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Matthew Daby

I'd first like to say that I appreciate having a "daily" online read about portland. In regards to your statement about the cookie cutter houses and the relationship to the fact that less than 10% of single family homes are not designed by architects...Just because it says Architect after your name on your business card doesn't mean you know "good design"(which is an objective subject in the first place) I agree that the sameness in single family housing in this country (and especially in Portland Metro) is out of hand. But, I know plenty of ARCHITECTS out there doing cookie cutter design in single family housing as well as multi-family, retail, commercial, office towers, etc. (Have you looked at the majority of the buildings in the North Pearl?!) I also know there are a good share of designers out there with a creative eye and hand. I think the real discussion here should be 'Supply and Demand'. For some reason Home Buyers, Builders, and Developments continue to build cheap bungalow/craftsman knock offs and monolithic brick condo buildings. Possibly it's because these people don't want to pay for and work with self satisfying, elitest attitude architects. It is comments like yours that make me not want to take the licensing exam. Let's seek and encourage "good", creative, interesting, challenging, fun, and comfortable design NOT depth of architecture school loan debt and height of noses in the air.


Before you start making comments about the "sameness" of the design for the new Columbia you should actually go out and tour the project in total (I have). There was a very competitive process to select the Architect for application (Mahlum/Carlton Hart) phase and for phase 1 (Mithun) of this development. Phase 2 (Michael Willis, et.al.) of the project selected a separate architect who in term actually brought on several more local housing architects to provide a mix of types, styles, and colors to the project.
I am not saying that this project is perfect, but taking into account the size of the development and also realizing that there was at least a years worth of public input-(good and bad), this project is a remarkable achievement.

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