Editorial- Winding Road To Democracy
A provocative event has taken place under our noses without notice - architect Israel Goodovitch was 'elected' chairman of what remains of the Architects Union. An apparently marginal event, since nothing really important ever happens there. Yet, on second thoughts, it might be a good idea to ride the tidal wave of energy Goodovitch accumulated when abruptly disconnected from his position as Chief Engineer of the city of Tel Aviv.
Goodovitch is a controversial personality whose mouth goes before him (those in doubt should watch the short film about him produced by his son). A true individual, he stood no chance of surviving in Tel Aviv Municipalitys undemocratic system. When it comes, however, to protecting the professional status of the architect (the first, foremost and forgotten duty of any professional union), a smart choice, had it been made democratically by a majority of architects.
Goodovitch (for those who never knew), is one of the best architects in the country - almost the last active remnant of the generation of Formalists nurtured during the fifties by Technion Professor Alfred Neuman. He grew up together with David Yanay, Eldar Sharon, and Zvi Hecker - each of whom has left his mark on Israeli architecture.
About a year and a half ago, following the election of architect Itzhak Lir as chairman of the Architects Union, a decision was made to crawl out from under the predatory wings of the joint association with the engineers. More than 80% of the Union members threw their lot in with the new Architectural Association, under Lirs leadership. Lir invested all the new organization’s assets in the erection of the House of Architects, happily inaugurated last December. But the new House has done nothing to promote the professional status of the architect (the first and foremost duty of a professional union - for those who do not recall the last paragraph). Nowadays, anyone who wants to may plan a 'simple building', the shameful 'entrepreneurs choice' competitions are in the hands of some governmental official or other and there is no such thing as architects’ copyright. One would expect the Architects Union, with all its 'wealth', to act determinedly to change this situation.
Given the situation and Goodovitch’s wholehearted readiness to cooperate (as he himself told me), I hereby suggest that the remnants of the associations unite in the handsome House of Architects, where architect Goodovitch is kindly requested to represent his candidacy for a democratic election.
We have a wonderful profession, it’s time others thought so as well.
Architect Ami Ran