To the editor:
According to Thursday's story, the local architecture firm Rockhill and Associates is now certified so that, in the words of the state licensing board's executive director, "the public is sure that the technical professionals that they're dealing with are qualified." It's conceivable that this case was driven more by professional envy than the purported protection of an uninformed public.
In 2006, when my wife and I engaged Dan Rockhill to design a house for our family, we saw no reason to question his "qualifications" since the quality of his work is conferred not by state certification but by his nationally recognized building portfolio. His recent awards include the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award presented at the White House, the Residential Architect of the Year Award, and completing Kansas' first LEED certified building, the 5.4.7 Arts Center in Greensburg. Our house was completed last year, and its quality and design integrity are exemplary.
Is this story of a certification technicality more newsworthy than Rockhill's accomplishments? Here's an "architecture story" suggestion: Much new construction in Lawrence is distinguished only by indistinguishability, and the latest addition to our skyline - the Oread Inn - reveals this same unimaginative "quality" in a bigger package.
Rather than muckraking insignificant details about someone who's been actively creating innovative housing solutions for years, the Journal-World might employ a critical analysis of how the current state of residential neighborhood development reflects local attitudes toward energy use, sustainability, civic infrastructure and the use of design to improve community life.