Amazing arrogance of architect designers

The article by Hugh Pearman (DW 6 June) contains a statement so arrogant and sneering that I could not let it pass without comment. In the final paragraph of Architect and Artefact he says: “If the end product is a cheap mass-produced VCR or microwave oven or camera, it is almost certain to be from a product designer. If, however, it is a low-production, high-cost piece of kit much featured in glossy magazines, it is likely to be from an architect.”

Apart from denigrating product designers, who work within constraints far more demanding than almost any other design discipline, this is also utter nonsense. Pearman is contradicting himself within his own article. The third paragraph mentions: “The designers of specialist cars, from TVR to Aston Martin…”

Are these cheap, mass-produced products? I think not. Are they designed by architects? I think not. Are they much featured in glossy magazines? Err… well… maybe.

The achievements of architects deserve respect where it is due. In particular Sir Norman Foster is to be congratulated for hitching himself a first class ride on the gravy train of public finance, but there is no particular virtue in designing low-production, high-cost products.

Peter Swann

Twickenham TW2 6SN

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