“You can blame bureaucracy all you want, but in the end, it’s simply not the problem with bad design in San Francisco. Over 90% of all the projects in SF are “designed” by hacks. In fact, a large majority of the new buildings are not even designed by architects, but by engineers and production architects who just churn out one project after another.
The architectural world refuses to criticize itself and you’ll never see an architect show up at a Planning Commission meeting and say about someone else’s project, “this proposal is trash and this architect is a hack.” The architectural field loves to hand out awards to the better among them, but they never lambaste their own and search within. There are too many faux-“architects” and engineers who get too much work in this town.
Planners don’t design the buildings — they can’t make a bad designer design a good building. If you were in their shoes, you’d get a sense of what it’s like to have 1 decent proposal come across your desk for every 99 pieces of crap, all by the same 10 firms.”
And a response that made us chuckle (and offers some perspective for all):
“Architects not critical of one another’s work? You’ve got to be kidding. Hyper critical is more like it. The problem is that we have habituated to it and most of us, including the hacks, have skin like rhinoceros hide. So telling us a project is trash just doesn’t have the effect it would on a normal, sane person. Besides, if our work is any good someone is guaranteed to hate it. So we might just take it as a sign of greatness.”