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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 23, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta -Wedimday, Sopteinbor 23, 1770 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD g University Architect Arthur Erickson By Eileen Johnson hi The Vancouver Sun A K CII1T E C T ARTHUR Erickson isn't home very often, but when lie is home he tries to relax in his garden, in spite of the frogs and the neigh- bors. No Canadian has won so much acclaim for his build- ings, but Erickson does indeed live in a garden, with a small shelter off in one corner. The frogs have mov.ed into his lily pond though, and he isn't there enough to be accus- tomed to the noise. And the neighbors think he should live like they do, in an ordinary house with patches of grass ex- posed for all to see. After all there must he something sub- versive about a man who builds a fence around his prop- erty. So they took the case to city hall where the battle still goes on. Erickson does want to hide from his Point Grey neighbors but his reasoning is pretty sound. One of the neighbors has an unsightly door he doesn't want to have to look at, and besides, he believes a home should be private. The most obvious reason for Erickson's success is in his de- sign, yet he doesn't think de- sign will answer any problems, or that it ever has. "The purpose of architecture is to redefine and understand what the institutions of man really mean. A hospital is dif- ferent from what it was 20 years ago, so is a university. Still our buildings are the in- stitutions of 20 years ago. We've not caught up to the significance of the present times. The actual design of buildings is not important. A redefinition of human institu- tions is important, and we haven't even begun. "New materials are not im- portant at all, neither are new structural techniques. All they do is allow you to do the things you were doing before, and if you don't know what you are doing anyway, they won't help you. The real poverty is a pov- erty of ideas, not things. "Housing needs new ideas, but there are two areas that are really contentious. One is our approach to dwellings. In future we cannot permit the same living patterns as now, especially in the heart of a city. A house is a personal in- dulgence, but what is the al- ternative? "Apartments are little bet- ter than an office with its own plumbing. This is no way to live. It has been proven that apartments are not healthy. They are demoralizing, create anxieties, only heighten the anx- iety of society as a whole. "A complex we are working on, still in the planning, stage, is meant to deal with new kinds of housing. It is a large complex, to house fami- lies, a small city really. We have a sociologist on the pro- ject, which is interesting. We have to do something about elevators, one of the elements that disorients a person. To lose all contact with the ground creates an artificial situation, and peo- ple go through neuroses be- cause of this disorientation. We need other means of contact with the ground, and escalators are much better for this. "We really need a garden too, some change from the apartment itself. It isn't good to come home an artifical cell, never changing, with the view, the same light. Even a small garden has a change of seasons, change of light, new patterns, the move from inside to outside. "We need to experience cli- m a t e, smells, temperature. These things are important otherwise you lose touch with life itself. It is a kind of starva- tion and there is a sense of loss. To rely upon your own devices within that cell, and no contact with growing things, is not good. It's not enough either to go for a walk in the park. "We found that up to five or six storeys there is contact with the ground. Above that you disassociate from things around you, begin to feel divorced from life. It is not enough to see grass, you have to cut that grass to really keep in touch. Moshe Safdie came a long way in solving the prob- lem. "Tiie second area of conten- tion is the automobile, convey- ance from one place to anoth- er. We talk of new devices but nobody has a solution. There is no development, no break- through." All of this has to do with Erickson's concern for cities, and for Vancouver in particu- lar, which he said in Mac- lean's Magazine, is "disas- trously ugly." "Vancouver is potentially an extraordinary city. Very few cities have this setting and the potential for real enjoyment of lite. But what Vancouver offers is its surroundings, nothing within. To be successful the citizens have to be motivated by Uie pleasure principle, and I don't mean beaches, but en- joyment of one another. "Rome to me is one of the most beautiful examples. It has marvellous areas where people take pleasure in social contact, in discussion, in food, Clean As A Whistle From The Alberlan, Calgary TJID we hear a sigh of re- lief from the petroleum industry? With electricity, steam, turbines, propane and alcohol powering cars in the 1970 Clean Air Race, the win- ner was burning lead-free gasoline. That should give the petroleum industry a new lease on life in the pollution-free fu- ture, especially since major oil companies are already gear- ing up to put a lead-free prod- uct on the market. What we would like to know now, from the Wayne State University team that won the race, is whether any exhaust- filtering device was used along with the fuel of the future. Another question it seems al- most churlish to ask at flu's point: If we all switched to lead-free gas and whatever other modifications the winner used, would it cut back pollut- ants enough to wipe out smog forever? in all areas. People take ad- vantage of every square inch of the metropolitan area, the gardens, public squares, shop- ping areas, ceremonial places. All human activity has a place and the choice is extra- ordinary. "The West End of Vancouver was potentially the most extra- ordinary residential area in the world, with its beaches, down- town, park, views, all that. But it is sad to see such a lack of pride. The exploitation feel- ing is so strong it is really dreadful. Apartments are cheap, badly built and badly finished. "Few cities in the world would allow such a low level of finish. Imagine, a PAINTED multi-storey finish. It suggests carelessness, and an attitude of exploitation. It's no wonder the New York Times is apal- led by the tawdriness of down- town Vancouver. There are a few attempts to put tip good buildings, but mostly the plan is to get something up and get what you can out of it. "I blame city government for this to a large extent. They have no respect for the conse- quences. Any building can go up, with any finish. There is no teeth in the design committee. The idea of the committee is a good one but it needs to be much more powerful. Our elected representatives are seldom concerned with the quality of life. "Vancouver is a hick town and so is the province. Those in power represent that atti- tude. The fountain at the Court- house is appalling, yet it is the pride of Uie Public Works De- partment. That Provincial Mu- seum in Victoria is another example of the taste of the Public Works Department. It would be ideal for housing horses at the PNE. "I don't think individuals should own city land, the city should own it all and lease it like the UBC endowment lands. It would mean the city would have more control over its own destiny, could exert more pres- sure for the best possible de- velopment. The city should never have sold its property to the provincial government and FOWL Prices effective Thurs., Fri., Sat., September 24-25-26 k 29' CUT UP, TRAY PAK................. Ib. Red or Blue Brand...........................Ib. Pork Roast Fresh Picnie..........................Ib. 39C p Chusk or Round Bone, Jam Apple and Strawberry Better Buy 48-01. tins Milk Powder 4.29 Instant............... 3-lb. pkg. B Side Bacon By The Wieners swn famt.......... Cottage RollS Bologna The Ground Beef Pork Sausage MARGARINE GREEK BEANS MUSHROOMS PEAS COLORED, BITTER BUY............ Mb. pkg. MALKIN'S FRENCH CUT...... 14-or. tins 5ARDIN GATE STEMS PUCES lO.oj. towneys' Angelus Whits MarshmaHcws MAIKIN'S FANCY ASSORTED tinj Tomatoes for for Malkin's, 19-oz, tins GRAPES Oranges TOKAY CALIFORNIA California Sunkisf 4 4 3 89c 29C 5-lb. bag B c Fincy 9 Bortieit IBS. Green Peppers ,b 23c GRAHAM'S FOOD MARKET GROCERIES 357-5434, 357-5431 MEATS 327-181J OPEN THURSDAY Till 9 P.M. PHONE AND SAVE FREE DELIVERY 708 3rd Avenue South the Block 42 situation should have never taken place. But it's too expensive now for tho city to buy back land. "But people never elect intel- ligent leaders, with the pos- sible rare exception of the Tru- deau government. Did you know baboons are the only creatures that choose the most intelligent to be the leader? Not the strongest but the smartest." Arthur Erickson's credits are pretty impressive. His firm, Erickson Massey, designed Si- mon Fraser University, they designed the most celebrated building at Expo 70 in Osaka, the all-mirror Canadian Pa- vilion. They did the MacMillan Bloedel building on West Georgia, the new Sikh temple on Marine Drive. And have won more awards and honors than any other firm in the country. Almost every time Erickson designs a house the glossy magazin.es outdo themselves with superlatives. But Erick- son says he isn't going to build any more houses because they take as much time and trouble as a major project, and with a staff of 40 people in the firm, they have become financially impossible. Right now the firm has of- fices in Toronto, Seattle, Leth- bridge and Vancouver. The Bank of Canada building in Ot- tawa is in the design stages but the project is delayed be- cause of government spending cutbacks. In Seattle he is working on a freeway. A freeway! "Seattle has a design committee that is powerful politically, and real- izes the city is being eaten up by freeways. A team was form- ed with engineers, sociologists, architects, all possible dis- ciplines, to make the West Seattle freeway not only an in- teresting project, but some- thing much more than a road- way. Most of it will be a build- ing that you will drive on top of, or inside. "At Lethbridge we are doing the University of Lethbridge, which mil take some of the ideas at Simon Fraser even farther. It is a single complex, in essence a single building. It incorporates the residences within the building, and there won't be a gas station. "We have new ideas for classrooms. There will he a large space, basically a lounge, with seating arranged in theatre-type tiers. The tiers, along with the lounge, become classrooms and can be as for- mal or informal as is neces- ssay. All Uie a u d i o-visual means are at hand, the televi- sion screens, projectors, tapes, all that. There will be no closed rooms. This idea hasn't been tried in recent times. It is an ancient idea but new in our time." Once in a while Arthur Erickson is at horns, in his home town, in Vancouver, in his garden. "This garden is very impor- tant to me, it is such a refuge. I'm fed. up with the house but to be able to escape here and have all those birds and things is really marvellous. Even wild ducks come to the pond. The cats have a field day stalking the grass. "A quality of peace comes from the harmony of the gar- den, of things working togeth- er, being inter dependent. Things grow the way they want to. I recently had algae trouble on the pond because racoons come in and eat the fish. The pool used to he clean. Leaves would fall in and rot and eventually turn into algae which the fish would eat. The great cycle goes on, over and over. "I used to have swans here and they were nice but the scale was wrong, Uiey were too large for the pond, and besides they used to walk through the house and make a mess. But they would climb to Uie top of the hill and slide down for their own amusement. I'm not here that much though and T had to feed them buckets of lettuce every morning. "You'll notice there are very few flowers here, which is typi- cal of a Japanese garden. The Japanese will clip azalea blos- soms to strengthen the bush. See tlie juniper on the side of the hill? If this were a real Japanese garden that would represent clouds on a moun- tainside. The Japanese use very few flowers and when you come upon one it is a really pleasant surprise. "Tlie way we are with flow- ers, concerned only with (lie amount of color, shows how in- sensitive we arc. Tliey might as v.-cl! be plastic. "All those clusters of tall grass come from tlie banks of the Fraser, and were planted to look as if they grow wild here. And the cats and racoons are convinced nobody lives here. It is so refreshing to come home, in ways my neigh- bors simply cau'l understand." J'.Uffi F Empliasis Upon Retirement, From The International.Herald-Tribune pronounced in the United most respects, the strike at General Motors is a familiar inflationary phenomenon. The union wants to recoup all wages "lost" by past cosl-of-living in- creases, provide against future inflation, and add something more on general prin- ciples. The fact that the whole package is inflationary, and that it will weaken Amer- ican competition against foreign imports (to say nothing of the effect upon over- seas sales) seems to escape Mr. Woodcock and his United Automobile Workers. In this aspect, the strike is a strong ar- gument against letting nature, and high in- terest rates, bear the sole responsibility for ending the inflationary spiral. Loss of pro- duction and wages and profits could well administer a severe check to the budding regrowth of the economy, without any so- cial compensations worth mentioning. It is the most severe test of the validity of the Nixon administration's approach to the na- tion's economic troubles. But there is another facet of the strike which has perhaps more profound impli- cations for the future. That is the great em- phasis which the workers, especially the young workers, are placing upon the re- tirement provisions proposed by the union. These would permit retirement at any age, after 30 years' employment, at mini- mum retirement allowances of a month (including where applicable, Social The economic burden which this would place on the corporation is, of course, a heavy one. But in addition it marks another phase of a trend that has been growing States. In New York City, for example, retire- ment after 20 years' service was mado possible for policemen and firemen a long time ago. The reasons were practical enough: the hazards and physical demands of the uniformed forces argued for rela- tively early withdrawal from active duties. But the program has been extended to many other city services and the munici- pality is feeling the pinch of losing experi- enced men at a time when they can well do good work without special strains. But early retirement is now taking the place once occupied in the labor movement by shorter hours, short work-weeks and vacations with pay. It bulks even larger in negotiations. Taken with the lengthening life span of Americans and the problems presented by the increasing number of se- nior citizens, in terms of health care and housing, the prospect o f another large number of Americans withdrawing from the normal work force in the late forties or early fifties opens up many possibilities, attractive and disturbing. That these phenomena are accompanied by others resulting from the technological unemployment of large numbers who can- not either serve or benefit from advanced technology is an illustration of the com- plexity which looms in the post-industrial society. Leisure can be a blessing or a curse. Certainly it can be a problem, when so many values have traditionally been based on the work ethic, and so many satisfactions can be derived from the use of skills. justice In South Africa From The New York Times JpOR the second time this year, South Africa's Supreme Court has demon- strated a rare independence of tile govern- ment and struck a considerable blow for justice and fair play. Justice Gerrit Vijoen has acquitted 19 black Africans charged under the drastic Terrorism Act with plot- ting to overthrow white rule. Justice Viljoen ruled that the charges against the 19 were substantially the same as those of which they and three others were acquitted last February under the slightly less pernicious Suppression of Communism Act. On that occasion the de- fendants, who have been in solitary con- finement much of the time since their ar- rest in May, 1969, were rearrested under the Terrorism Act before they could leave the courtroom. For months after that second arrest it seemed that the state intended to hold the blacks indefinitely, "without charge, as it can do under the law. The fact that It finally freed three of the original defen- dants and brought the others to trialowed much to a rising protest against their de- tention by lawyers, students, newspapers, church and women's groups. In Premier Vorster's country, however, not even a second acquittal insures that UK Africans will long be free. The courts have spoken, but the government still could put the 19 under house arrest by ad- ministrative action and thus deprive them of the chance to earn a living. The Vorster regime could get badly needed credits from a critical world if it would indicate a willingness to abide by the court verdicts. It could gain even more standing by repealing the heinous Terro- rism Act, which the Johannesburg Bar Council has branded "subversive of proper administration of justice in South Africa.'" Make It Universal From The Ottawa Citizen COVERAGE of the self-employed by un- employment insurance legisl a t i o n would make the plan truly universal. It is encouraging that Labor Minister Mackasey intends to study the feasibility of this move. Mi-. Macksasey has said he is "not sym- pathetic" to the idea. The problem, of course, is to prevent abuse. There need be little fear of abuse by self- employed persons earning more than un- employment insurance pays. They won't deliberately go bankrupt in order to earn less for a restricted period, alter which they will get nothing. And even those with lower incomes are unlikely to bankrupt themselves wilfully, merely to get unem- ployment insurance for a time. If they are allowed to join the schema voluntarily, they will receive equal treat- ment with the salaried worker. That's uni- versality. Forced bankruptcies would make them eligible for insurance. But that's the with many salaried workers whose factor- ies close down. If, as Mr. Mackasey says, there are countries which permit the self- employed to take out unemployment Insur- ance, Canada should be able to follow. Adult Behavior From Quebec Lc.Soleil T ITTLE by little, (lie Canadian charter on bilingualisni, as envisaged by the Laurendeau-Dunton commission in its first report in December, 1967, is taking shape, and Ottawa continues to apply the recom- mendations that have been accepted and ratified by federal-provincial govern- ments. The latest recommendation affects teaching of a minority language. Under terms of a new agreement; Ottawa will give million this year to the provinces to help defray the additional costs of teaching a second language, specifically either one of the two official languages of the country. The B and B commission recommended that the right of parents to have their chil- dren instructed in the language of their choice be recognized in terms of the demo- graphic concentration of the minority. It seems that the inauguration of the federal program surpass this principle At the moment, nothing is foreseen for the university level, but Ottawa is pur- suing talks so that (he B and B recom- mendation applies to this level as well, The university student should not for- get what lie learned at the elementary and secondary level. Following the goodwill shown by all groups in the country since 1967, at the in- dividual and institutional level, and despite exceptions to the rule, the charter on bilingualism is n o t a daydream and can be applied without coercion. Isn't that the behavior of an adult nation? Rick Dividends From The Great Falls Tribune AS Montana students flood back to cle- mentary and secondary schools, it may be appropriate to comment about the amaz- ing knowledge explosion that makes a good education so all-important. Mankind's field of knowledge is doubling an astonishing rate. The first doubling occurred in 1750, the second in 1300, the third in 1950, the fourth in and Uie fifth probably a year or two ago. Speculative statisticians estimate that of all tlie scientist and engineers who have ever lived, more than 00 per cent arc alive and working today. They say that about 60 million new pages of technical data arc published yearly and emphasize that of all the world's scientific and technical discov- eries, half have been made in the past 15 years. The implications of the knowledge explo- sion and the rapid pace of automation obvious that there will be ever increas- ing demands for educated and skilled per- sons and sharply diminishing needs for un- skilled and uneducated workers. This may be the time for parents, friends and the schools to make a special effort. U> encourage sclxwl drop ouls to return to school immediately and to help those who are potential dropouts to continue their ed- ucation. It pays lire individual to obtain an excel- lent education. The dollar proof of the valua of increased education lies in statistics that show UK lifetime earnings of UK average college graduate are more than while those for a person who has had less than eight years of school total only about Yes, education pays rich the individual and to focjety, ;