A Sign Of The Times: The Billionaire Amateur Architect

Charlie Munger is pretty much a household name in the finance and investing worlds, having made his name by becoming wealthy and being Warren Buffett’s investing partner for many decades. Apparently, he also has aspirations to be an architect. Read the article below.

What can I say? To give credit where credit is due, his design is well suited to squeezing every bit of profit out of a purpose-built student housing building as is humanly possible, but it’s a disaster in terms of liveability, safety, and longevity. In terms of liveability, housing students (or anyone, including incarcerated criminals) in rooms without windows is a recipe for cooking up mental health issues and social problems. In terms of safety, that floor plate looks like a good way to trap a large number of students in a fire. And in terms of longevity, the student housing industry in the US, which is huge, is moving away from this type of cram-them-in, prison-style student housing—in other words, Munger’s design is obsolete before it’s even built.

We live in an age when billionaires have come to believe the fawning adulation and expect the deference they are given in our society by their fans. They’ve forgotten (if they ever knew) that at least half of their success is due to luck, and that they aren’t experts at everything. Munger, if he really wants to help the UCSB, should give the university his $200 million to build new student housing as they see fit, not how he sees fit, and the only string he should attach is his name on the building.