The profession is part of a larger contribution to the social fabric of our cities, we have a civic duty. By empowering contractors that have a 'all for one' attitude and using his public voice to dismiss the profession as a bunch of overpaid layabouts Mr. van Vorhees is forcing the hand of architects to go for the lowest common denominator.
fingers crossed he doesn't have any code violations.
I'll agree, though, that a lot of marginally good design builders are kicking our asses at business - but as Orhan and others have often said here: their clients don't get the design drawings "for free" - they get the price of the drawings built into the construction project, and it's an impossible number for a homeowner to pin down. With me,. they know exactly what I cost, and I can usually show them where they've saved my fee in the final project cost.
i actually grew up in Natick, Massachusetts, where Mr. Van Voorhis apparently lives in his "simple and attractive" big box house. it, like many of the suburbs of Boston, is a good example of why you should not let builders design houses -- the past decade has seen more disgusting vinyl-clad monstrosities than i'd care to admit. this guy is such a fuckin' clown.
Yeah, this guy is a major douche, but ultimately, I believe, it is the fault of the profession for not letting people know why they need architecture. To sum up 98% of the comments on the other thread, most responses hinted at the elitist attitudes of the profession, basically telling the masses, "let them eat cake."
We can all laugh and joke in our insular little internet board but the design builders are putting out better design. Sure point to this or that vinyl clad monster and laugh but in the traditional, high end they are the go to people. In my market, Chicago, the classic old stone homes on the North Shore or Western Burbs are the domain of the craft based Design builder. I worked for one and yes we gave away the design as part of the sales pitch. Thats how its being sold. I honestly dont think any architect could beat us in design skill in that market. In fact the architects design the cheap houses around here or the fantasy projects, but rarely the Stately old mansions and surburban estates.
The snarky comments and general detachment from reality is only going to further isolate us and widdle our role down to planner of large buildings.
evilp, I will challenge any one of your design-builders as putting out better design than I am. Note that I am a residential architect - I know this niche market AND I know the subtleties based on history, craftsmanship, and function that make a decent project become a good design.
Yes, there are good design-builders and I'm sure your old firm was one of them. And yes if you give one of those old stone homes to a commercial architect who has never done residential it's a recipe for disaster.
But this is a world of specialization and my specialty is doing renovation/addition projects on those old homes as an architect and in tandem with a good builder and I have no doubt that my end products are generally superior to the end product of any design-builder, even the good ones.
evilp - this guy got lucky - there are too many shady small-time builders here in new england operating out of the back of their trucks... the reason they try to convince you not to go with an architect is because they are probably doing something that doesn't meet code. I've seen some really appalling things done by so-called "design builders" that would get an architect's license revoked.
a good builder would never convince a home-owner to forgo the services of a licensed architect - nor would they speak badly about architects. The minute a builder starts bad-mouthing an architect I usually think they were caught trying to get away with something.
ep i worked in that market also. and there are architects who specialize in that area and are damned good at what they do as well. my experience in that area was the architects and the craftsman and builders worked in a very collabrative atmosphere.