Is it ethical for a firm to use the name of a dead former principal?

Nov 7 '16 24 Last Comment
David CurtisDavid Curtis
Nov 7, 16 7:57 pm

Is there some number of years before they should stop doing so?


Nov 7, 16 8:10 pm

Right up until the remaining partners establish a school named after said principal.

Olaf Design Ninja_
Nov 7, 16 8:11 pm

ask Skidmore, Owings and Merrill? SOM

David CurtisDavid Curtis
Nov 7, 16 8:12 pm

it seems creepy

Olaf Design Ninja_
Nov 7, 16 8:14 pm

it would be creepier if they had paintings everywhere of the dead partners?

Nov 7, 16 8:14 pm

In fact it is more ethical to use the names of people who have never been involved. Which is why my firm is named "Einstein, Jesus, Wright & Lennon, Architects"

Olaf Design Ninja_
Nov 7, 16 8:16 pm

I think Eisenman, Jesus, Wright was the shit until Lennon came on board. Tha Jesus was a detailing pro, walk on water? no problem he had a detail for it.

David CurtisDavid Curtis
Nov 7, 16 8:20 pm

They (the living) should at least come up with a new name, since the dead person probably did the heavy lifting

Donna SinkDonna Sink
Nov 7, 16 8:22 pm

It can be mandated by the state that a professional corporation not use the name of deceased partners. YMMV.

Olaf Design Ninja_
Nov 7, 16 8:28 pm

HOK. KPF. the trick is to use the initials right? Is Gensler still alive?

Nov 7, 16 8:32 pm

But begs the question though, do they become just another corporate firm when the founder's novelty dies off?

Case in point: What will become of ZHA when the digital avant-garde is no longer avant-garde?

David CurtisDavid Curtis
Nov 7, 16 8:34 pm

That doesn't work for Finney, Ungers, Clancy & Kitchell

David CurtisDavid Curtis
Nov 7, 16 8:35 pm

after ZHA comes the robot overlords

Nov 7, 16 8:52 pm

Olaf -- yes, Art Gensler is still alive (and, I hear, he still comes into the office)

Nov 8, 16 1:14 am

YMMV Architects has a nice ring to it.

David ColeDavid Cole
Nov 8, 16 1:33 am

Neither Lawrence Perkins nor Phillip Will have been alive for quite some time, but Perkins+Will has offices everywhere. My own employer also operates under the name of its long-deceased founder.

Nov 8, 16 7:37 am

I've re-named my firm Greene & Greene- cuz I like the color.

Non Sequitur
Nov 8, 16 8:04 am

Ren and Stimpy architects.

Non Sequitur
Nov 8, 16 8:05 am

Ren and Stimpy architects.

Nov 8, 16 8:27 am

Anything is better than some of the cutesy names that some architects name their firms.  JMHO.

x intern
Nov 8, 16 8:40 am

You almost have to if you have built up a reputation where clients come to you.

Donna SinkDonna Sink
Nov 8, 16 9:12 am

There's also the DBA workaround:  you can be known as Sink & Fawcett Architects (the name we joked about in arch school if I went into practice with one of my classmates) even after both Sink and Fawcett are dead if you are legally registered as SF Architect Corporation, DBA Sink & Fawcett Architects.

David ColeDavid Cole
Nov 8, 16 9:50 am

^ I think that's how firms like Perkins+Will do it. Donna, you could also form a partnership with these guys and become Kitchen Sink.

(My new favorite firm name: Love Schack. And they actually have some nice-looking projects.)

I have a personal pet peeve with firms that are only known by an alphabet-soup set of initials. Back home in Cincinnati, almost all the major local firms have such names: GBBN, FRCH, MSA, CR, SHP, KZF, the list goes on. And most of their projects are fairly indistinguishable from each other, and they pretty much all share the same local talent pool. I swore that if I ever started a firm in Cincinnati, it would have an actual name and not just a grouping of initials.

Nov 10, 16 3:31 am

Non Sequitur, I would go for Rem and Stimpy architects...

Nov 10, 16 11:36 am

Another tempest in a teapot to keep us arguing among ourselves?



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