Guy wrote “why, when the evidence is out there, were a number of architects so defensive about the “Don’t Major in Architecture” article? Why are they whining? My conclusion, so far, is that this touched a nerve precisely because this isn’t new information to architects.” In response emergency exit wound asked, “And the assumption that 'an informed public makes the space for architecture more possible' is based on what exactly?
In the latest edition of the CONTOURS feature The Divisions that Bind Us, Guy Horton, analyzed the online commentariat’s response to Catherine Rampell, an economics reporter for The New York Times, article “Want a Job? Go to College, and Don’t Major in Architecture”. Guy wrote “why, when the evidence is out there, were a number of architects so defensive about the “Don’t Major in Architecture” article? Why are they whining? My conclusion, so far, is that this touched a nerve precisely because this isn’t new information to architects.”
In response emergency exit wound asked, “And the assumption that 'an informed public makes the space for architecture more possible' is based on what exactly? Is the desire for 'public discourse' really just a euphemism for 'expanded client base'?" Guy replied “Can architects in a professional setting and in the academy enhance the public discourse and challenge it? Or is it a lost cause. This is the binary problem of casting the public as one pole and architects as another. The perceived divide is difficult to bridge. Will an altered discourse result in higher fees? Only time will tell. It seems to work for other professions.”
dia continued “There are two main models I can see being viable going forward - creating and controlling a vision for the built environment that is tested and validated by the market, and second, becoming so specialised that you are in a position to trade that for more risk and reward. I have seen many practices specialise in 'high-end residential' - I have yet to see any architecture practice publicly state a specialisation in 'affordable architecture' - surely far more relevant and sustainable position to take.”
For the latest In Focus feature Archinect interviewed Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode. Duivenbode’s photographs to date have been predominantly of buildings in the Netherlands with some in Europe but still for Dutch clients.
The Laurelwood Apartments, designed by R.M. Schindler in 1946, recently underwent a complete exterior restoration overseen and designed by Martin Fenlon Architecture
after years of neglect and disrepair.
"The Lens" designed by Los Angeles firm Michael Maltzan Architecture in collaboration with landscape architects Tom Leader Studio, was selected by the jury for the international St. Petersburg Pier competition as the winner, this week. Matthew Messner, used the news item as a opportunity to recommend anyone in the Chicago area “Come see Michael Maltzan lecture at UIC next Monday, 23Jan. at 6pm. Details here.“
Commenting on an essay in which a Major Ben Zweibelson attempted to examine the military’s efforts to develop Design Thinking and Design Theory as a "system of logic" adl architetto wrote “Design doctrine is written with a capital D. While I have to admit that this orthographic quirk is not the only interesting thing about the article (and I have to confess that I skimmed). it is striking how what Mr. Zweibelson describes as 'traditional military thinking' has parallels with the Modern attitude of reduction, and (what seems to be) his criticism mirrors post-modern attitudes. Now, can the military be creative? God forbid we need more creativity in destruction.”
Virginia Tech graduate Will Holman provided an honest report of his experiences volunteering, studying and working at Arcosanti, Rural Studio, and Youth Build, over at Places Journal. Therein, Holman noted “In the last decade, much has been written about architecture for the greater good, and it would seem that the field, as a whole, is invested in bringing design to underserved communities. Yet all of this talk — at conferences, in the press, at universities — has focused hardly at all on how to put together a career in social design.”
Donna Sink, felt Holman’s essay was an “Excellent read. Difficult, though” She then queried “Starting your own non-profit that relies on idealistic young unpaid labor - is that better or worse than running a for-profit boutique firm that relies on idealistic young unpaid labor?”
Matthew Messner, at the University of Illinois Chicago presented images of Mark Cunningham's Interior Urbanism project "Assemblage City" for ARCH553 with Prof. Alexander Eisenschmidt.
Shannon at the University of Manitoba has only four more weeks of writing left before her thesis blog will be complete. In the meantime she posted images that her and her co-thesis blogger (her boyfriend) took of a recent house sized/sourced bonfire, taken earlier this January.
Jeffrey Dunn, at Cornell University put up his first blog post. It begins with a quote from Manfredo Tafuri's 'Architecture and Utopia' and he went on to promise that with the blog he will discuss “student work within Cornell University's AAP in relation to influential texts which highlight contemporary issues in design”.
Work Updates/Firm Updates/Blogs
Brian Milbury, is currently working on an "Orchard St. historic renovation shored on cribs and getting ready for new foundation".
Aaron Willette, started an Archinect blog Tangential Fabrications. One of his first few posts features a brief interview with John McMorrough, Chair of the Architecture Program and Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan on the occasion of this weekend's Research Through Making presentations and Whither Installation Symposium. In the interview Chair McMorrough, reflected on the current trend of architects starting their career as “installationists”. He contends “This seems to me as different from what installations started out as: a preparation for moving on to other scales of building. Now that it’s become a thing unto itself, the question is: if it’s not preparation for another thing, then what is it in its own right?”.
While Phil Wilson's, project/model Migrating Landscapes was recently featured in a regional exhibition, Jaiya Alamia, was recently working as a sustainability Consulting for Architects for Humanity.
itsme wants to talk about the evolution of architecture as a profession. He started with the following statement “I have always wanted to be an architect...but lately I seem to be disappointed with our profession...Where do you think our profession is headed? What do you see happening in your neck of the woods? Is there a better way to do business in our profession?" Donna Sink, responded “This is a huge question and I hope we'll see a good discussion on it. I see large firms getting larger and retaining as much of a stranglehold as they can on the official term 'architect' and the scope of our responsibilities on large projects. At the same time, I see medium-sized firms disappearing. And, I see small - micro, really - firms of one or two or six-ish people doing non-traditional work and expanding the definition of what architectural practice is.”
Meanwhile Keith Carlson argued “Don't blame the AIA, they are a professional advocate for Architects. I think many of these issues are a result of macro market forces like 'globalization' and the need for corporations to turn everything into 'commodities'. For his part Keith Wagner agreed with Donna, “The medium sized firm I have been with 'merged' (was acquired by) a huge global firm out of Toronto. I have never been more miserable. I do see exactly what Donna suggests, small firms being local or regional, with the big guys fighting over the large projects, and dismissing anything that they see as not profitable. Look for the micro firms to produce much better work, provide better service, and bring Architecture back to those who seek personal attention, quality service, passionate design and excitement. “
toasteroven was surprised “that archinect isn't participating in the general strike today - I'm almost certain this site (and everything we post here) would be affected by this legislation.” The big green head replied “We would love to, but a community website like Archinect has too many obligations to our advertisers and partners to go down for a day. We very much support the blocking of SOPA and PIPA, as you can see from the banners we've been displaying across Archinect for the last two weeks.”
TheCollector wants Nectors' opinions on who we think will design this year’s Serpentine Pavilion. SUF1200mcg thinks it might be BIG, what do you think?
@AlJavieera pointed out the irony of the endorsement from Renzo Piano http://j.mp/z75RMS being touted in connection with Franco La Cecla’s book (Contro l’architettura), Against Architecture “a passionate and erudite charge against the celebrities of the current architectural world, the ‘archistars’.”