Listings of closed firms at Archiplanet and ArchWeek...

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Listings of closed firms at Archiplanet and ArchWeek...

Postby Kevin » Wed May 02, 2007 1:39 am

Sometimes we are asked to delete listings at Archiplanet and/or from the ArchitectureWeek professional Directory for design firms that are no longer in operation. I'd like to offer this public explanation of why we are not inclined to make such deletions.

Artifice, Inc., maintains public listing of design firms, both famous and little-heralded, as a public service. We see it as part of our journalistic mission to provide this archival record of current and historical design firms. Our inevitable goal is all feasible accuracy and completeness.

We are happy to correct and update information in existing firm listings, and we endeavor to make it very clear when listed firms are no longer in operation. We are also happy to provide up-to-date forwarding information for architects and firms in our listings. But the goal of completeness does not seem to support erasures.

Architecture firms are inherently public entities to some degree, anchored by state-licensed professionals with explicit public responsibilities, including those for health and safety. As such, somewhat like public figures, and unlike private persons, there does not seem to be an existential right of privacy that attaches to these entities.

As we see it, part of the public record, the potentially important public information about an archiect-designed structure, is who designed it. When a firm closes or is succeeded, its built works do not cease to exist. The connection between that firm and its works deserves to be maintained as some level of community knowledge.

In fact, in most developed societies, such information is likely to exist somewhere in official public records, in building permit archives, for instance.

And in the larger sense, as we see it, the creation of a design firm, with the implcit intention of acting on our built environment at some level, is sufficient to register that firm as an entity of note in the collective consciousness. As helpers of the community of knowledge around our built environment in general, we choose to continue to remember.
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