Shallow Begets Deep

We at archinect received this email in response to the Michael Jackson Monument Design Competition that we’re hosting at the moment. As a competition that was intended to challenge the ability of architecture to respond to the overwhelming intricacy of contemporary identity, I think this email may be the best (if unintended) entry yet. Architects: what are you if not religious?

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 4:54 PM
Subject: Is the Michael Jackson Competition legal?
To: archinect

Dear Archinect:

It is my opinion that your “Design Competition” is illegal.  The fact that this type of contest is commonplace does not alter the laws that are in place.

I do not intend to enter this contest, nor do I expect you to agree with me or to change anything. Nor is this email a threat of legal action by me.

But the simple fact is that ARCHITECTS ARE NOT ARTISTS under California law. Fine artists engaged in expressive activities – such as painters, dancers, musicians and sculptors – are not regulated by statute.  Architects ARE regulated under the Business & Professions Code, the California Civil Code, and others.

Basically, we are building engineers. A filmmaker may decide that she needs a disabled, 65-year old, African-American, lesbian Hindu and offer $500 to anyone who fits the bill, but an architect may not make similar distinctions in the course of professional activities.

Architectural style, however, is religious expression.  It appears that your contest involves the making of a distinction based on an expression of religious belief.  You are offering money in exchange, and this is being done by people who claim to be architects or are otherwise offering professional opinions.

Just something you might want to think about?


6 Comments so far

  1. William Thirteen on August 26th, 2009

    my head hurts already….

  2. Enrique Ramirez on August 26th, 2009

    There’s your winner … hands-down.

  3. Donna Sink on August 26th, 2009

    Is this from the “House Made Entirely of Foyers” Stoner Architect guy?

  4. Andrew Liebchen on August 26th, 2009

    I like that the artist (filmmaker) is a “she” while the ARCHITECT’s gender remains ambiguous.

  5. namhenderson on August 26th, 2009

    Hilarious when i clicked th elink from BldBlog’s twitter post i was expecting a cease and desist letter from the Jackson family not this.

  6. rob on August 27th, 2009

    This is so great.

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