Architects Say the Darndest Things

Architects Say the Darndest Things

UC Irvine Comtemporary Arts Center by Ehrlich Architects. (Courtesy Ehrlich Architects)

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about LA’s architects than the results of their projects in steel and stone, check out Success By Design by writer and photographer Jenn Kennedy. The book profiles 25 of them, including Steven Ehrlich, Barton Myers, Ray Kappe, the late Stephen Kanner, and Hodgetts + Fung. Architects divulge all sorts of secrets like Myers’ insecurities about getting upstaged by students; Art Gensler’s original desire to start a “small” firm (his firm, Gensler, has over 2,000 employees); Randy Peterson of HMC’s amazing lack of free time; Kanner’s struggles with fees; and Kappe’s surprising facility with the business end of architecture. The book recently launched its digital version and a web site. See some interesting quotes below.

Ming Fung and Craig Hodgetts.

“We don’t enjoy going out to look for work just to have a design department do the work. We wanted to be involved in the project intimately. We’re very detail oriented. It would be difficult for us to have five to ten projects going on at the same time, so we keep our staff size at ten to fifteen.” -Ming Fung

Steven Ehrlich.

“It’s funny that everyone is embracing sustainability now, yet people were doing it five hundred years ago.” -Steven Ehrlich

Ray Kappe.

“Usually the principals in small firms—including mine—don’t segregate themselves from the staff. the phone is in the middle of the room and you hear quite a bit.” – Ray Kappe

Art Gensler.

“Many architects thought that interiors were beneath them, but I decided early on that I’d do it better than anyone else, and we did.” -Art Gensler