Below is a letter I recently came across, thanks to the people at Arch Daily. Charles Holland, the director of UK firm, FAT Architecture wrote this interesting open letter. I found it to be quite amusing, and accurate, and it left me pondering; What an odd profession we’re in.
Please stop entering design competitions. It’s sheer folly. Here’s why:
1. It’s massively wasteful of your time and resources. Can you think of another comparable industry, or, more pertinently, profession, that spends so much time and money on bidding for work? Do doctors undertake a number of unpaid, speculative operations in order to convince people that they really need a hip replacement? No.
2. It gives away your main asset – your ideas – for free. After that, the rest is routine.
3. You are highly unlikely to win. This is just a fact. Some are better at them than others but no one wins them all and most lose often.
4. Even if you do win, it’s still unlikely that the building will be built. Most competitions are speculative, not in the sense that the client is looking for experimental architecture, but in the sense that there is little or no funding in place and they have not informed you of all the impediments still in the way of the project.
5. Therefore, there is often only one thing more disappointing than losing a competition and that’s winning one (in the long run).
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