Sunday, 2 January 2011

Design Credit


7th at Ballantrae


There have always been a lot of questions about design credit. It is an issue for the associates in a firm. It is a much bigger issue when two architects go there separate ways. It is an issue after a major renovation. I thought today I would wade into the debate about design credit and provide some examples.

Let’s start with the idea of renovation and restoration. In any restoration, the restoring architect should never get credit for the work. The original architect should be the only one listed. I personally think that an architect must add at least a couple of holes before there is any credit given. A bunker job or rebuilding a few greens is not enough. Where it gets grey is rebuilding all 18 greens, and personally I think it would take all 18 greens to give design credit.

I have always believed that whoever routed the golf course should be given design credit for the course. Routing is so essential that even just a routing is enough to be listed as the designer or co-designer. I think if another architect picks up the rest of the project, they should get credit as a co-designer. On the other hand, I think if the architect is in the field on behalf of the firm, but did not have a hand in the conception of the holes; they probably should not get credit.

I think if an associate has laid out the course and taken it to completion on behalf of a company they should get design credit. Hurdzan Fry is a firm that handles this well, where they name themselves as the architects of record and then name the individual designer. I always thought this is a wonderful way of giving credit where credit is due. As a researcher and historian, I always want to find the architect who actually should be given credit rather than just listing the most popular architect as the architect of record.

Nobleton Lakes New Nine
So why does this matter? Well to some it does not, whereas to others it does matter. Sometimes the credit issue can be the wedge that drives a company apart. I like to receive the credit for the work I do, whether it was for my previous employer, or now on my own. I’m proud of what I do and I think it is important that people know what I have done so I get the proper consideration for future projects. Sometimes the desire for an associate to receive full credit leads to uncomfortable relationships between the principle of a firm and the associate. Many principles want to take all the credit even when there role was largely administrative because of the attention the work has received.

St. George's became the wedge in my relationship with my former employer when he began to take credit for work I did. I was fine with not receiving the proper credit on new work since he had the final say, but the restoration work was something that I did without his input. When St. George's drew a great deal of attention, he made an initial attempt to claim the credit, I became angered by this and actively set the record straight. While this was only about credit, this was enough to eventually end our working relationship.

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