I have a big announcement [scroll down if the excitement is too much for you to bear!], but first, some thoughts:
I've been thinking about the theme and content of this blog, and I'm making a slight revision. It started as an exploration of alternative modes of practice, at a time when I was questioning some of the 'extra-curriculars' I'm constantly involved in and whether they meant I was still an 'architect' in the traditional sense.
After getting into this mode of discourse a bit deeper, my exploration seems to be more about expanded practice than alternative practice.
I wrote an article for ArchitectureBoston magazine this spring, a conversation with young architects about the future of the profession. Lian Chikako Chang [of Archinect blog fame!] said something I thought was very clear and smart when we were talking about the ways that architects [and 'alternative architects'] group themselves:
"I see two sets of people in the field: those who group architecture with other “design” fields — graphic or industrial, for example — and those who group architecture with fields related to the built environment. Are we primarily interested in design, or are we primarily interested in the built environment?"
It's not so important where we draw the line. It's not so important who is an 'architect' and who is not. It's important for us to do whatever we can to make the world better, to design things that matter, to make better buildings and to help set the context that will allow us to produce the architecture and design we want to be producing.
If that means I have to do some 'alternative' stuff to get there, so be it.
So from this day forth, this blog is about 'expanded' practice, rather than 'alternative' practice. A semantic difference, perhaps, but for me it's an important distinction.
I'm also going to bring on a co-blogger to help me in this new endeavor: Welcome, Kevin MacNichol!
Kevin graduated with me from the architecture program at Northeastern--he's a brilliant student and a conscientious, focused, thoughtful designer. I am thrilled that he will be sharing his thoughts on the ways that architects can push for the change they want to see.
We live in uncertain times. Let's use the uncertainty to redefine the way we are valued and the way we measure ourselves, to create the context for the change we want to make.