The Farnsworth Days are Over

Architect suspended for two years because of an affair with a client...

Considering this was a common practice with many of the heavy hitters of the 20th century, do you think that this is a fitting punishment for his adulterous behavior?

Sep 25, 09 1:46 pm

Oh please, dont suspend me from the AIA

Sep 25, 09 1:50 pm

I was assuming this was a suspension of licensure!... anyways, it's bad for business.

Sep 25, 09 1:53 pm

the pouring of foundation is exciting times...

Sep 25, 09 1:56 pm

Were they made to turn in the bowties and mock turtle necks?

Sep 25, 09 2:12 pm

I didn't know I couldn't do that...

Sep 25, 09 2:42 pm

if you actually read this i don't think that the affair is the big issue in the aia's eyes... the architect screwed his client (pun intended) by not providing a design that even came close to meeting the client's programmatic requests... of course the client must bear some blame for going ahead with construction on a house that was supposed larger and more expensive than he originally asked for...

Sep 25, 09 10:58 pm

Post pictures of house

Sep 26, 09 5:54 am

The client saw the drawings, they could have fired Mr. Brigg's firm at any time.

On top of that, I'll bet that the wife had a 50% say in everything, and, judging by how it is worded, she was directing the project's development without the knowledge of the husband.

Honestly, that seems pretty petty and ridiculous, perhaps even pathetic.

I would guess that Mr. Brigg's firm has got a good case to sue the AIA. If this is making it to this board, then they are going to experience some bad publicity, and from what I read, they have no legal basis for anything, just a bunch of old, grumpy, irrelevant punks going around suing and penalizing other architects. Laughable, really, sad too, that any resources (and AIA member's money) would be spent considering this.

Sep 26, 09 9:29 am
liberty bell

trace, did you read the article?

AIA Code of Ethics Rule 302.1:
A Member shall not render professional services if the Member’s professional judgment could be affected by responsibilities to another project or person, or by the Member’s own interests, unless all those who rely on the Member’s judgment consent after full disclosure.

I think it's hard to argue one's professional judgement is fully intact when one is boinking one's client.

The AIA suspends people and kicks them out altogether for ethics violations. I know of one person who was kicked out entirely (IIRC) for embezzling from his firm. In that case, the other partners turned him in to the AIA AFTER kicking him out of the firm and instituting legal proceedings. Being kicked out of the AIA was kind of salt in the wound, which is not a tactic with which I agree, but there's no "suing the AIA" for this kind of action.

And as clarification: recall, again, everyone: being kicked out of the AIA has absolutely zero bearing on one's right to practice architecture. State boards decide if one is to be barred from practicing at all, and ethics violations ARE reasonable grounds for being barred from practice. But it has nothing to do with the AIA, except that if you are barred from practice - i.e., de-licensed - AIA membership would no longer be possible.

Sep 26, 09 2:25 pm
liberty bell

Oops, make that 3.201. From the article.

Sep 26, 09 2:26 pm

Yes, I did read it. To me you cannot simply isolate things because of an affair and say that it 'affected his responsibilities'.

Is the house unsafe? Did it not get through permitting? What did he fail to do? I didn't read anything about him or his firm being incompetent, just about a bitter husband (and I would be too, obviously).

The clients approved the funding, approved the construction and, presumably, paid the architects.

Embezzling is illegal, a crime, much different than consensual sex.

And you could sue the AIA for libel/slander, if this affected their business dramatically. He broke no laws, provided a complete and professional service (it seems very subjective that the house didn't meet what the clients wanted - why build or continue if it didn't? That makes no sense).

Maybe I am completely wrong, but that's how it read to me.

Sep 26, 09 2:45 pm
vado retro

he never revealed the affair to the complainant. well wtf? of course you don't reveal the affair to the complainant!

Sep 26, 09 3:16 pm
vado retro

i would think you would get a better product if you were sexually involved with your client.

Sep 26, 09 3:17 pm
vado retro

er, if the architect was sexually involved with the client, that is...

Sep 26, 09 3:18 pm

I love this forum.

We complain when AIA doesn't do anything to curb inappropriate behavior and then we complain when they do.

AIA carries no legal clout with respect to member activities (and zero clout of any nature with respect to non-members) but it can - and does - uphold basic ethical standards among its members. As I recall, establishing and enforcing ethical standards was one of the primary reasons AIA was formed. Members agree to be bound by such standards when they join.

Sep 26, 09 3:33 pm

Mies wasn't screwing Farnsworth. FYI

Sep 26, 09 5:56 pm

And she referred to him as the "Medieval Peasant"

Sep 26, 09 5:57 pm
liberty bell

Isn't libel only a crime if it's a falsehood?

Funnily, it comes down to the very dry crime of not telling your client (in this case the husband) that you have a conflict of interest. Hopefully the affair itself was more passionate than it became categorized in the AIA action!

Sep 26, 09 8:54 pm

Not to completely lose all respect with the only person who has ever thought I had anything to say here, but this whole affair was worth it because lb used the phrase, "when one is boinking one's client".

Sorry bell, I'm still chuckling...

Sep 27, 09 1:49 am
liberty bell

Glad to be of humor, crowbert. We all need a laugh every now and then!

Sep 27, 09 8:07 am

sorry for the tangent, but i would like to see the AIA start suspending architects that are buying projects at fees of 3% or less. THAT's unethical.

Sep 28, 09 11:30 am

: Yes, that would be nice, wouldn't it? However, the Consent Decree (related to standard fee schedules and the lack of fee competition) that the Justice Department forced on AIA several decades back make that suggestion an impossibility.

Sep 28, 09 12:36 pm

Who cares about McMansions? I want to hear more about Mies and Farnsworth. Dish it.

Sep 28, 09 12:55 pm

''Edith had asked for a closet for her dresses,'' Palumbo said, ''and Mies told her: 'It's a weekend house. You only need one dress. Hang it on the hook on the back of the bathroom door.'''

Sep 28, 09 1:24 pm

'Hang it from this hook' he said.

Sorry - couldn't resist.

Sep 29, 09 7:19 pm

It's funny that all of the references I could find online were actually very discreet about their relationship.

Sep 29, 09 7:25 pm

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