Modern architecture, despite breaking with the past stylistically, nonetheless maintains this image of the gifted architect as a lone autonomous genius who overcomes gravity and prevails over his client [...]
Rather than an inner activity done in solitude, it has been found that people often discover their thoughts and ideas through interactions with others [...]
The centrality of collaboration in architecture is often overlooked in a culture celebrating and branding “starchitects.” — Lilith
Referring to recent statistics concerning women in architectural practice and the Denise Scott Brown Pritzker controversy, architect Esther Sperber calls for an overhaul of how we think about creativity and authorship in architecture. Her piece for Lilith, "Revising Our Ideas about Collective Inspiration", argues that what is perceived as "creative genius" relies on cultural and social affirmation, and is therefore a necessarily collective act.
Endorsing D.S.B.'s demand that the architecture community "salute the notion of joint creativity", Sperber's piece recognizes issues of gender inequality within the practice, but is more concerned with the whole notion of individual intellectual ownership -- creativity just doesn't work this way, and prestigious awards shouldn't either.
As creative industries adapt "orchestrated serendipity" strategies to capitalize on collaborative processes, the presumption that intellectual production belongs to any one individual dissolves. Sperber's piece leaves us with questions of whether this could extend to intellectual property law, and its basis in a capitalist economy.
For now though, let's reform the Pritzker.