(Rev. 8-15-12: Newly updated with links, improved content, & edits for clarity)
“A man or a woman without a goal is like a ship without a rudder. Each will drift and not drive. Each will end up on the beaches of despair, defeat, and despondency.”
Many of us have been asking ourselves how can architects regain relevance and attain success in the current economy? Solo practitioners seem most at risk– which is ironic as this is the new age of The Entrepreneur (see any book written by management visionary, thought leader, speaker and author Tom Peters).
CAN ARCHITECTS BE ‘REPOSITIONED’?:
Architects are “out of joint“. Both individually and collectively as a profession, we are injured. At least some of us are. We are hurting, feeling forgotten, passed over, lost, directionless- not unlike the folks featured in this past Sunday’s CBS re-airing of the February 19th, 2012 60 Minutes episode: “Trapped in Unemployment.”
I have said it before
and still maintain that (residential) architects could be called “the starving artists of the built environment.”
We often don’t get paid (adequately) even when we (do) get the commission. Sadly, and frustratingly, more often than not, we don’t get the commission. Some of us have simply stopped marketing our services and have become the endangered solo practitioner.
I don’t know what the exact solution is- aside from an economic breakthrough- but I have some ideas. Repositioning Architects, in my opinion, first starts with an accurate mental framing and adequate understanding of the problem– which is what I have been, and am, attempting to do in my blog posts.)
THE former GOLDEN AGE OF ARCHITECTURE:
A few nights ago, I read a short childrens’ illustrated story book (Julia Morgan Built a Castle, by Celeste Davidson Mannis) on the extraordinary life and work of architect Julia Morgan, AIA, (it was obvious that she did not rely on any professional organization to secure work; nor did it seem apparent in those days (the early 1900’s- 1950’s) that architects needed to educate the public on the value of good design. The people who needed architects actively sought them out and hired them because they readily recognized the unique capabilities an architect would bring to their projects and they trusted the professional architect to deliver topnotch design services.
THE AIA’S REPOSITIONING ARCHITECTS YEAR-LONG CAMPAIGN- the latest update
David Andreozzi, AIA, and a leader and member of CRAN (the Custom Residential Architects Network– see it here on the www.aia.org KnowledgeNet forum website), recently shared a post on an important discussion and presentation he attended in Seattle, Washington- along with other key people in the AIA. Here is a copy of the slideshow (researched, compiled and presented by famous graphic design ad and rebranding agency Pentagram and LaPlaca Cohen) for your perusal and comment:
- What exactly are architects expecting from ourselves, the AIA, and one another?
- How can the AIA be transformed into a more relevant organization? (One exercise to envision a better AIA is to imagine working in the profession without the AIA: What services would we miss? What programs, resources, continuing education and events will be needed in the future?)
I look forward to your responses in the comment section below…