Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A lawsuit vs design practices

MIT vs Gehry & partners:
"The suit filed on October 31,2007 at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, claims that Gehry and Skanska committed design and construction failures on the project which caused, among other things, masonry cracking, efflorescence, and poor drainage at outdoor amphitheater; efflorescence and mold growth at various locations on the brick exterior vertical elevations; persistent leaks at various locations throughout the building; and sliding ice and snow from the building.

Both, Frank Gehry and partners(architect) and Skanska (contractor), was sued by Massachussets Institue of Technology (MIT) with US$ 300 million for they failed to provide design services and drawings in accordance with the applicable standard of care. Gehry commented the issue on New York Times: "These things are complicated, and they involved a lot of people, and you never know where they went wrong. A building goes together with 7 billion pieces of connective tissue. the chances of it getting done ever without something colliding or some misstep are small. I think the issue are fairly minor." (AR, 12,2007)

Calatrava vs Bilbao:
"A civil judge in Bilbao, Spain, has ruled against Santiago Calatrava in his suit challenging Arata Isozaki's addition to his 1997 footbridge over Nervion River. The addition was built without Calatrava's knowledge and opened last February. Calatrava sued the city of Bilbao which owns the bridge, and 2 local contractors that built the addition, demanding that the extension be demolished and that he be awarded US$ 365,000 in damages, or US$ 4.3 million if it was not removed.

In his ruling, judge Edmundo recognized that Calatrava's right as author of the bridge had been infringed, but that the public utility of the addition took precedence over this private right. Even so, the judge added that he found it 'incomprehensible' the city failed to consult Calatrava. The ruling raises questions about the application of Spain's 1996 Law of Intellectual Property to works of architecture and engineering. The law establishes the rights of creators of artistic, literary, and scientific works including the protection of their physical integrity. While it specifically excludes buildings and engineering works from protection." (AR, 01,2008)

Both cases indicate how law has protected also design practices, as well as their clients, and not merely other service related businesses (though Calatrava lose his suit). This common level in the eye of Law may put each party to its stand, as professional or client with a sense of respect, responsibility and professionalism. People would start to notice that these design practices (especially architecture) are truly related to their way of life, and how does it influence their daily activities, thus giving it its greater responsibility to create 'something good' for the people. This has surely put design practices with a large amount of fees, and yet a larger amount of responsibility.

So, how about Indonesia?

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