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More engagement with the artistic process

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How welcome to hear Dennis Lenard's commitment to creativity in relation to the construction process (News, AJ 8.1.04). The concern, however, is that your published responses demonstrate an architectural profession that seems to retreat from the notion of a broader engagement within the design process. The issue here is about including creativity, not using professional silos to exclude possibilities.

As the Egan Review considers the skills required to build sustainable communities, it would be timely for a more open and expansive recognition of the skills that many professions can bring. In the case of artists they are communicators, facilitators, problem solvers, inventors and researchers. They take creative risks, have a willingness to experiment, and often redefine questions and problems without recourse to set solutions.

These qualities are, of course, not the exclusive realm of visual artists. However, by crossing professional boundaries, recognition of the link between diverse creative input and the quality of our built environment could be demonstrated and celebrated.

Emma Larkinson, director, Public Art Forum, Birmingham

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