Billy Rose, President and co-founder of The Agency, recently took time to answer a few questions for AIA|LA‘s magazine LArchitecture, in a story that examines whether classic beauty or innovative trends are driving the Los Angeles design culture, with the possibility that teasing apart the difference may be more complex than we think. Alongside leading architects, journalists and real estate moguls, Rose is featured as an industry expert in a town known for its wholehearted adoption of diverse architectural styles. Does “good” architecture follow trends or does it always reflect the rational, correct way of approaching design? Here’s what our own Billy Rose had to say:

LArchitecture: Can trendy design be also lastingly beautiful, or do you think one excludes the other?

16Billy Rose: Certain trends (for example, Modernism) can be classic and forever. But, to be so, the design needs to follow the fundamental tenets of the style (such as clean lines and a restraint in adornment). However, designs, which today may seem like fresh takes on a style, may feel dated in five to 10 years.

LArchitecture: Is the general tendency to “trendify” or “beautify” the city?

Rose: To a certain degree, I think there is definitely a tendency to “trendify.” Most people in LA want others to take notice (though, thankfully, not everyone here does), so many projects are often grander, bolder statements of that which preceded it. Truly innovative expressions, however, can emerge from this process, resulting in something that not only “trendifies” but also beautifies the city. I also have to applaud the city of LA’s long-standing, and the city of Beverly Hills’ recent, efforts to preserve architecturally significant properties. These efforts maintain a time-honored lasting beauty within the city.

For further architectural insight, including how Rose defends the popular LA “look at me” design approach, read the full story here.