“Love is a battlefield.”- Pat Benatar
Do you think it is important for Architects to be on the same page in order to take our profession to the next level? If so, why? And, on which issues must we find consensus?
Why bring this up?
During a rare lunch meeting with a reputable firm principal he intimated to me- after he had participated in many efforts with the AIA (at both the local and national levels) how: “Architects are not on the same page….they’re just not.” I could tell he was frustrated by this, but not stymied by any means. What he didn’t say was what impact he thought this would have on the overall profession. What was implied, in my opinion, was that things would remain at a relative ‘stalemate’ or slow rate of change as long as architects were not in agreement on certain key issues. He did not mention what issues specifically, but I think he was referring to sustainable design and the green building code, among other things.
This conversation took place about a year ago. Since then, as far as what I’ve observed from reading the Twitter feed and posts on AIA KnowledgeNet and LinkedIn, his observation remains true: architects are not on the same page.
Exploring the Topics
Architects seem to disagree on many key issues such as: what constitutes good design; green design, green building codes, how to efficiently and equitably prepare construction drawings, the essential role(s) of architects in today’s society, what priorities we should be focusing on, how to implement BIM, should we implement BIM- and, if so, which BIM tool(s) are the best; how to educate architectural students, how to fairly compensate emerging professionals, how to negotiate fees commensurate with the services being provided, should we- no, yea, CAN we even discuss how to negotiate fees (no, well, maybe not, but- well, check out the recent November #AIAchat on Twitter where they discussed design fees). You can also read the AIA’s position statement regarding the lawsuit and judgment rendered against the AIA back in the early 1990s that has architects muzzled and running scared).
Did I leave anything out?
Probably. Oh, yes: we also seem to be divided into two camps: Modern vs Vernacular (traditional design); Residential (is it true that “real” architects don’t design houses as the City Architect of San Antonio quoted her previous boss as having said?) vs Commercial; Decorated Box vs Ornamentation, etc. Issues of style are, of course, still very important to us. And, another emergent dichotomy: the starchitects vs the huge aec conglomerates.
Making Sense of these Dichotomies- A Starter List
- LEED vs the IgCC (International Green Construction Code) vs Sustainable Design education inherent in most NAAB curricula vs outright ignorant slothfulness
- BIM and integrated design vs Silos
- CAD and BIM vs Hand-drafting working drawings (yes, it’s still being done)
- Training your employees vs Letting them fend for themselves and wasting your firm’s precious time and money
- Negotiating commensurate fees with your clients vs Allowing one’s self to be beaten down by the client and forced to work for “free”
- Being Innovative vs Producing the “same old, same old” to save money and time because the firm’s powers-that-be failed to negotiate a commensurate fee
- Learning how buildings go together vs Continuing to be the brunt of behind-your-back jokes as you leave the construction site or hang up the phone after a CM calls you for clarification of a detail
- Upskilling currently employed PMs on the latest CAD and BIM tools vs Hiring a young emerging professional who recently graduated with a Master of Architecture
I’m sure we can whittle these down into far more succinct dichotomies. For now, this will have to suffice, as we’re already engaged in battle.
Is this War?
Who is in the war? Apparently it’s not only architects against the elements, but it’s architects against architects. We are not even willing to stand up for ourselves, let alone one another! I find this a complete disgrace. We are so quick to trash architects, in general, in favor of other building professionals that it is embarrassing.
What is the collateral damage? I would say our talents; our knowledge, skills and abilities; our sense of who we are; and obviously, our very livelihoods are at stake.
I admit, it’s very troubling to discuss these ideas. I almost feel ignoble in attempting to do so. But, WHEN are we going to WAKE UP and start naming the elephants- the stampede of elephants- in the room???
To listen to some architects talk, it seems as though architecture and our profession is already dead. They seemed to have resigned themselves to the fact that, piece by piece, architects have chosen (yes, they blame themselves, you, me, the AIA, and other aec-related professions) for the decline in relevance of our profession.
Is architecture irrelevant? Or, are only some architects choosing to be irrelevant by looking at the glass as half (or completely) empty? Has technology rendered some of us irrelevant?
How has LEED and the whole USGBC Green movement affected architecture? Has it informed the general public at the expense of the architect’s employment? I would say, yes, it has. How, you might ask? Well, first of all, by placing unlicensed people and those who have not been educated in a school of architecture on par with licensed architects (and please correct me if I’m wrong about this). What the LEED credentialing process has done, in my opinion, is level the playing field. Essentially, it puts the ‘doctor’ at the same level as his/her ‘patient’ (or non-licensed competitor). The patient can now have the same- or higher- credential as the doctor. This being the case, who needs- or who can and should even trust- a doctor when they have less information than someone who studied the book and received LEED GA after their name? That is the scenario we now have as builders, employees, office assistants, and anyone who wanted to (or the firm thought needed to become so in order to get more LEED points)- but who are actually non-aec degreed and unlicensed “design folk”- have sat for the exam that is more a test of memory (from what I’ve been told) than it is of one’s true understanding of sustainable design principles and how to apply them in the built environment. And, what’s worse, due to the savvy marketing efforts of the USGBC, having the letters LEED after one’s name seems to carry far more clout and relevancy than AIA.
Okay, end of rant. Moving on…
How is BIM (Building Information Modeling, Management) being implemented? Is it a process that’s being “held hostage” by the corporate marketing strategies of AutoDesk? Was I the only person who was shocked that Frank Gehry signed on with AutoDesk (the owners of Revit) instead of “thinking outside the box” in favor of more user-friendly interfaces of Apple-based products? Is it a crime to even say or think this? Perhaps I’m just terribly misinformed.
As I read the recent article in Architectural Record on Frank Gehry’s newest endeavor, I couldn’t help but think: ‘…wow, you know the situation’s getting serious when Frank Gehry enlists a group of architects to set out to save the profession of architecture!’
So, which side are you on in the Battle to Save Architecture?
Are you going to be a total pansy and join the chorus of “Oh, I’ve seen houses or buildings, etc, designed by architects that are just as bad, if not worse, than those designed by:_____________(you fill in the blank).” Or, are you going to “man-up” and start speaking up on behalf and in favor of the strengths that architects bring to the table?
What is the Alternative to War?
Sitting back and doing nothing. Letting someone else define who we are. It is this kind of passive non-resistance that will lead us toward seeking alternative jobs in other professions or into perpetual unemployment.
What is the outcome if we lose this war? I think to do nothing will result in the loss of thousands of well-trained and educated individuals to other jobs. Loss of income. Loss of architectural design and all that goes with it (scale, proportion, beauty, space, light, etc). Have we already lost the war? For example, the new Architecture 2030 movement/initiative (which I respect) seems to promote a BIM process led by Mechanical Engineering and Sustainability models rather than a design process led by Architects. I support the new collaborative process; I just hope Architects are able to remain in the driver’s seat.
“United we stand, divided we fall.”- from Aesop to Abraham Lincoln to Pink Floyd’s lyrics in their song ‘Hey You‘
We have a choice: Either we stand on common ground and advocate more forecfully for our profession, or we retreat into our silos, rendering ourselves obsolete and becoming “Comfortably Numb.”
A Call to Action!
Do you feel this same sense of urgency as I do? If so, what are you doing to actively advocate for the profession of architecture?
Brilliant post! I think the issue revolves around two main notions:
1) the role of the architect is changing, and that scares us and 2) you can’t prevent ‘bad’ designers from designing. To elaborate, you mention that everyone bemoans the fact that processes are changing, other professionals are ‘taking’ architect’s job responsibilities, and the profession is generally stagnant. In most cases, the ones complaining are the ‘old school thinkers’ who can’t understand that change isn’t necessarily bad, it just requires innovation and adaptation. If the industry is moving towards BIM, green building, pre-fab, etc etc then that means we need to ‘find a need and fill it’. Instead of relying solely on ‘the way things are done’, we need to drive the industry by providing the products and services clients want. Even more, we need to be offering these products and services before they’re asked for to stay ahead of the curve. I find that so many architects have a mindset of keeping everything the way it has always been for nostalgic or egotistical reasons (i.e. entitlement, glamor, prestige, ‘paying dues’, etc.). I find it so ironic that architects claim to be innovators, yet sit back and whine when things change and start to edge them out of a job. I think I’m with you – what are we doing about it? Sitting around and talking won’t help – we have to act.
The second notion is one that I’m sure will offend, but it is true: not all designers and architects are good at what they do. In terms of aesthetics, we have to actively convince the public and potential clients that we have the talent and creativity (or particular ‘style’) they want. Hearing people say things like ‘I’ve seen architects design buildgs worse than _____’ is usually because it is true. You can’t prevent an architect or designer from putting up a structure that is ugly or irrational. The more poor design we have, the less likely the public is to use our services. Unfortunately, it is one side that can’t be regulated effectively. I like to think of it in this way: In school, I’d classify about 10-15% of the students as gifted or talented in terms of design – the rest were average or just plain bad. There is of course, a level of opinion, but we can all think back to a few classmates that we wondered if they had picked the wrong major. How many practicing professionals are giving architecture a bad name because, frankly, they’re just not very good? Bad design is everywhere; I’d even say there is more bad design than good in the world around us. However, I think it is up to us to not just design well, but to educate, inform and inspire. Spreading the good design will hopefully make using architects more appealing – and having an open dialogue about what constitutes good design will help us set a higher standard across the board.
I hope there are more discussions about these topics you’ve mentioned – I think they’re important. Thanks for diving in head first!
Thank you for your great comments. I believe we (or most of us would) agree that the role(s) of architects are changing due to myriad factors and it’s becoming increasingly challenging for solo practitioners to adapt.
I like your exhortation to ‘find a need and fill it.’ That seems to be the best innovative and adaptive strategy to employ in the new global economy.
On your second point, you wrote: “You can’t prevent an architect or designer from putting up a structure that is ugly or irrational. The more poor design we have, the less likely the public is to use our services. Unfortunately, it is one side that can’t be regulated effectively.”
Firstly, not all buildings are designed by architects. If you and I drive down Westheimer Rd or any major street in the U.S., we would not be able to tell- unless it’s a well-known landmark or iconic building- who it was designed by. The Architect of Record is not necessarily the designer; design is informed by many players- the developer, the client, consultants, and other key stakeholders.
My opinion is that it does our profession a disservice to criticize- and worse, generalize- the work of architects based on the few ‘poor designs’ (by who’s standards? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…) which might not have been done by an architect, but by another building professional.
I liked your recent blogpost on your blog http://www.architangent.com where you illustrated “bad design” with pictures and described what was wrong with each. That kind of constructive critique can be helpful and informative to all of us.
As for the students who were not the best designers, there are plenty of supportive and leadership roles they can play in firms, such as: Construction Managers, Project Managers, Spec Writers, BIM managers, Marketers, etc.
I see a lot of good design out there, too. The intent of my post was to get architects to advocate for the profession and to hopefully see that poor-mouthing the work of supposed other architects and broad-stroking the whole of the profession as ‘poor designers’ is a step backwards and only shoots ourselves in the foot.
Instead, I hope we can do what you suggest in your last point: have a clear dialogue about what constitutes good design (and bad design) and go from there.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk by various creative groups about the Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule on becoming an expert. Steven Pressfield addresses this- concluding that for each of us to become an expert in our area of talent, we need to spend 10 years (at 1,000 hours/year) doing that task/endeavor.
Given the ebb and flow of work in the architecture profession, I think there are relatively few people who’ve been given that amount of consistent exposure and opportunity to fully develop their talents.
I feel the same sense of urgency that you feel, and I know that many, many other architects do, too (especially other architects involved in CSI). But not enough architects realize that we have a problem in the profession.
From your “starter list” of issues, this is the area that I feel called to act on: “Learning how buildings go together” vs “Continuing to be the brunt of behind-your-back jokes as you leave the construction site or hang up the phone after a CM calls you for clarification of a detail.” This is the one issue that I feel that architects REALLY, REALLY need to be all “on the same page” about – we need to dedicate ourselves to learning how buildings go together, and we need to dedicate ourselves to teaching emerging professionals how buildings go together.
I come to this strong feeling from a place of not having known how buildings go together, and recognizing that as a weakness in myself. I had this weakness not just before architecture school, not just after architecture school, but even after a number of years of working in architecture. I had a lot of questions, and didn’t know where to go to find the answers. I knew there were things I didn’t even know enough about to know what my questions were. Now I write project specifications as a consultant to other architects, and I know how to go about finding the answers.
What many, many architects don’t seem to fully recognize is that ARCHITECTS ARE PART OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. The CONSTRUCTION of buildings is the EXECUTION of our designs. Our job, the job that we’re LICENSED to do, is to prepare CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS and to ADMINISTER THE CONTRACT FOR CONSTRUCTION. Yes, we design, also. And that’s the first step. But the biggest parts of our fees on typical projects come from the Construction Documents and the Construction Contract Administration phases. But Schematic Design and Design Development are all we learn about in architecture school, and some people think it’s all that architects do… even some architects think that.
Thank you for inspiring my blog post for today! I’m just going to copy this comment I’ve made, and rework a bit of it, and link to this great post of yours, and post on my blog today. http://www.lizosullivanaia.wordpress.com
I loved your post! And thank you for taking one of my bullet points and running with it to create your own blog post– that is awesome. You story is very similar to my own.
I especially agree with you on this:
“What many, many architects don’t seem to fully recognize is that ARCHITECTS ARE PART OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. The CONSTRUCTION of buildings is the EXECUTION of our designs. ”
I believe that is why organizations like CSI (http://www.csinet.org/Main-Menu-Category/Certification.aspx ) can help us to become better architects. I found out about CSI’s CDT (Construction Documents Technologist) exam only last year when another female architect told me about it. Until then, I had assumed CSI was primarily for construction managers and spec writers.
Thank you for reading my blog and offering your insights.
I certainly sense your frustration from your posting. I am beginning to feel that negativity prevails. It is easy to point out what may be “wrong” with the profession and much more difficult to envision what should be done to make improvements instead. New challenges, new ideas, new directions, new responses, are what I am striving to find and aspire to develop. I believe we need a positive intervention, a proactive stance, rather than becoming absorbed in the negative.
I keep remembering a song from the era I enjoy: Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive by Bing Crosby. Here is a link to the lyrics and a cell phone ring tone as a continuous remider. It’s not just architects that need a dose of this attitude.
Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I appreciate your viewpoint.
I agree with you, we DO need a positive intervention!
So, what would you recommend?
And, I love that song you referenced- it has a great message.
In addition to our new theme song, we need an Action Plan. I believe architects can work together to build up our profession.
One of the leading architectural firm consulting teams I’ve been following is Design Intelligence. They have a way of framing today’s challenges with an optimistic mindset. Here is a link to a host of recent articles they’ve written: http://www.di.net/articles/
I think each of my bullet points could become its own blog post.
Maybe that’s what I’ll do…
Great article. At my last employer many of the emerging architects would take our 15 min. break this exact article would be our discussion. Everyone was passionate about architecture but after being in a firm for a while, some were beat down and resolved that architecture was dying. Other raged with more fire that something had to be done and we were the one to do it. The old heads of the firm resisted fiercely anything new we brought to the table. They were always at least 2 years behind the curve. We brought ideas that we thought should be implemented and they rejected them. Two years later they see the same thing at an AIA convention and they come back to the office like they just discovered the newest, greatest next thing.
This is where I sit. Architect’s are no longer in the driver set. Architect’s have stepped out of the drivers set, now everyone is fighting over who should drive. All Architects have to do is sit back down and begin to drive again. Architects must again crave to be in the driver set. I think we have to take the lead. Regardless if someone is already out in front we must say, oh thanks for warming up the car for me. But we must began to take the lead. Architects are problem solves, so we must look to solve problems, not just in buildings but in the industry. Architects must seek to be master builders. All hope is not lost, but there needs to be a sense of urgency about taking back control by innovating in process, product, and practice. We have to do what other can not or are unwilling to do.
LEED is a joke the reason why anyone can take and pass it is because it is not about sustainability it is about filing out the LEED paper work. LEED is about trying to force sustainability instead of innovating through sustainability such that there is no other desire.
Great post. Really gets you thinking. I have been working in this industry for over 31 years now. One of the problems is that architectural education is a total mess. Students get little education in business and what they do is from people who were rarely ever successful in business themselves and have a very limited perspective. Then there’s the dysfunctional attitude that so many architects have about design–that being that a building has to be shocking or out of context to be “any good.” This, too, is frequently passed down by architectural educators. There’s also the lack of construction costs and construction knowledge of so many architects. They can’t really design to a client budget with no sense of costs, and their plans too often can’t be readily built economically whereas with minor changes in design could be, or worse, just don’t make sense to be built. Finally, architects keep giving away more and more pieces of their “master builder role” to contractors and others. Some don’t even want to do CDs any more–the very thing they actually make money on. Program management, contractor led design-build, construction management and more all chip away at the architects’ former revenue sources.
Thank you for contributing your great insights to this discussion!
In case other readers might be interested in your background and the services your A/E consulting firm provides, here’s a link to your company’s website: http://www.zweigwhite.com
I’m honored to have your input.
Great comment, Mark.
great site.. nice layout
Thank you so much for the positive feedback! Hope to see you soon…~Tara
The comments you and others make regarding Architecture/Architects are ones I have experienced and asked questions on for several decades. Education is inadiquate on business, economics, drafting (yes – drafting! One DOES need to know how to draft and understand line weights!!!), technology, construction – even engineering. Sure, the academics are tough – but that’s what it is all about!
Architects may think they are the “artists” of design, but that does nothing for their credibility with lenders, owners, contractors and code inspectors when a building goes up. I have interviewed architects all across the country from the Titans of design to the sole practitioners and hear the same complaints about the profession, new graduates, apprentices, business laws, etc. Those are Real World comments from seasoned professionals. Now on Linked-In you read about how young professionals complain about the ARE, the expense, feel ‘entitled’ to have a professional title after their name – even when they are not registered. This is sad. Other industries have now ‘stolen’ the title of “Architect” and applied it to technology, speech writing, politics – even military jobs. It seems Architects have no right to their own professional name.
Architecture is a most misunderstood vocation. Born of apprenticship [as were most other professions] but failed to make the transition to credible stature like the others. We even ‘allowed’ some to be granted licensure by experience! What Doctor or Lawyer has that same privilege? [How many years must you be a Nurse before you can take the Doctor exam?]
Architecture is the ONLY profession not to have its own suffix. [MD, JD, PE, CPA, RN, etc.] Is it any wonder why Architects must explain to people that they are the ‘building” kind and not the IT kind?
I could go on and on about how the profession lost all credibility during the ’70’s – and no one seemed to care – especially the AIA. No wonder the Contractors came up with their own credentials in management! Even the NCARB lowered its once high standards to allow more member$.
Where do we go from here?
Architects were once known as ‘Master Builders’. That does not apply any longer. It will take a LOT of hard work to restore our professional credibility. We need better education. We need better professional oganizations. We need to establish public recognition of our title with a suffix and an understanding of the VALUE Architects provide to the building/design process.
[If it were not for the state licensure laws, Engineers would usurp from Architects all design credibility]
The profession is broken and needs to be fixed!……before it is totaly lost.
Thank you for your very astute comments on the state of the architecture profession in 2012. It is very fragile. I think you’ve summed it up quite well with your last two sentences:
///[If it were not for the state licensure laws, Engineers would usurp from Architects all design credibility]
The profession is broken and needs to be fixed!……before it is totaly lost.///
I completely agree with you– and I know of some jobsites that were shut down because clients were working without an architect on the project; so, TBAE shut them down as an Engineer’s stamp is not sufficient for health, safety, and welfare in all architectural concerns.
Lastly, yes, the profession is broken and needs to be fixed! Where do we begin?
The movie title “While We Were Sleeping” seems to fit this scenario…I personally took a detour from architecture back in the early 1990’s to start a home health care company; when I returned to architecture I didn’t notice the very strange path it was on…everything seemed to be going gangbusters. It’s amazing what faults a good economy can hide.
I first noticed the air of radical change when a fellow colleague told me about the “need” to become LEED accredited. I won’t go in to all that right now, but that is when I first got wind of a major tectonic shift in “the business of architecture.”
Architecture has always been a tough field in which to compete…now, as James Cramer of Design Intelligence has said, “It’s anybody’s game…”
I hope so! I hope the playing field is still open for all size firms. We need to act quickly, though. Not sure how strong of a role the AIA is going to be willing/able to play. They seem absent from the conversation.
After being in this business for 30 plus years, I sometimes want to scream when I see what architects are producing. Clearly many “award-winning designs” are decorated sterile boxes. Is this the new vernacular for today? No sense of scale? No warmth of materials? No respect for historic context when plopping a new building in the neighborhood? (I do have to say that some of the best new buildings I have seen that have been responsive to context have been in Miami). Poor Acoustics? (did no one know that using all hard surfaces = reverb…what class did you miss in college?)
Years ago when I was at the last firm, I suggested to two of the partners that we might do lunchtime peer reviews after projects are finished. What details worked? Any waterproofing problems? Nice color palettes? Durable materials? Successful wayfinding? The list of things go on. It can be POSITIVE. But I was met with “how dare you criticize anyone here…this firm is godlike”. But the truth was, there were many lawsuits, the same mistakes were constantly being made, information was not shared by partners and the spec writer with the design team until the last week of a project, if ever. This firm makes fatal mistakes, and clients don’t like it. There really is no excuse for it. There is no excuse for putting cabinet pulls on wall-hung casework at 5’6″AFF. The nurses couldn’t open the doors, yet no one at the firm cared about it, including their construction administrator.
Until architects get their heads out of the clouds, are able to self-evaluate projects, are able to make real improvements in their own work and not produce buildings that leak (hey, but the shape of the building outside was cool), then we are digging our professions grave. Good contractors know good details. We need to work with them, or their design-build staffs will put firms to rest in their graves. We as architects need to work better as a team with them, and keep LEARNING from our (and others’) mistakes.
I am currently working in an educational institution where we have our own in-house construction staff. After 6 years, we are still trying to learn how to work together, and mistakes are made often when they don’t consult me, but it has been a good learning experience for me. Rarely do I put out a set of drawings without having had some input from the superintendents first.
The egos have to be put away, my friends.
Thank you for your insights and shared experiences. I appreciate the time you took to read my post and comment.
I think your last comment is very cogent for today’s preferred collaborative work environment: “The egos have to be put away…”
All that you’ve shared reminds me of the book “The Owner’s Dilemma- Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry” by Barbara White Bryson with Canan Yetmen.
Again, thanks for your comments! Please visit again soon.
A pity, but I disagree with this unique post. I do like your particular web-site though and may keep coming right back for the latest.
Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your interest in this post and would love to hear your insights as to what parts you disagree.
I’m glad you like the website and I look forward to your continued feedback- positive or constructively critical!
Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.
Thank you, Matthew, I appreciate your encouraging words!
This is absolutely great informational content. I think you could make an ebook out of this with some additional information. I agree with your views and I think you have a true gift for writing.
Thank you, Annamaria, for your kind words. I hadn’t considered an ebook– but will give it some serious thought! Please visit again soon. Take care, Tara
I found your article from a link on Liz O’Sullivan’s blog. (thanks Liz)
Being from north of the 49th parallel (eh!) I find it amazing the open way many AEC professionals discuss the challenges they see within our industry. I wish more professionals would do the same in Canada! Burying their heads in the sand and pretending nothing is wrong seems to be more the status quo here.
I will say that I am neither a registered architect, nor even a graduate architect. My architectural education came from a college (technical) program in Architectural Technology that is the polar opposite of most architectural schools (little design, lots of materials & methods, building science, drafting & detailing, contract administration and specificaton writing). What I am amazed at is that architects feel the same sense of frustration that I have felt along my career path over the last 22 years (OMG has it REALLY been THAT long ago that I graduated???)
I have been writing the specs for my current office for the last 5 years, and full-time for the last 2 years after not being able to effectively keep up with the contract administration duties i was also previously charged with. I whole-heartedly agree with many of he points you and Liz make in this and other blog posts! We are indeed apart of an industry that is heading down a path none of us want to be on!
The big question is how do we get our peers, colleagues, firm & industry “leaders” to recognize that before it is too late?
Liz has made many good points about real world education for young professionals. Others have made good points about the amount of time spent on “design” versus “Contract Document” preparation. The BEST (in my opinion) colleagues I have worked with are the ones that have superior techinical skills, not only because I learned a lot from them, but because they were not threatened to let others get involved with different aspects of the project. The current CEO of my firm is a shining example of this. He was actually running a custom homes business with 15 employees during the last couple of years in architecture school (I still can’t fathom how that could be possible, but he did it). Although I still feel like I have a lot to learn about this industry, I am often amazed when I get a phone call from him seeking my opinion on a detail, a product or the completeness of a set of documents.
I am also amazed at how many of the emerging professionals our firm seems to be hiring are turning to me for advice and guidance about a number of things. And its not just the interns that surprise me with this, but even some PA’s who have been “around” as long or longer than I have been do it too. I haven’t thought about it much before starting to read some of the many blog posts I have been reading lately. Of course part of that has had a lot to do with my schedule over the last 6 months, as much as anything else.
Thank you to you and others for providing me with the readily accessible food for thought to be more reflective than what I sometimes am! Who knows, maybe I will even be inspired to blog myself?!?!?!
One thing I am committing myself to, after reading a bunch of these posts, is to take a more aggressive (?), encouraging role in getting the young professionals in my firm (and within the industry) in educating themselves for success. Already being involved in CSC (Construction Specifications Canada, the equivalent to CSI here and the co-developers of MasterFormat, PageFormat etc), I am going to start pushing the benefits a lot more than I do. I think with a number of them it will actually be well received and will work!
Keep “fighting the fight” and pushing professionals in our industry to look at and evaluate the state of our “union”. I don’t thinks its too late to save our profession!
Good morning, Vietnam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …uhh, no…just kidding. 😉
But I felt the need to say something incredibly awesome after having somehow not seen or known about your mega-wonderful post until it was graciously pointed out to me by a regular reader and poster of this blog.
So, firstly, I want to apologize for having missed your post (since last May 2012– hard to fathom!). My original post was published on November 10, 2011 and the conversation continued well into the new year. And I always receive notifications in my inbox whenever a comment (that is not Spammed) is posted. So, the ONLY reason I can think of is that in the flurry of activities I had going on at the time when you posted, I simply did not see your post. For that, I greatly apologize.
Now, to briefly discuss your post: I am very satisfied to hear that you are now more compelled than ever to carry on in architecture and train and mentor emerging architects. You mentioned you were thinking of starting a blog; did you?
I will send you a Tweet on Twitter and hopefully you will see this before May 2013 😉
Very truly yours,
Tara Imani, AIA, CSI
I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your website?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe
you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
Maybe you could space it out better?
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