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Self defence a shame after Lenard's liberation

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The initial professional's reaction to Dennis Lenard's (boss of Constructing Excellence) calls for architects to 'learn from other design professionals' (News, AJ 8.1.04) seems, sadly, to have been one of self defence.

The need for 'creativity to drive the construction process' is crucial, but it is wise to recognise that within the industry the architect works as part of a team.

Our own experience is that creative talent is often spread widely: the client, the engineer, the quantity surveyor, the artist, the designer, the contractor. The best architecture is process-driven and the architect may well be uniquely placed to put the creative ideas together, but we would be foolish to deny the vital importance that other skills and talents bring to the process and to enriching the product.

What is critical is to distinguish the good from the bad, but this is as relevant to our own profession as it is to others.

The potential involvement of creative talent from other professional disciplines should be seen as potentially liberating and not threatening.

Charles Thomson, Rivington Street Studio, London EC2

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