Do you have an eye for design? Do you at least have a pencil and a used envelope? The Chronicle is running a contest and wants your ideas for the Bush Presidential Library. Send in your literally back-of-the-envelope sketches. Certain themes have already been overdone, but there’s plenty of room for more.
Letâ€™s just say that Mr. Bush should be less worried about the test scores of Americaâ€™s children and more concerned about their imagination. How are we going to compete with China and India if our people canâ€™t think outside the box (or outside the outhouse)? . . .
One more thing: Weâ€™ve heard that some architects and architecture firms are reluctant to send in designs. They donâ€™t want their libraries to run alongside crude pictures of toilets, weâ€™ve heard, and they donâ€™t want to be associated with a George W. Bush Library, even a make-believe one.
We have some responses to this: Regarding your peers in the contest, we have made clear that weâ€™ll winnow the entries; the outhouse designs probably wonâ€™t make the cut.
Regarding the PR repercussions of designing a library for a not-very-popular Bush, just be courageous. (Your entry will be anonymous during the reader-voting process, anyway.) Great architects have been known to be brave, proud, and even pugnacious, not intimidated by even the most daunting projects. Mustering courage for an imaginary building canâ€™t be that hard.
Sharpen those pencils. Fire up your imaginations. The deadline for entries is February 1st.