DUMBING DOWN 30/01/08
This is the term used for the replacement of the Concept Architect with an architect only appointed for the implementation of the building. Many local authorities would support proposals of a radical nature, when based on the promise of architectural excellence. Unfortunately, the tendency for implementation to be passed to an other architect unconnected with its conceptual origins results in a reduction of quality (Dumbing Down) and prevents such courageous planning decisions from being made.
It is a truth that when in the stage of implementation, value engineering exercises demand a reduction in design complexity for cost and value for money reasons. The concept-originating architect will normally work through the design process to achieve greater clarity and simplicity and strengthen the physical manifestation of his original concept. On the other hand, when another practice takes over, usually by a second tier design team, such inevitable changes are made without the conceptual foundation to the fore, and by stealth, result in the cumulative weakening of the architecture. There are many examples of this phenomenon that are embarrassing to cite!