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LaiserinLetterLetters
An occasional sampling of reader electron-mail, or "keep those waves and particles pouring in, folks!"

Sheldon Wolfe, FCSI, CCS, CSA, specifier with BWBR Architects, writes: " Thanks for the newsletter and your website. Some good stuff there!"

As someone who writes for CSI and other publications, Sheldon's "good stuff" constitutes very kind words indeed. Thanks!"

Larry Barrow, D.DES, Director of the Graduate Program, Digital Research & Imaging Lab at the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, writes: "Very glad to receive your letter, best of luck with your endeavors."

While he was at Harvard, Larry was kind enough to help me with some background for articles I wrote during that time. Thanks for remembering, Larry.

James Jaehoon Park, Project Manager at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, writes: "Your web site is great. The links are the best."

Our existing links page connects to a hundred or so Laiserin articles published in the four years preceding launch of the LLetter. In coming months, we plan to introduce an expanded LaiserinLinks function, with personal observations that explain which are the best links and why.

Jonathan Cohen, principal of Jonathan Cohen & Associates and author of the excellent book, Communication and Design With the Internet (W.W. Norton, 2000), sent along a thoughtful response to last week's screed on "Computer-Aided Mistakes" (Laiserin'sLemma—July 8, 2002). Jonathan wrote:

"The 'strategy' of being second is deeply ingrained in architects' psyches. I know I always wanted to be second in design crits. It wasn't worth the risk to be too far out there. Better to let someone else fall on their face.

"Unfortunately, this aversion to risk, particularly with regard to technology, is hurting the profession. There are tremendous opportunities for architects to expand their role in the building industry. I've written and lectured about project information management: the ability to capture design intent, for example, so that it can be retrieved months and years later, saving hours of wasted effort. Clients need web-enabled 'building manuals' that capture all the project information from feasibility studies through programming and design to systems and product information.

"These kinds of services can only be provided by firms that embrace a strategic, partner-driven approach to information technology. It requires the audacity to truly redefine our profession to meet the needs of the new economy.

"We faced a similar situation a generation ago, when architects decided to be cautious and let the construction managers respond to a clear market demand for new services. Inevitably, the role of the architect was diminished when it could have been expanded."

To which I can only add, Amen!
JL



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