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Robert Cook

B.Arch. 1962
Los Angeles, CA
November 1999
Interview by Jim Donaldson


I guess the first thing we’d like to hear is why you decided to become an architect and why McGill.

Well, I think that goes back to my origins in Bermuda, which is in itself a little bit different, an isolated culture, different from half-English, half-American. And the fact I came from humble beginnings, a family of nine children where we all had to scramble and work our way through school, through scholarships and working part-time. And I think I was drawn to Architecture because of the, first initially because of the safety of it. It was a very highly regarded vocation, particularly in Bermuda where professionals are very highly respected. It was well paying at that time, although now it may considered to be more modest-paying. But security and respectability. Secondly, I think architecture, if you look at the definition in the dictionary, is the art and science of design and building. And I love that mix of art and science. And I end up being myself more of a scientific architect, as we all know, not too much of the artistic side. But that basically is what drew me to architecture. And I really don’t have anything deeper than that too offer.

[1:28:26]

And why McGill? How did that happen?

Why McGill? Well, people born and raised in Bermuda, used [to go to England] for their higher education up until my era. And then, I was the first one to want to go to something that was more aggressive than what you would find in England, the United States was to American for us; basically, Canada was a little English and therefore we picked Canada, many of us started to pick Canada as a hybrid. So Canada as a general location was an evolution for the change that was occurring in the culture in Bermuda in which I was raised. I actually started my first year at Dalhousie University, but felt, quite honestly, that I was on the fringe of things. And I wanted to be where the action was and Montreal, to me, was where the action was. And I’ve never regretted that. I consider Montreal to be one of the true highlights of my life. I think it’s a wonderful place to live, the mix of cultures, the history behind it, and so on. So Montreal itself became a real magnet for me. McGill, of course, as a university, was well known outside of Canada. In fact, McGill has traditionally always had one of the highest percentages of foreign students in the world, certainly in North America, and draws many students from the West Indies and also from Bermuda. So, it was considered to be an elite choice for someone coming from Bermuda. The programme itself attracted me because at that time it was a six-year Bachelor of Architecture programme, the longest bachelor’ s programme, I think, probably in the country. Engineers were five and as you know, Arts and Science were four. So it was, in fact, probably the second toughest academic programme, second only to medicine. And as you remember in school, the only students that worked harder than we did were the medical students, frankly. And the six-year programme is just testament to that.

[3:44:12]

What year did you come to McGill Architecture? What was your first year there?

Well, you may recall, I actually started Architecture six years ahead of the class that I graduated with, your class. And I got through fourth year, and frankly, became saturated with studying. I had been a student all my life and had gotten everywhere by scholarships and so on, but I think I just lost the interest and wore out my intellectual appetite, and almost flunked the year, quit, and then six years later, at age 27, came back into McGill. I had to rewrite the three toughest exams, all structural engineering subjects, which in itself was a major accomplishment as far as I was concerned. And then for the last two years, fifth year and sixth year, I was- became a [unclear - tape skips] student and oldest student at age 27. As you know, Jim, you were called Big Daddy because you were father of two children, and Derek – that name given to you by none other than Derek Drummond, and I was called Little Daddy, although I had no children, but of course, that was Derek’s way of acknowledging my great age of 27. Also, McGill itself is a bargain. The quality of education, the quality of environment truly is one the best buys in North America. And I had feedback form that, because I am president of the Northern California Alumni, [unclear] Alumni Society. And whenever I meet young Americans who have gone to school at McGill I always ask them the question, “Why did you pick McGill?” And invariably, the answer is two answers. One, they wanted something that was different, but they didn’t want to have to go to France and learn to speak French again, alright, they wanted it in their own language. Secondly, it was the greatest bargain that they have ever come across. So McGill is a wonderful bargain.

[5:35:20]

Still is, unfortunately. I say that because it is a detriment to the faculty. Anyhow, that’s not the subject. Go ahead.

So is any part of that that I can elaborate on? But that’s basically why I sort of chose McGill.

No, I guess what we would be interested in now is some of your memories of McGill. Your actual career at McGill at the end is only, what, two years, the fourth and fifth year? How many years did you actually spend at McGill in Architecture? ‘Cause you dropped out and then you came back for- how many more years?

Two. Two more years.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, yeah. So what we would like to hear is some of your memories of those years.

Well, I have two sets of memories, one for the first four years when we occupied that old house on University Street. Is it University Street? It was an old house-

McTavish or-? One of the two. There was two at one time.

Yeah, it was a house, though, and it in itself gave Architecture a distinct identity, a bit dilapidated, but distinct. I mean it was a wonderful place, great camaraderie, and a very, very nice environment. Six years later when I came back into fifth year, we were in newer quarters, quite honestly-

McConnell Engineering Building.

And it obviously had lost some of that closeness, but was still a very high level of camaraderie and I still remember with great fondness my classmates. [Holding photo] And if I may show them briefly at our fifteen year reunion, including, of course, the interviewer, Jim Donaldson, and Derek Drummond.

[07:07:02]

Just hold it there; I’m going to focus in on it. That’s a good picture, yeah. Good! Thanks!

So, in terms of memories of individuals, I’ve already mentioned Derek Drummond and his propensity for giving nicknames to everyone and naming you Big Daddy and me Little Daddy. But I remember, I guess three or four of the professors well. John Bland, I think, had a major influence on me in that he was a calming influence on everyone. He didn’t get excited about anything; he didn’t really do anything that I thought was extraordinary in any way, but he was a leveling, calming influence on everyone and I think was a stabilizer for the School of Architecture. So I give him high marks for being a stabilizing influence on the school. And of course, in the History- Peter Collins, our History professor, frankly, was the intellectual elite that you come across every so often. Intellectually, I think, he was as good as anyone you’d come across in the History of Architecture.

[8:19:27]

Did you enjoy his courses?

Very much so. Very much so.

You did pretty well in them, if I remember.

Yes. In, fact, if I might boast, as you recall, I did tie with Werlman for first place in five years on all of the academic marks that I pulled down! Because, you know, I became such a serious student, being so old at 27, I didn’ t dare fail, as I nearly did in my

fourth year, and so, I really plugged away and plugged away and studied hard, and worked hard and ended up pulling down the marks and hence pulling up my average.

[8:55:25]

You are talking to the converted because I was in a similar position with two children. I was the Big Daddy, as you recall. Anyhow, sorry for interrupting, go ahead.

All right.

So Peter Collins was a- would you consider him an influence on your life in terms of-?

Yes, yes because he obviously was of such high intellect that he was a good model for architects. I have since become, myself, much more intellectual, almost more academic than most architects. And in hindsight, I probably should have been a teacher. I do now lecture a lot but I now realize why I was sort of attracted to Peter Collins was that he was in fact an intellectual force that influenced me.

[9:42:10]

I’m trying to remember who else was there at the time…

Well, some of the other influences: Maureen Anderson was also a significant person and she was, of course, more than a secretary to John Bland. And she was there for a very, very long time…

Thirty-five years.

…after I left. But again, she was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever come across, but also very sharp, very helpful, very helpful. Made life easier for us all. I can’t really pay her enough compliments because I just thought she was an outstanding person. And I think the school did recognize her as such when she retired. Gordon Webber was a unique person, as you know, Jim. I never fully understood him, because he was teaching something that was so far right-brained, and I’m a left-brained type, methodical and logical, and many of the things he taught was not logical, it was feeling. And the creation of design that had no purpose, no function; it was all feeling. And of course, architecture is both art and function and he was trying to teach us the art side. And I have to admit, I probably didn’t fully appreciate him then, but in retrospect, I do again give him high marks for being a high- a strong intellectual force and influencing me. Which brings me up to one of the classics of Derek Drummond giving the nickname to our class “God Damn It, Fifth Year!” mimicking Professor Webber, who, because we were a troublesome group, he thought, walked in on us once and in his unique accent and voice said “God damn it, Fifth Year! And I don’t remember what we were doing, but we were probably messing around. And so that is, again, Gordon Webber certainly is a major memory in my light. The other one was, believe it or not, the influence of my wife on my academic years. And again, I can’t help but remember Derek’s mimicking me once when I had the insight to sit there and said in front of everyone, “my wife says…” and I said what she said, and I can’ t remember what it was, but I gave her opinion for the edification of these younger classmates. Then, of course, that was recorded as one of my-

[12:37:26]

What did Caroline say?

(Laughs)

I know you have some more names there that you want to talk about, but was Doug Shadbolt around? I’m just trying to put this together.

Yes, he was, but I don’t have strong memories of him. He was there for fifth year, I believe, our fifth year. And then he left, I believe, to go…

He went to Dal-

…to Nova Scotia Tech.

To Nova Scotia Tech and then he went to Ottawa, Carleton.

Well, it speaks well for the school that, you know, professors from McGill did go off and actually, you know…

[13:13:19]

And how about Stuart Wilson? Did you work with him at all?

Yes, I worked with him in my first go round in third year and fourth year. And of course, I didn’t know him well, but again, he was a unique person and had some negatives and positives. I think his positives outweighed his negatives. He was a bit of a reprobate. I guess that’s too strong for your programme…

No, no, that’s fine.

But anyway…

That’s the truth.

He was a- he marched to his own drummer and he truly was unique. ‘Had some habits that perhaps wouldn’t be admired today, but he still had a strong influence because he was a very bright person intellectually, very strong, and again, fits that mould of the high calibre of teaching and faculty that I got when I was at McGill that has left perhaps the-

[14:06:18]

Your earlier comment on John Bland was quite succinct. John Bland also had the ability to bring all these diverse individuals, Stuart Wilson, Peter Collins, John Schreiber, and bring them all together and they formed some sort of a group that was more or less cohesive.

Exactly! Because, first of all, just bringing superstars together in itself is difficult. But when they’re all so unique like they were, they were not of the same kind at all, that takes a unique kind of person like John Bland that did that. He did it very, very quietly. Not very obvious at all. I’m trying to think of-

[14:46:17]

Who worked with you on your thesis? Was it John Bland? Do you remember who was your mentor at the time? The easiest thing to remember is what you did for your thesis!

I remember what I did for my thesis. It was a broadcasting centre, in which I took a CBC actual programme, and designed a broadcasting centre actually using the vernacular of Mies van der Rohe, which probably was frowned upon by then because it wasn’t considered original. But I just wanted to- I just liked his approach to design and I thought it was a very appropriate one to what I was trying to do and it was very functional, and so I did a Miesian broadcasting centre for my thesis, including some details, which we never used to do. I mean the idea of doing construction details for your thesis was almost unheard of. But of course, Mies is in, no, God is in the details, right?

Right.

So I felt I had to show some details.

[15:52:03]

Were there any other- I’m thinking we may want to talk about a few people but that’s not as important, were there any events that you recall when you were there, because you were there for the full period, although the first period- there was quite a lapse between the first and the second so I guess, the second year- you’d probably remember a bit more, I guess, vividly the second time around. Christmas parties or fist fights or brawls or-?

Of course, the charrettes for the completion of projects, I’m sure every student has given you the same story, I would imagine, every graduate has given you the same story. I remember staying up was traditional, and handing in our projects at 5 o’clock and working all the day before, right through the night and through that day and then handing in your projects at 5 o’ clock. And that is something that, if I remember correctly, at least three quarters of the class did, and I think you even managed at your advanced age to stay up, Jim, I think, and I often thought those who didn’t do it, I didn’ t know where they were!

[16:57:05]

Relative to my memories, I’ve already mentioned several times Derek Drummond, but I do want to give credit to Derek to setting a tone for our class. As we all know, Derek is a person of considerable accomplishment, very bright and a very likable, personable person. And all of this, he conveyed to the class. He introduced a sense of humour that helped us carry the load better. I think he was a major influence on the class. As a student, he was one of the major influences on the class.

[17:47:17]

I would almost say he was a catalyst for making it work, the fun times.

And had an influence on me, and I loved all of the fun that he made of me, and, of course, I was good material, as you were too Jim!

That’s right!

And all he needs is good material!

And he’s parlayed that into a lifetime career!

Yes, yes. And of course, he’s now turned out to be one of the strengths of McGill, beyond Architecture, as we all know.

One of his reputations is the Stephen Leacock Luncheon, you attended one of them, and folks [unclear] everywhere. And he comes up and he told me that once one is finished, he takes about two months off and then he starts working on the next one. Anyhow…

The other memory that I think I would like to mention is that the curriculum at McGill was right for me. As I mentioned earlier, if you look up the Webster Dictionary, the definition of architecture is that it’s the art and science of designing and building buildings. But so many schools give more emphasis to the art side and not enough emphasis for the science side. Whereas I do believe that in our day, I can’t comment now, that the curriculum was definitely a strong balance of art and science. And in fact, I think, the McGill programme was also a year longer than any other programme in Canada primarily because of the heavy engineering content that was in the programme and of course, the school was, and is, part of the Faculty of Engineering and there was a very strong influence in that regard. Now, many architects may not consider that to be a positive to acknowledge the fact that the engineers had a strong influence on us. But it was right for me, I do believe that architects and architecture have been weak on the science side traditionally and that McGill, in fact, was attempting directly to recreate that balance of art and science.

[19:50:19]

It’s still pretty well that way. It has changed just modestly since those years, which is interesting.

Sketching School is something that is imprinted on my memory and again, is one of those experiences, which is different than what most students have. I think we did two of them. And I’ve never forgotten the one time in Sketching School, where I think we spent a whole week, usually in some small French Canadian village, and we were trying to do a watercolour, and ended up trying to paint the sky and ended up with a blue that was ten times more intense than it should be. And so, when I started to paint the sky and realized that it was much too strong, I gave up and said “ah, the hell with it” and took my brush and just started slashing across the sky with my blue paintbrush. And that evening in the critique, my technique was highly praised as an alternative to doing a solid, you know, colour that was far less intense.

[20:55:56]

That’s how all great art is created, I guess!

So there was art by accident, I think, in that case there, but a lesson well learned.

That was probably at Lake Memphremagog. The other year, we went to Quebec City.

Yeah, Magog.

Which has some good memories there. Ok, do you want to talk a little bit about your career?

Yeah. Well, I will try and talk about what I have been doing since I was at McGill in the context of what I have learned that may have meaning for McGill. I’m going to end up talking about vision, and a vision for architects and a vision for architecture and a vision for the School of Architecture. And I’ll tell you right now that it is my basic belief that architects and architecture have too narrow a vision and it compromises the opportunities that come towards us. It is my belief that the education of architecture could equip us to do many more things than the narrow definition of architecture, as most of us know it. And I do believe that if we can open our eyes and have a much broader, grander vision of what we want to do then I think the opportunities to do many more things, if I may be specific, architects used to be master builders. They gave that up, and other disciplines came along and became construction management consultants. It was only after others had made a profession out of construction management that architects started doing that. So my basic- what I’ ve learned in my life is that you can’t think of architects and architecture by the definition of the dictionary. You have to think of it as being a much broader definition than that in order to capitalize on all the opportunities, to capitalize on change itself. Architecture tends to attract conservative people by nature, including, I’m an example of that. We tend to be conservative, and I’m sure psychologists have shown that over and over. And that in itself is a limiting factor on the opportunities for architects. Architects today do not do that well, and I think they’re their own worst enemy because of that. In the United Kingdom, it was almost eliminated as a profession. Here in the United States, architects do not have a great image, quite honestly, and I think it’ s our own fault.

[23:31:01]

What I have learned, though, in my life that can add to that and can help us move forward from there? First of all, I myself am not typical of most students at McGill, not just that I was older, but I was definitely more left-brained, I was definitely more logical, more methodical, more science. And I believe there is room for all types. My experiences also were more diversified than most, including four years overseas in Malaysia, where I had the opportunity to make decisions that would be literally illegal in Canada. I literally designed all the roads on a major site, including a reinforced concrete pedestrian tunnel using the CRSI handbook, is that what it was called? It would be illegal in this country. And those were responsibilities that matured me to the point that nothing frightened me after my experience in Malaysia. Nothing frightened me. I don’t care how stupid I felt at the time, after having had that experience I was almost fearless in sort of attempting to solve new problems.

[24:43:29]

I also had the opportunity to spend four years working on the client side for the American Stock Exchange. So you understand the client side, you understand how significant budget and schedule is. Clients are very critical of architects not being respective of budgets and schedules and function. And when you work as a client, you really start to appreciate that as you did, Jim, of course, spending most of your life... And, that in itself is a very, very broadening experience and adds to my understanding of opportunities in architecture.

[25:15:16]

I moved halfway through my career into interior architecture, which, as I’ve mentioned earlier to you, Jim, interior architecture actually is a larger market than corn-shell architecture, certainly in the office building market. Because you may spend $125 a square foot for the corn-shell, and only $30 to $40 a square foot for the interior construction, but every seven years you redo the interior and over the life of the building, you’ll spend twice as much on the interior architecture as on the architecture of the corn-shell. So, it was only thirty-five years ago that firms here in this country, Art Gansel, EPR, my former firm, actually, all started by architects, tried to move into interior design, interior architecture, to make a much bigger business of it. My firm here, Interior Architects, is an example of that, of architects, primarily, two thirds probably architects, doing interior architecture because there are more growth opportunities and a bigger market, quite honestly.

[26:21:21]

About ten years ago, I became focused on trying to see the future and predict the future, because when you start doing architectural programming, and that was one of my specialties, you’re actually, in effect trying to predict the future of needs for a client. And I became very interested in some of the methodologies that other disciplines were developing. I became an active member of the World’s Future Society, and became a very, very dedicated amateur futurist and have been so since then. And that has been my primary interest for the last ten years. Even though I was paid as an architect, I’ve considered myself to be really a futurist, trying to understand what is coming, looking at it through the eyes of the economists, the technologists, looking at change itself, and how change is affecting the future and how we as architects can benefit from understanding all of that. Over the past seven years, I’ve spoken to a hundred and fifty different professional groups on the subject of the future. I have come to the conclusion over the last three years, as most futurists, and most futurists, by the way, are scientists, many of them politicians, that the next force in our lives will be sustainability. I do believe that architects are not picking up the gauntlet and this represents, frankly, a great opportunity for architects to lead the way. It is rather interesting that in a selection of the ten most renowned, most respected futurists in the world today by the World’s Future Society, an architect came up number one. Who is he? Buckminster Fuller. Buckminster Fuller was selected as the number one futurist by multi-discipline futurists, ahead of H.G. Wells and Alvin Toffler and all the other great names that we know.

[28:30:06]

Why I hesitated, I was thinking of who would it be today. Buckminster Fuller is the obvious one. If you think of who it would be today, there is nobody prominent as a futurist that would jump out of the pages at me.

So Buckminster Fuller leads us into this whole issue of vision. Buckminster Fuller, as you know, had a very close relationship with McGill and used to come back there frequently to do projects with the students. I was back, I think at my fifteenth class reunion, I think, and went to listen to him speak. No, it was my tenth year reunion. And I have to admit that I thought I was listening to a philosopher, and yet, here he is an architect-engineer. And I have to admit I didn’t understand him totally.

[Unclear]

Right. Today, I would understand him. And today, he is my model for all architects. And I think if we could hold up one person that represents a model for architects it would be Buckminster Fuller. But why? The important thing is why is Buckminster Fuller a model for us? It’s because he had a vision of what architects do as being much grander and broader than it is defined by present day. He is quoted as saying that “the vision for architects and for architecture is to make humanity a success”. To make humanity a success. Now, most of us will say that is really too much for architects to attempt to do. But if you at least have that broad vision and anything comes your way and you can do it, you will be receptive to it. So if you’ll be receptive to doing almost anything, the definition of architecture and the opportunities that come your way really are far greatly enhanced. There is a whole book written on the subject of visions, The Visions of Great Companies and I will quote only one as a model for architects and architecture. Merck, the great pharmaceutical company, has a vision not to produce the greatest pharmaceuticals, but to enhance the quality of life. To enhance the quality of life. Now, there is a very direct parallel to architecture here. The vision and the purpose of architecture is not to produce beautiful things. Not to boost – also just beautiful things and functional things. It is to enhance the quality, the soft side, the effectiveness, productivity, efficiency, and sustainability, everlasting life, of life itself. To enhance the quality, effectiveness and sustainability of life. In the case of interior design, in my company where we deal with the workplace, we narrow that down to “to enhance the quality, effectiveness and sustainability of work life”. Not of the workplace, of work life. Art, the value of art is in the eyes of the beholder. The value of architecture, I have become convinced, is in the impact it has on people. That is the one lesson that I’ve learned that needs to be conveyed to architecture students from day one. Now, I’m sounding like a preacher there, but-

[31:51:25]

That should be very logical, when you think of it, I mean it makes a hell of a lot of sense. But, you say you sound like a preacher but in fact that what you are because you are trying to get the message across that we should be futurists, we should be expanding the role of the architect, expanding our horizons, it’s too narrow-minded. And that’s the result of the education process that they are going through. And it hasn’t changed. It might have changed at other institutions, but certainly at McGill it hasn’t.

You know, and how do you do that? First of all, you educate yourself in more than one discipline if you can. I went back to school when I was 41 years old, and was the oldest student, one of the oldest students at Fordham University when I took my MBA, and it was the most difficult thing that I ever did. I was the only architect out of six hundred students. At that time, I was asking myself, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I going and doing this, the only architect out of six hundred students?”

[32:50:01]

What motivated you to do it? Why did you take the MBA at 41?

Because I had this feeling that the future required that we be broader in our skills than just what we were taught as architects. And it was just a feeling in my gut that I had to sort of break out from that discipline and add another discipline to it.

And the business discipline appealed to you because that would fill a void that you probably lacked. You had some practical experience but you didn’ t have the theoretical experience. Because you could have gone into some other field there.

Well, it was more than just saying as an architect, I want to be a good businessperson. That was certainly part of it, but it was this feeling of just doubling up on the disciplines that I was educated in. If you read Tom Peters’s last book, The Art of- I’ve gotten his last book, 1994 it was. And he gives- it’s three inches thick. At the back of the book, he has four pages with advice for the individual and he says: “Number one: educate yourself in more than one discipline. Number two: get out of this country for at least one year, preferably two, so that you develop a perspective of things, which is not just the narrow architecture perspective, the narrow American perspective, you end up with something that is broader, in more than one discipline and more than one culture. So that is, of all the things that I have learned from my life, that might help architects and people studying architecture. It relates to this vision of what we all are doing and should be trying to do.

[34:29:05]

I guess, Robbie, that’s got to come because if you’re a young student eighteen or nineteen going into architecture, you don’t have the, I guess, the maturity to appreciate that.

To know that.

To know that. So it has to be, sort of, drummed into you, taught to you in a more general way, I guess.

When you think of Buckminster Fuller saying, “the purpose of architecture is to make humanity a success”, I would have trouble accepting that, understanding that as a freshman.

[34:57:27]

Yeah. And he was very exceptional because, even when we knew him then, he was so above us intellectually that you are quite right. I remember sitting in a lecture that he gave at McGill and I remember coming out afterwards and somebody was standing outside having a cigarette and I said, “What did you think of it?” and he said, “Oh, it was fantastic.” I said, “Well, just give me some [unclear]”,”Oh, gee, I haven’t got time right now”. Basically, people didn’ t completely understand what he was saying.

He was like thirty years ahead of his time. Even today, what he did, if he did it today, would be considered leading the heard, without question, leading the heard.

[35:34:16]

But he was a brilliant, brilliant person. He happened to choose architecture, I mean, that was the field just that he went into. But he was a brilliant person, I mean, in his thinking process. So are you suggesting a way of teaching students this?

When I talk about the future, I talk about the future of change itself, the economy, technology, social life, and try to look at architecture as belonging to all of those disciplines. And if you can start to think of architecture as being and drawing from every single discipline, which it does, this would help us become architects in the broadest sense of the word, because, you know, we have tended to educate, to segment ourselves. The same is true of doctors, the same is true of lawyers, and we all need to go back and broaden our visions of what we are and recognize and draw from virtually all disciplines. So I have gone to go back and become an amateur economist, an amateur technologist and a student of change itself in order to understand what the great opportunities are for architects.

[37:00:25]

And your expectations are to live, what, another fifty years at least?

I wish I had another fifty years to do it again and to apply this insight in a more productive way. Yeah, it would be wonderful.

[37:16:03]

The issue of change itself and how does it relate to architects and architecture. This country right now, the United States, without a doubt, is the strongest economy in the world and the strongest economy in the history of the world. The reason for that, I believe, more than any other reason is because it’s been populated- it’s a young culture. It’s been populated by people who were brave enough and bold enough to leave their own culture in Southern Italy and come over here into a new world, and suffer in many cases, and suffer indignities and hardships beyond belief, but they were the kind of people that wanted change and were receptive to change. So of all the things that I can credit the United States with, and as you know, I’m born and raised in Bermuda, I am a Canadian citizen, I have a Canadian wife, and have lived here for twenty-odd years now, but I must give the United States credit for the fact that the culture accepts change faster and lives with change better than any other culture in the world, including Canada. Canada with the English influence tends to make it somewhere between the US and England, I hope Canadians don’t mind me saying that, in terms of receptiveness to change. Here in the United States, you can see this across the country. California has a younger population than the East Coast. California also gets credit for probably eighty percent of all the great changes in our society, everything from new technology products to new ways of financing mortgages, their variable rate mortgage, to virtually in every discipline, three quarters of all great change has come from California and the West Coast because it’s a younger population. So I would like to suggest that if we can embrace change more, and look at change in a more positive way, architects being so conservative, doctors being so conservative, lawyers being so conservative, we are really last on the S-curve of change in terms of embracing it and turning it from a negative into a positive. So we have to look at ways in which as architects and architecture we can make change work for us rather than being a negative and rather than resisting it. That means looking for new ways to be better, looking for new ways to provide better services, capitalizing on technology to the extent that all working drawings become one huge, giant database that we all draw upon as opposed to us each having our separate database and contract documents being the most expensive phase of our services, within the next ten years, it will be the least expensive phase of services primarily because of the impact of technology on architecture.

[40:20:07]

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