I am disturbed by the propensity of Paul Hyett, among others, to get their proverbials in a twist over the percentage of racial minorities in schools of architecture, and his suggestion that they are disadvantaged by having to gain A levels seems insulting (AJ 22.2.01).
It has been pointed out before that we should not be surprised that 'just six per cent of new students. . . are from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or West Indian backgrounds', since these groups, together with Africans, make up only 4.6 per cent of the UK population.
Ethnic minorities are important but they are, after all, minorities.
There are other matters which are of more concern - the continued under-representation of women, even in schools;
the macho 24/7 culture which seems to be part of the profession's theology (anyone who wants to go home, sleep, etc must be a wimp); and the ageism prevalent in the profession, as Catherine Cooke points out (Letters, AJ 22.2.01).
One also needs to ask whether architecture is relevant to all cultures. If we confine ourselves to the UK, the Scots have produced a disproportionately large number of architects and the Welsh disproportionately few. As Martin Pawley reminds us, there may be other answers than architecture to the problem of enclosure, and other peoples may find architecture irrelevant, or uninteresting.
Alan Kennedy, London SW12