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A career carved from criticism is no career at all

Jeremy Melvin's review of Project Orange's book ('Slaves of Fashion', AJ 15.1.04) was about as cruel as it was pompous. As an 'habituÚ of St John's' and attendee of every launch party and exhibition opening going, Melvin should watch out for pots and kettles.

He seeks to paint Soane and Ash as style 'hangers-on'; this is a feeble analysis of Project Orange's work, which has a breadth well beyond that implied in this review.

I am, of course, biased, having worked with both James and Chris; their work both before Project Orange and with their own studio speaks for itself. If Melvin doesn't like their manner of presentation, more fool him - his turgid articles are his own best critics. James and Chris are intelligent and sincere individuals who have achieved much; they don't deserve this very personal attack. A cheap knock at my boss, Terence Conran, only weakens his analysis further - too easy, Jeremy, try a bit of original critique. Melvin closes with a bizarre and grammatically challenging statement, suggesting somehow that it is architectural criticism that will rise and save us from some sort of crisis. Perhaps the crisis is on his doorstep; sniping at what he perceives to be easy targets isn't much of a career.

Paul Zara, Conran & Partners

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