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Credit where credit's due for Who Did What

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Sandy Benson is right to raise the question of design credits (AJ 20.6.02), but not quite correct in his comments 'that nothing much came' of the Salaried Architects Group 'Who Did What' exhibitions in the late 1970s. Quite a lot came of them.

At the time, SAG felt it was important to establish who the real designer of a project was.

The reason for showing the work and naming the designers was to aid future researchers.No one was ever excluded, though I did receive some veiled threats from some offices threatening dire retribution over 'copyright'.

It never came.

As the curator of the three exhibitions, I became the recipient of some wonderful pieces of work, which had never been hung in an exhibition at the RIBA. The oldest exhibitor was a brilliant Classical architect who had served as a young officer in the First World War. He sent me a page from the Studio, which showed him going off to war in September 1914 with other more notable Edwardian architects. I mounted this page of photos and the rest of his work for him.He came to the opening and was met by architects who had worked for him half a lifetime and more before. He was 93 when the exhibition opened.

Those three simple 'Who Did What' exhibitions were the very first exhibitions of ordinary members' work ever seen in the RIBA.

The last was a rather special one hung in tribute to the work of Sidney Cook's Camden Architects Department 196572. Sadly, Sid died of cancer before the exhibition opened.

The idea did not fade away with the last exhibition. I spoke to Peter Murray, who had helped me organise them, about having an exhibition for young architects. That's how Peter's 'Forty under Forty' exhibitions started, although by the time the first one opened I was excluded on age grounds!

Maybe Sandy Benson should resurrect the idea of 'Who Did What' and maybe then reform SAG.

Sam Webb, Canterbury

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