difference. Just because it's a difficult sell doesn't mean that I don't try selling architectural services to dubious prospective clients looking for a 'box of blob'. It has happened three times this year. I could have saved myself some grief and thought to myself on the first phone call, "I don't think these people will appreciate what an architect can give them, so they don't deserve my services". But as 98% of the housing market is like this, I think it's probably healthier for the profession in the long run to try to get the job anyway. Go meet them, listen, inform, address misconceptions, be flexible - engage.
    This sometimes involves rethinking how I sell myself, and what my services should consist of for particlular clients. This doesn't mean 'diluting' the service so that the architecture falls out of it.
    I disagree that my little list is a, "list of sorrowful and painful derelictions". Well okay some of them are! But the others are just ways architects are already repackaging their fees and scopes to address today's market and the new complexities of the job. The architecture is still very much present, but the days of the one-size-fits-all, all-inclusive Client Architect Agreement are gone, as the new institute agreement will show when it is published soon.
    Then there's the rise of the artlessly pumped Mc Mansion you refer to.
    In the early 90s in NZ I did a lot of work directly for builders - resulting in a number of reasonably priced well-designed houses that occupied their sites intelligently, next to their equally new and ungainly neighbours. This seems harder to achieve now. I might be imagining things, but I suspect stratospheric land prices have made clients a lot more conservative and conscious of resale and 'features' they can list in a real estate ad. But that is not all...
    I had an illuminating discussion with a well-respected architect recently who has been working with a project home builder. I refered to some cookie cutter plans with scorn, and was told that they weren't as unthoughtful as they looked. They are developed based on careful market research that project home builders hold close to their chests. This is social research into how families live in the 21st century, and how the planning of a house can support this. The architect has learned a lot. These are boxes of blob, but they are more intelligent boxes than we give them credit for. Should we be learning from the Mc Mansion as we deride it?
  • edited August 2008
     Outsourcing olden day core services. Insisting on external consultants for simple structural designs or cost estimates or land surveys.
    Yes some of the list is a sorrowful and painful dereliction like not doing details or 'customising' and I think it is lamentable that 'market pressures' demand that of us. But the above quoted, I can see is, as you say, a market reality that should be accomadated as far as practicable by a modern market practitioner. Also included with structural designs, cost estimates and land surveys, if only for associated litigation avoidance, should be all section 28 specifications,  anything a building surveyor can handle, all hydraulic engineeering, all landscape architecture, as much enviromental science as can be handled.....etc, etc.
    Specialisation is the go and it seems the market demands that many licensed applications of documentational proffessionalism that really there is nowhere else to go but to dozens of outside consultants who would formerly have gradually specialised out of architecture in any case, if it hadn't been already streamed out of the multitude of architecture courses available.
    The thing is maintianing contact and control as the initial designer over the various permutations of building design proffessional one has to deal with.
    interestingly, the following quoted from the list could also be included and not so painfully relinquised IF your large enough or going that way, to employ directly that CAD monkey mentioned in
    Outsourcing CD. Renowned architectural practices often outsource the doumentation stage to specialised drafties on a fixed fee. 
    They being the following which could with little stretching be accomadated into the top bracketed 'dissolution of services'
    Removing work from CD. The requirements of Contract documentation grow but the fees don't follow. Some push the detailed end of documentation into Contract admin, which can be charged on an hourly basis. Some just don't do the details.
    and
    Strictly limiting scope. Avoiding scope drift and lowering initial fee by charging extra for many things previously included in the service. (e.g. visits to client, phonecalls, measure ups, kitchens, joinery...)
    Realitically this list of specialisations seems to demand that as all round designers we should ourselves specialise in design and perhaps get a little less 'all rounded' as it were. There is scope to do that without relinquishing total control to what is turning into a Gordian Knot of legislation and regulation. I am thinking of the notion that you try and get as many of the consultant to sign off on what you want rather than the other way round and that you cleary state to your clients that this is the new world of architectural business whether they like it or not.  You after all cannot discount what a consultant and his licence has determined must be paid.
    Actually I can't see how passing any of those foremerly 'architectural jobs' (didn't contract management hive off to a whole new dept at Universities about 15 years ago?) to a half dozen expensive consultants saves the client any money at all unless as the designer we forgo fees altogether and walk around in a hair shirt.  No, no, no, no, no. We have to say to the client, while handing them a large and correctly tabulated invoice detailing our own work, that these dozens of outside consultants have actually sped the process up and saved the client money in future court costs and allowed us heaps more time to exercise our prodigeous design flair on thier precious projects. It's more expensive than it used to be, but so is petrol and like petrol, it's a whole lot more refined as well.
    I apologise for sounding pessimistic but now I acknowlege that it isn't all a doom and gloom list. It is actually a golden opportunity to clarify what it is that architects actually do over and above deciding the structural limitations of bolted connections. There is ample room for applying 'art' to the equation once again, if you'll indulge me.
    And then there is the option of
    Design and construct. The architect's fee is swallowed into the building cost.
    This would provide a model to actually move all those consultants into your own office and employ them all with thier rates "swallowed into the building cost" as well except that 'architecture just got a whole lot more expensive, and justifiably so according to the documents. Then you become the 'developer in principal' and you wont have to put out for all those bloody tenders anymore either. Oops you'll have become an old style architect again only you can no longer work by yourself. Funnily enough Design and Construct has been going on since the after 1880's land boom except that then an architect was a much rarer bird and often marginalised in that process by a speculator. We'll have to accept that this new model; is an old one in which architects have to take on a bigger role, ala Katsalidas. OR architects can be the very expensive design consultant whose input will become tangible if the client (I think 98% is a tad pesimistic) can accept or more likely be persuaded via their pocket, that artless crap is just not worth as much in the long run.
    Interesting times, especially as I believe that all those consultants simply provide expensive information and assurance,  where as the architect (the 'good'architect) takes all that valuable information and in effect turns it into the rational building and the articulated movement of peoples lives and emotions. Worth paying for frankly, and all the better if I can get a whole team of leg workers making the job a lot easier for me.
     
  • edited August 2008
    There was a lot to reply to in your post Peter, but I am up for it.
    Further to the end of your post. What you did in the 90's in NZ sounds exactly like design and construct or speculative building only that you maintained a contractual distance from the risk by working with builders who were in financial control of the project. What I spoke of at the end of my last post about the business model that Katsalidas evoked is one in which the architect is in financial control of the project.
    I am assuming that with your list outlining the elements of architecture that will and currently do undergo dispersal amongst other professionals, that the role of the architect seems to become marginalised as the process acumalates consultants. I think perhaps your experiance in NZ and the contrast with your experiance in Melbourne, which gives rise to your perception that achieving that business relationship is harder now, is possibly more the differance in national perceptions of conservativeness than it is in land prices. Consciousnees of resale and featurism has always been a feature of australian real-estate pricing and hence development and has never waned and risen in line with land prices. If anything that 'symptom' has simply refocused its attention onto a hightened fashioniability that is being determined by economists and business property portfolio people (suits and usually men) where previously clients and builders determined what was fashionable (middle class and a mix of men and women) and development went accordingly.
    I have always found NZeder's to be far more grounded and earthy people than Aussies and so far more able and calculating in the area of risk and hence often more successful at exploiting Australian conditions than Australians are.  I suspect that would be reflected in the way that speculative building contracts are formulated in the two countries. The thing is that this new business and regulatory enviroment in Australia that seems to be marginalising the architect is in fact simply a new enviroment in which the architect should be able to relinquish some of the work load and move up into a more executive type role in the building contract.
    Presently a client is often assumed to be the harbringer of work because they have the money. But we all know they don't have the money often enough and especially with escalating land prices, it is actually borrowed money. Therefore the leverage they exercise over an architect is often pomposly assumed by the gleeful wallet holder and meekly confirmed by the hungry architect. This currently huge component of borrowed funds (more apparently than the American financial system can handle at the moment but adequately controlled in Australia it would seem) that is sunk into property means that the architect (via the AusIA one would hope) is in a position to crank the handle with the banks in so far as thier lending practises can be influenced in the direction of quality of fabric and design.
    Though ostensibly none of our business where the money comes from, we all know that the hardest pusher of 'resale consciousness' is the bloke who lent the money in the first place. As far as compelling a client to actually pay heed to their architect or employ one in the first place, the banks should be a lot easier to convince than the relevant government departments that using an architect is a good investment.
    In the meantime an architect will have to become more business savvy and less task precious to stay in the job. The end of your post, Peter, seems to indicate that that isn't going to be as hard as it sounds. If the cookie cutter's are doing proper research and the designs are actually getting intelligent then very soon reverse brick veneer will be the norm (as it's least distruptive for construction retooling purposes) and it will be that the McMansion builder really is learning from the architect (not the other way round as you pondered in your post).
    This means that the moment will have arrived for the specialised knowlege of an architect to become a desirable commodity at just the same time that the generally accepted business and regulatory model of outsourcing to consultants has lightened the work load for architects. Hopefully my conjecture means that a golden age of appreciation of the architectural imput is upon us and than the encumbant cost increase of consultants (including the architect as principal and managing consultant) as a baseline for the building contract will simply have to be accepted along with passive solar and ESDesign as a baseline consideration for the design.
    As architects we have to accept that though regulatory increases have raised the bar for us it has also raised it even more for the client (banks already exercise control over what they will lend money for) We have to use the system to our advantage and gladly pass as much work as possible onto consultants so that even though it may cost the client more it put us into a position of being a manager of a required process. This means that as we familiarise ourselves with dozens of consultants we should find that associtated risks for that information is carried by the consultants, where it was formerly carried by the architect, and we can divide our resultant time and energy into coordinating the retrieval of the information and its application in our design work.
    It might require a consultant to set up the business structure and the office formats to make it work, but that's only the first of many consultant we need these days.
  • edited 2:41AM
    bloody hell. theres a conference paper in the above. surely it simply returns to the fact that can the architect demonstrate value for their services? and who should promote that service? media is useful in penetration to markets that may not consider using an architect. i like houses magazine for that reason. as for the other bunch of vanity publishing outlets its hard to pick a winner; 'serious discourse' vs 'lifestyle magazine'. god we'll get back to a kevin mcmansion conversation in a minute. BUT the reality remains that the idea that the architect shoudl offer the shopping list for clients to buy is interesting AND without the fee scale how should we load that list. i say stick all the fee in the design (you'll do everything but choose the dunny to get through planning anyway) and turn dd/docs into a prasaic process (just like my engineer). worked for wood marsh i suppose....build the diagram!
  • edited August 2008
    Thank Miles, for your usual succinctness.
    My in-depth analysis shouldn't be seen as a "shopping list" It should be seen more as a response that architects have to make to the growing incidence of coming up against yet another regulation to be observed that carries with it a litigeous imperitive of observance. I suggest that since the traditional role of the architect has been more and more burdened with what looks like a coersion to consult out roles they once assumed were theirs, that we should go with it and use these consultants as a matter of course. The legislation has been enacted knowing full well that it creates another class of professional in the process.
    Well why fight it? The legal burden is a lot to carry for an architect and dispersing the varied tasks disperses the level of litigation one is subject to as well as creating a business enviroment where tasks formerely done pro rata without accompanying paper accounts to prove it, can now be performed by someone lisenced to carry the legal burden and whom charges accordingly
    This provides architects with a fully documented and charged out  'process of documentation'  for work that (from the view of the client) previously just went under the radar. When you say "stick all the fees in the design and turn dd/docs into a prosaic process (just like my engineer)" you essentially repeat what I said, though without the same level of detail.
    Exactly in agreeance! If we treat our task of designer as the primary role we have to contribute to the construction, unburdened by having to do physical and enviromental surveys and BCA site analysis' and OHaS risk assesments as well as the Engineering comps and christ knows what ever else we can palm off to a consultant, then we have to recognise that it is the role of the architect to bring all this information together and design a coherant building with it. AND it has to be recognised by the client.
    It had to be done that way before, but the client didn't know that and they still don't know it. They just wanted a building and couldn't understand why an architect wanted so much money for the job of 'drafting'.
    Well now you can wave a wad of consultants invoices for an average job under their noses and say
    "Well if you don't want to pay the fees I am asking perhaps you could organise this lot then instead of me. And while you're at it, perhaps you can go and find a designer who knows where he can find consultants in Uzbekistan who can do it cheaper."
    The point is, now we have the consultants system in place that can prove on paper that you really are the conductor of this piece of music, then I don't see why you can't set your fees in comparison to the hourly rates that a clearly printed on the consultants invoices. Do you think the conductor gets a remuneration for his job that is below, on a par with, or above that of the horn section?  You aren't offering a 'shopping list'  because that presumes that the orchestral piece could do without half the orchestra if the audience so chooses. For too long the client has pressured the conductor into doing with half the orchestra and it has got to a point where they expect us to dispense with even the principal violinist. You have to admit that consultants make it easier to disprove the boorishness of a client who just wants a piece of music with no musicians
    The legislation says you have to use an engineer and it says you have to follow the BCA and it says you have to do an enviromental risk analysis. All those things and the rest, that go into making the job of an architect more regulated than ever before are designed to make a great building. They are there for a good reason and now dozens of consultants have been created that prove they are not only advisable but a nessescity. If we put as much into bringing it all together into a good design as the consultants put into thier various little bits of that design, then we are both lightening our own load and increasing the perceptable value of our task as the architect who organises all those little bits into the clients building.
    We always knew it was worth more than was being paid and now you can prove it, or as you say, "demonstrate value for architects services". You just have ensure that your own book keeping is in order (see previous post on time/task sheet keeping), but that's what an accountant and your own filing system is for. If your good at keeping in touch with your engineer, then get used to keeping in touch with anyone who offers you the opportunity to shed some of your work load in any other aspect of your design job. And the conductor should charge more than most, if not all of their consultants or they just wont look professional enough.
  • edited August 2008
    Wow, took me a few days to get through that Simon! Good as it was.
    It seems that this thread is going in several directions at once, so thanks for trying to pull it in a bit Miles.
    "it will be that the McMansion builder really is learning from the architect"
    Not until the many innovations of architects are brought together in such a way that they can be taken on board by the builder. We work as individual practices where little is written down about how we have considered and resolved and evolved our design work. Discussion of the planning of houses is curiously absent in most magazine articles. RMIT initiatives such as ReHousing and Ageing of Aquarius attempt to throw a lasso around some of this "embodied knowledge" so that it may actually be of use to mass housing developers.
    Consultants
    I don' think of most consultants as doing the work of the architect, even if their profession may have branched off ours many moons ago. I have no wish to reel back in structural engineering and quantity surveying and land surveying. I wouldn't mind having Project Management back though (a recent tearaway). I am worried that the new  and ill-defined "ESD consultant" is sometimes a services engineer wearing a green hat and holding a rubber stamp.
    What's left for the architect?


    You would think that the profession having jettisoned (or having had removed)  all sorts of responsibilities over the decades, we would have more time now for design and documentation. Well yes. But we have to address a lot more too - as Simon says - planning, heritage, community consultation, E2AS1 (NZ), energy ratings, ISO this and AS that, OHS, 10,000 companies selling tapware, etc etc - documentation sets just get thicker and thicker.
    This pushes our costs back up because we need to design virtually from scratch each time. Taking into account everything that makes architecture what it is - site, sun, people, personalities. Focussing on the differences rather than what is common. There is little I am able to reuse from job to job. We do bespoke not ready to wear.
    The cookie cutter developer is less affected by the added compexities - they can absorb the extra design costs due to economies of scale - and their market quite understands that they will pay extra if anything about their site or requirements is in the least bit quirky.
    Structuring fees for transparency
    So one architect might respond to this situation by gradually upping their fee for "full services" to 19% for a renovation. Another might say, my base cost is 12% and if you need any of the following, which are beyond the normal scope, we will have to charge some itemised extras: energy ratings, weathertightness details (NZ), planning applications, renovations to existing, abutting neighbours, bush fire zoning, more than x trips to site, no on site services, joinery, lighting, detailed design of kitchen and bathroom, external works. This makes the architect's mysteriously high fee something that can be broken down and understood a bit more by the customer, which can't be a bad thing.
    Another interesting item which I hear might be in the new CAA, is an extra fee agreed up front if the client does not want the architect to use the building for promotional purposes.
  • edited August 2008
    Yep, that's reined em in a bit!.
    (Miles) "can the architect demonstrate value for their services?''
    Well yes you can as long as you can accurately document your part in the process and accurately value add using consultants where possible.
    I would never design without a site visit but I can see the worth in paying some one else to do a topographical survey and a climate survey. Why charge for doing something that is essentially the collection of empirical data when you can charge the client marginally more with an added 'services fee', to get someone else to do it and have all that time in which to make money somewhere else.
    BUT, I share Peter's concern re the relative worth of green consultants, but again, I recently spoke to Steve King of NSW Uni on the side of the recent green conferences held in conjunction with DesignEX at Jeffs Shed. His assesment was that the situation was improving, slowly but surely, as the green consultants client base becomes more aware of the realities and intricasies via thier own preliminary internet research, though the general quality of education is somewhat lagging behind those prepared to find out for themselves. The upshot is that people are much more wary of calling themselves a green consultant that they were 10 years ago and ten years hence or less, they'll have to have some letters after their names if they want to cut the mustard.
    Now that's been dealt with, how about Miles' query  "and who should promote that service?"
    We should. When ever and where ever you can. Though all and any promotion by others and especially by the AusIA and marginally by 'Grand Designs'  is good promotion, it is no good relying on someone else to blow your trumpet. For exactly the same reasons but in the other direction, you should not ask for whom the bell tolls because it tolls for thee.
    Now for some more rant.
    My wife just found an old self published book in my father in laws papers which I will quote from next week when I have read it, but it is a booklet put out by a student architects collective in Sydney in a desperate attempt to have Utzon reinstated as the architect of the opera house, after he had left Australia in disgust at the boorishness of client relationships in this country. In it (just a quick look I had the other day and too busy to delve) is a whole series of small lectures, rationals and cartoons as to what is wrong with the Australian phsyche in the way they treat architects.
    What a treat to find that! The cover is rather battered but it has a beautiful pencil drawing by Utzon of his Orange peel revelation that solved the problem of casting the shell panels. I will try and relate it to this thread of a problem of convincing clients that architecture really is worth paying for. More later.
     
  • edited 2:41AM
    Maybe some scans Simon!?
  • edited 2:41AM
    As soon as I can Peter.
  • edited 2:41AM
    Sorry Peter scanner is bung.  Check out out abebooks.com    There are two copies available in Sydney for about $12 each
    It's called       Utzon and the Sydney Opera House.   Statement in the public interest.  edited by E Duek-Cohen.
    Morgan Publications 1967
    On closer reading there is less commentry and more implied commentary as it's essentially a blow by blow account revealing the duplicity of the government ministers.   Still appaling reading and the cartoons show that mediocrity was as despised and ridiculed as now but even more pervasive.
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