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Architecture and Urban Planning - A Memoir \ David Best
V 1990 - 2002
    He recounts a little anecdote, which in spite of his modest tone or maybe because of it, expresses deep humanistic values which I believe to be the most admirable attributes of the profession of architecture: - He wrote;- 
    “I have tried to build in my own manner; to find my own way of expression.  I had just built a compound of flats, a free group.  In itself no extraordinary problem and certainly no architectural stunt. I was walking about and the aspect did me good.  The houses were there: peaceful in the sun, partly reflecting in a pond in a modest park.  Then their came one of the inhabitants - I did not know anybody there, saying: `I have seen you here before and I think you must be Mr. Dudok.  I only want to tell you that you have made us happy with these houses...' For me such experiences are culminating points in my architectural existence.  Haven't we become architects to serve in this way?” 

    In spite of the enormous difference between thier architecture and the personalities of these two men, and the span of four centuries that separated their lives, I have found them to be the closest of companions in my own search for a way of architectural expression; “to build in my own manner”, but within: “valid rules and immutable canons and the belief that there is a correct and right way to design”.   

 In a strange way I also once received like Dudok, a poignant recognition for my work.  It was some few years after the big immigration from Russia. I was visiting the new neighborhood named after ‘Ben Gurion’, which I had designed in Sderoth .ten years previously, it was already several years after my disappointment in the quality of its execution.  The dwelling houses were built in small clusters and I had wandered into one of the courtyards.  A new immigrant approached me in some agitation, gesticulating at the refuse bins.  He spoke in a language that I assumed was some sort of Russian dialect, which of course didn't enlighten me at all as to what he wanted.  To my rescue, came another immigrant who knew some Hebrew. He explained to me that the rubbish had not been collected for some days.  “What is that to do with me?” I asked him. “He thinks you are from the Municipal Sanitation Department”, he told me.  I informed him, with some chagrin, that I was not and would he tell this man that the rubbish collection has nothing to do with me.  I thought to myself;'' my God, it has come to this; I am now being mistaken for a garbage collector.  On my first meeting with my wife, to be, in Jerusalem in 1950, Rina once mistook me for ‘a porter’.  Things are getting worse'', I thought.   The communication between these two Russians seemed to be problematic; my translator it transpired was from Leningrad, while the other immigrant was from some place in Kafkajistan.  In a moment of shear idiocy, I asked Leningrad to tell Kafkajistan that I was the architect of the neighbourhood. [ It is probably an inveterate psychosis amongst architects that they like to tell everybody that they are architects.]  The translation did not seem to be doing very well, as it seemed that Leningrad was not getting across to Kafkajistan that I was not from the Sanitation Department.  At this point I must have momentarily lost my sanity, thinking of Dudok's letter, I asked Leningrad to ask Kafkajistan if he was ‘happy with his houses’. The words had hardly left my mouth when I was grasped by utter panic. 
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