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Architects are becoming ever more desirable

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editorial

Perhaps the most astonishing snippet of information to come out of the official launch of Architecture Week was that Mills & Boon has declared that it is now perfectly acceptable for heroes of romantic novels to be architects. There were more important announcements, such as Chris Smith's confirmation of the Prime Minister's commitment to architecture, but what really sticks in the mind is the fact that architects are judged to have reached swoon-inducing status with the romanticnovel reading population. The fact that architects are deemed to have hero-like qualities probably has rather more to do with Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle than with the achievements of Architecture Week over the last four years. But Architecture Week has encouraged media interest, and architects have proved remarkably media-friendly - David Marks'and Jacques Herzog's enigmatic television appearances can't have done any harm at all to the architect-as-hero myth. The fact that architects are managing to make a decent living is also significant. On the checklist of heroic attributes, solvency is right up there with virility and good looks.

The popularity of architects can only be good for architecture. People are more willing to learn from superstars, and more willing to put their faith (and invest their money) in members of a desirable profession. The most valuable service that Architecture Week can perform is to demonstrate that the public's interest in architecture is matched by architects'willingness to communicate with the public. To make the message plain, the organisers have commissioned a short film to educate cinema-goers about Architecture Week. It would seem obvious to suggest that it should aim for a television slot next year, but there may not be any need.

Maybe the new 'TVarchitect' will already be a media hero, attracting top viewing figures for his weekly show.

I'm not at all sure what Mills & Boon heroines do for a living nowadays, but I suspect it generally involves children, animals or ill-defined office activity revolving round a harsh but handsome boss. But perhaps it's only a matter of time. Those who saw One Fine Day will recall that the journalist played by George Clooney fell hook, line and sinker for Michelle Pfeiffer, who played - an architect.

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