Uh-oh! Were architects once one of the most-trusted professions on the planet? Certainly way more trustable and capable than Estate Agents or Journalists, and way way above Politicians and Used Car Salesmen, there used to be an aura of invincibility amongst architects.
Cool, calm and collected, aloof from the commonplace skulduggery and the boring day-to-day dalliance of the bourgeoisie.
Cooper as Roark
Not any more, so it seems, according to the NZ Herald which notes an alleged logging in to another company’s computer and nicking their ArchiCAD models. Michael Davies (architect – note, not THE Michael Davis from Wellington):
“…faces four counts of accessing Context Architecture’s server and obtaining files relating to the firm’s ArchiCAD template, a computer software. Davies is also accused of taking a model from the firm and a template which contained a trade secret.”
Michael Davis
Remember the days when architects had such high principles that they would rather work in a quarry breaking rock and getting whipped by women in jodhpurs (probably should have taken out a restraining order on her!), than to have to submit to changing his design to an inferior product. Very heroic. Very high camp? And yet, was it all just in jest?
FOUNTAINHEAD, Jack Mower, Patricia Neal, Gary Cooper, 1949, drilling
All joking aside, it is an unfortunate incident, and obviously one that is being taken very seriously – facing five charges of theft in the Auckland District Court. Yet, architecture has always been an art form that relies on appropriation and taking a new look at someone else’s existing work. Indeed, architecture relies on a certain amount of recycling, both in building concepts and building details. Stealing entire buildings, is, of course, just not on.