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What do you think are the problems that architects will face in the future?
lack of funds.
lack of need for many building types.
collapse of friggin civilization as we know it.
Lack of booze would be the only real problem for architects. Everything else is just kind of par for the course.
Wait, WTF? Did somebody actually propose a lack of space as a serious problem? Wow hilarious, yo!
A lack of pointless forum threads.
Handsum, you win. Lack of booze would be a real problem.
Lack of funds is a problem, and surplus of designers is a problem.
When applying for an architects license in Vermont, they specifically ask you if you're an alcoholic.
After you both finish laughing they give you your license.
Lack of architects and designers, after decade of profession's unpopularity
Lack of seriousness.
The growing yawning gap between the academy and the profession
I feel like I need to clarify that by "surplus of designers" I'm not making a distinction between registered architects and pre-registered architects. There're too many of both kinds.
Why worry about the problems we might face?
The biggest threat is actually losing exclusive rights to the term "Architect." We've already seen technology professionals using the title of systems architect, network architects and my favorite solutions architect. They can use "architect" yet we have to call ourselves designers and interns until we become licensed.
Having gone through graduation exercises this past weekend I can reaffirm that there are far too many graduates that will never work in the profession but will apply to every job they see for the next 18-24 months...
I'm more concerned with a growing lack of humor and self-reflection. IMHO - great architects have always had this nice balance between seriousness and wry insouciance - lately everyone's acting anxious, self-righteous, and a little too hubristic. We should be allowed to poke fun at ourselves - keeps us honest. and people who take themselves too seriously are easy targets.
I liked what Tadao Ando said in his discussion in CA recently. Years ago, there were specific styles that architects wanted to portray and define the era they worked in and tried to create a cohesive building style while straying just enough to make everything unique. You can clearly see the evolution between styles of architecture (as they teach us in school)....when you get to today's architecture, it's too business oriented. Our faults as well as our clients, but the focus seems to be on cheap and fast. There doesn't seem to be any desire to take those constraints and be very creative with them or push the boundaries of what is possible and create something that people want to look at and/or study for not only our generations, but future ones as well. In my opinion, this is what I see as well...and I can't wait to get that one chance where a client says, "i dont know...be creative."
Everybody! Put on your serious hats and sit in your serious chairs. Fire up a copy of seriousCAD and lets do some serious toileteering. You over there, wipe that smirk off your face. Seriously.
Last Friday, a bunch of coworkers and I got seriously drunk, at the office. One of the senior partners commented "we really needed this. It has been awhile since we losened up like this." It has been a seriously long time since the last round of layoffs, but the bitter taste still lingers on for many.
the next crash brought about by the euro crisis will make these other issues minor. It is amazing how people are ignoring this issue. I thought we all became more vigilant after 2008. I hate to preach doom, but I think this next one is going to be much much worse. I think the near future is going to be rough, but I also think that the more distant future 10+ years is going to be an amazing time to be in this field. The Population boom and environmental stressors will make us more relevant than we have ever been. I think that once the real problems that are all brewing begin to effect peoples lives they will look to us for solutions. If we can offer new and better ways of living, while tackling problems like peak oil, we will have an important and respectable role to play.
Yahoo wants to know if you are serious, yo?
(image via http://dariuswhiteplume.tumblr.com)
lack of clients who want to be educated by architects
many tasteless clients who want to educate architects
increasingly too many candidates for architecture jobs - leads to quick obsolescence and 5 year careers just like in IT.
creating buildings that people actually like.
Mega-Global firms will continue to increase in size through mergers and acquisitions (hell we continue to have lay offs, while the firm continues to acquire more firms...)....those mega-global firms of Architectural domination are primarily interested in major metropolitan areas. Soon-ish medium sized cities, down to rural areas will be nearly ignored by Architecture firms...and they will price themselves out of contention for smaller projects. Call me crazy...but I think there will be a need, and a return of the small town Architect, small firms, and clients not wanting the impersonal firms with way too many letters in their name...We have seen some pretty darn good Architecture come out of smaller towns in the past, and I think the opportunities will return soon....But...I could be wrong.
The problems architects already face both academically and professionally are deeply structural in origin.
I've heard photographers refer to their discipline as "the most expensive hobby in the world." Hearing this, I used to raise my brow and think to myself, "oh yeah, I think I can top that one." Architecture sadly is such an outdated profession, and so low on the economic totem pole that it has been relegated to a gentleman & ladies game. If it were just a hobby though, I would not be concerned. Unfortunately, it is wrongly viewed and/or pitched as a viable path for young people to enter the professional sphere. Similar to other disciplinary relics such as the classical music scene and ballet scene, architecture tends to attract many imbalanced, obsessive, and generally vulnerable people. This pathetic crowd (I say "pathetic" with the utmost love and empathy in the world), is duped and self-dupes in an endless and myopic orgy (also known as the "discourse") that inexcusably transforms a recreational hobby to that of professional and academic alcoholism. This disconnect from reality has already taken its toll and will continue to erode the discipline.
Is that problem(s) enough?