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Do Republican Architects Exist?

163
riko_rokin

Serious inquiry. I feel as if it is similar to asking if there are any pro-Bernie Sanders supporters within the Real Estate Development Industry. I am sure they exist, but what are they like?

What does conservative architecture look like? Name some figures. Is architecture inherently progressive? 

Thanks!

 
Jan 7, 21 5:02 pm
lower.case.yao

Republicans are just people lol, they exist and I’m sure are pretty prominent in the architectural profession. 

Jan 7, 21 5:09 pm  · 
2  ·  1
archi_gram

You mean prominent for being racist and xenophobic? Oh yeah. A Trump supporter kid in my class being all ugly towards other black and international students is what I can think of. He might have a big career, but good luck make through our theory class with all the inclusive design discussions.

2  ·  1
The Vaco

That's pretty diminutive of what a '' republican " is. Not all republicans are pro-trump, and not all trump supporters are necessarily racists. It's more complex than that.

1  ·  1
archi_gram

Of course it's more complex than that. "Prominent for" is not an equal sign. And I speak on what I saw in academic institutes. Maybe they suddenly become nice people in work space. You would wish so


1  · 
natematt

Agreed with Lower. 

There are plenty of them. Though I think they tend to be less prominent. A large portion of architects have political positions that are not as clear as you might think. I'd guess from some of the conversations I've seen that there are a moderate number of them here on Archinect. 

I would argue that the profession is inherently more progressive, with a long list of reasons why this is the case. 

However, In application I think it would would be easier to classify most architecture (buildings by volume) as conservative, even the work done by arguably more progressive firms. The clients have more power over this aspect of a project than the architect, and you have already suggested that developers are not progressive. I really don't think most architecture has overly political intentions though. 

I also think that a lot of "progressive" architecture firms are lying to themselves. There is a lot of capitalistic, unsustainable, socially dismissive, and morally questionable work coming out of firms who would call themselves progressive. Not to mention the frequency of business ethics problems... 



Jan 7, 21 5:46 pm  · 
9  · 
x-jla

This is true.

 · 
riko_rokin

Excellent response, thank you.

 · 
bowling_ball

Let me refer you to one Mr Patrick Schumacher, to start. Full-on fascist and a complete asshole. Runs one of the most successful and lauded firms in the world. 

Jan 7, 21 9:42 pm  · 
5  · 
natematt

I think he's really more a thing unto itself, rather than a republican... or even conservative. But yes. Perhaps ZHA is now the closest thing to a conservative architecture firm in the public eye. Haha. 

 · 
x-jla

An anarcho-capitalist is much further from a fascist than an American democratic or “liberal” I’m sure more people understand string theory than a basic political compass.

 · 
randomised

I think people have Patrik Schumacher all wrong...he said at a conference that also private companies could run “public” spaces and that leaving everything up the public sector is not the solution all the time...analytically he is not that far off, he’s just everybody’s favourite piñata when Bjarne is not available.

 · 
randomised

*Bjarne=Bjarke(Ingels)...

 · 
tduds

Schumacher's got some pretty fascist ideas.

2  · 
tduds

I think it's the hair.

1  · 
x-jla

“ Schumacher's got some pretty fascist ideas.” citations needed

 · 
tduds

.

1  · 
x-jla

“ Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.”. Need to be careful with switching definitions. anarcho-capitalism is not fascism. It’s essentially the opposite. Fascism cannot exist without a state, and anarchism is by definition stateless

 · 
bowling_ball

Fair enough, though we can pull different definitions from different sources. I'll concede on that. The point stands that recommending that all public spaces be handed over to private companies is superbly anti-democratic.

2  · 
randomised

That's first and foremost anti-public sector and not anti-democratic. Civil servants are a non-democratic entity in our societies (at least in Europe), they are the real deciders irregardless of who is in office, they can't really be controlled or held accountable...

 · 
On the fence

I have found a lot of principles or owners to be moderates to right leaning to republicans.  It seems to go with the territory.  Not always the case but...……..  If you mean Starchitects, then maybe it runs in the other direction.

Jan 8, 21 9:34 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

You mean people who believe in capitalism are better at it? What a coincidence.

2  ·  1
tduds

Maybe reverse that causation jla. People who benefit most from a system are most invested in its continuance.

6  · 
x-jla

Maybe reverse that causation tduds. People who can’t manage to succeed in a system are most invested in its demise.

1  · 
tduds

Both true.

 · 
tduds

I'd add, though, that while some people do merely fail on their own, some people can't succeed within a system because that system exists to oppress them.

Yes, I'm being deliberately vague because these conditions exist within many, perhaps most, dominant systems in the world today.

 · 
x-jla

One can argue that a socialist system exists to oppress the exceptional and industrious.

 · 
bowling_ball

Holy shit you're both right. What's the world coming to?

 · 
thisisnotmyname

Quite a few republican architects down here in the deep south.   We've had the dubious pleasure of employing kooks on both the socialist and tea party sides of the spectrum.  We give people PTO on election day to encourage participation, but that's all we want to know.  People that bring their politics into the workplace generally suck as employees.

Jan 8, 21 11:28 am  · 
2  · 

Agree on leaving the politics at the door. I had a boss that would send out emails advocating we exercise our right to vote in certain ways. He never went so far to endorse a particular candidate, but there were a lot of ballot measures that he felt we should vote for in the way he wanted us to, especially if it was anything that would impact the way he ran the business, or his approach to retirement. He generally sucked as an employer.

2  · 
sameolddoctor
Hard to imagine someone in a creative profession being conservative. But then again, I’m discovering that most architects in this country are not really creative at all.
Jan 8, 21 12:12 pm  · 
6  · 
x-jla

Hard to imagine anyone in business being a socialist.

 · 
apscoradiales

I was going to say that anybody who works in "PRC" is a socialist, but "PRC" is not a communist, nor even a "socialist" state in a true sense. It's a full blown fascist dictatorship of the worst kind. Pretending to be communist where everyone is supposed to be equal; no rich no poor, but full of millionaires who got rich by shady, and corrupt means. Oh yeah, we shouldn't forget "re-education camps" either. In my opinion, anybody who does work there should be shunned be they an architect or car manufacturer from the west. We will see in the next little while how buddy-buddy Biden becomes with them. Yeah, not directly related to the OP's comment, but close enough as it involves architects.

2  · 
tduds

The PRC is state-capitalist. Communist in name only. & they *definitely* aren't Republicans. This thread is unraveling.

 · 
apscoradiales

Republicans are more conservative than Democrats, wouldn't you agree? Change to the Republicans is not always ideal or the right way to run our lives. No?

 · 
tduds

Yes Republicans are, on the whole, more conservative than Democrats.

"Change to the Republicans is not always ideal or the right way to run our lives. No?" I'm not sure what you're saying here.

 · 
apscoradiales

my comment got chopped off, so here it goes;

Republicans are more conservative than Democrats, wouldn't you agree? Change to the Republicans is not always ideal or the right way to run our lives. No?

Same thing with the commies. Once the system is in, they don't want any changes, because, by definition, communist system is a perfect system...so, they say.

So, there is the similarities.

No offence to either nor to the Democrats. Funny, I was born in a communist country, lived part of it in a socialist system, and now live in a full blown capitalist (or as we were told as kids, fascist) system. So, here I stand on the sidelines and watch with some amusement US and World politics as it unfolds...


 · 
x-jla

Communism and fascism are not too different.

2  · 
tduds

apscoradiales - your comment (I'm unsure if intentionally) gets at a point I was making below. The very idea that "The Republican System" is what they seek to preserve is at odds with democracy. We don't live in a Republican (big R) country, we live in an ostensibly democratic (small d) one. Accountability to the electorate undergirds the stability of the country, and one party has chosen to deny that. Democracy means sometimes you lose, the actions of the GOP in this decade have shown they've forgotten this principle.

This is what I mean when I say the Republican Party is a fascist party. Autocratic or authoritarian might be a more accurate descriptor, but you get the idea.

1  · 
apscoradiales

I understand, and agree!

 · 
Jay1122

Meanwhile, I still don't know what is the difference between them. Feels the same to me. Bunch of talking politicians doing no real significant work. I care about my lunch more than these. As I understand, republicans want to serve the ultra rich 1%, while democrats want to steal every ones money and give to the lazy or homeless. Who is rooting for the middleclass? 

Jan 8, 21 1:11 pm  · 
 · 
Superfluous Squirrel

Ah Yes, Both Sides.

4  · 
tduds

Since you seem to be genuinely curious : Democratic party platforms broadly attempt to use government as a redistributive force and a safety net for increasing equity. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Republican Party platforms... well they literally don't have one right now, but in the past they broadly attempted to induce economic growth through deregulation and "free market" principles, on the idea that it will eventually lead to greater prosperity for all. Again, sometimes it worked but more often it did not. There's also social policy, which I won't get into at the moment but they align more or less with D = hands on and R = hands off.

I disagree with a lot of Democratic policy, but I agree with some Democratic policy. I disagree with almost all Republican policy, but I do agree with a little bit. 

That said, the striking difference over the past decade or so has been that the Republican party has shifted its efforts away from convincing the majority that its policies are worth voting for, and towards disenfranchising enough of the population to maintain a narrow margin in elections. Voter ID laws, REDMAP, overturning the Voting Rights Act, purging ballots, closing poling places... when that fails, challenging ballots in court and sowing a false narrative of "fraud", when *that* fails, denying quorum, walking out, shutting government down, filibustering, and - well, this week a literal attempted coup. 

I'll battle the Democrats on policy, but the Republicans are blatantly anti-democracy. My stance is that the Republican party should wither and die, so the Democratic party can take its correct position as the center-right American political party. Only then will there be a possibility of an actual progressive voice in US politics. But that's just my opinion.

(I don't have time right now to link citations to all of the above but if there's enough interest I'll come back with receipts later)

8  · 
x-jla

Somehow, people are leaving blue states for red states. Blue states are

 ·  1
x-jla

failing, but nevermind evidence of failed tax policies and all that, all you need to know is that Dems are good and republicans are bad. Amen and Awomen to that.

 ·  2
tduds

"all you need to know is that Dems are good and republicans are bad" Not even close to all you need to know.

I don't think "red states" and "blue states" exist. Every state has a mix of liberal and conservative areas, and sometimes those areas don't even correlate respectively with overwhelming Democratic and Republican support. Red/Blue is a reductive binary that ignores much of the reality of America. 

Population shift, perfect example: I think there is a small but noticeable influx of people from high priced urban areas to lower priced rural areas, but that trend is much more driven by affordability and culture. My wife and I, for example, are progressives living on the edge of a metro area, closer to wilderness than downtown. That the area is more conservative is on one hand incidental, but on the other hand our arrival and subsequent involvement (along with many neighbors in similar situations) is pushing the area towards more progressive local policy. People take their ideas with them, political trends often follow population, rarely the other way around.

4  · 
tduds

Happy to discuss the validity of anything I've said with people willing to provide cogent counterpoints with sources. Otherwise I'm disengaging after this comment.

1  · 
Superfluous Squirrel

-

Jan 8, 21 1:25 pm  · 
 · 

If I'm not mistaken, there is a republican architect who is a principal in one of the firms featured here (These Pacific Northwest architecture firms are currently hiring), who also posts on Archinect (although sporadically).

Jan 8, 21 3:19 pm  · 
1  · 
thisisnotmyname

The political conservatives I have worked with demonstrated a tendency to design in traditional architectural styles, although sometimes their lack of skill and/or historical knowledge would yield something that looked like postmodern design.   The politically conservative clients almost always insist on things like pitched roofs, brick, and classical columns.

Jan 8, 21 3:44 pm  · 
 ·  1
shellarchitect

I was a republican until fairly recently.  I don’t think that I’ve changed much, more that the party has gone wacko

Jan 8, 21 9:17 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

Funny thing I found was that when I worked in a right-leaning suburb (one of the largest in the country), most co-workers were actually progressives, except a couple that were crazy conservative nutjobs almost foaming at the mouth for every conversation. By contrast when I worked in a very progressive office in a very left leaning part of town, I encountered quite a few closeted right wingers, a lot of them millennials. 

What gives?


Jan 8, 21 9:23 pm  · 
 · 

Context? It’s all relative. Architect I know that is pretty middle of the road moderate is seen as a right-wing nut job around here. But when he was working in a conservative area he was seen as a bleeding heart liberal. Nothing changed except for the context.

1  · 
bowling_ball

I say this all the time. To my educated, privileged friends I'm probably seen as leaning right. To my clients and professional non-architect colleagues, I'm sure I'm seen as a extreme left wing. Context matters

1  · 
x-jla

Depends on your definition of conservative.  These days terminology is so muddied these labels don’t really hold much weight.  Most people will say that they are this or that, but when you talk issue by issue they have much more independent mixed views.  Creative people tend to be less conservative, because open mindedness is an essential trait for creativity.  Open minded people tend to be less regimented.  Conservatives are usually very rigid and linear.  Those traits are not usually good for creativity.  Classical architecture, imo, may be the exception.  I know why, but too tired to explain.  

Jan 8, 21 10:54 pm  · 
 · 
archi_gram

Well your credibility vanished when you trying to imply all non-conservatives as socialist and mixing up socialism communism fascism. Speaking of definition, maybe you need a dictionary first lol

 · 
archeyarch

most are two faced, they are happy to be dem when doing public projects, but are rep. when doing work with commercial developers

Jan 9, 21 2:31 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

How does that work?

 · 
tduds

"In every American community, you have varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals. An outspoken group on many subjects. 10 degrees to the left of center in good times, 10 degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally. So here, then, is a lesson in safe logic"

 · 
Rusty!

Don't care if my boss is a democrat or a republican or a communist or an anarchist or a separatist or a cute nazi. But you gotta watch out for them libertarian fucks. It's literally impossible for them to separate their work from their simpleton ideas and any success is direct result of their personal hard work and any failure is direct result of lack of hard work from everyone else.

Jan 9, 21 3:56 pm  · 
1  · 
x-jla

Rusty: duhhhdurp. Also Rusty: duhhhdurp

 · 
tduds

No ugly nazis though.

 · 
Rusty!

George Costanza: Didja see the way she was looking at me? Jerry Seinfeld: She's a Nazi, George. A Nazi! George Costanza: I know, I know. Kind of a cute Nazi though.

2  · 

Politics and design often do not overlap, a designer who is making very "conservative" home deigns may be very liberal politically.  the other wrinkle is most architectural firms are essentially small businesses and the world of small business leaders tends to skew slightly more conservative than the overall political leanings of the community they operate in.  Many architects try to keep a clear separation between politics and their practice.  I think it is also hard to look at the clients as an indicator of political leanings, some architects doing high end work for conservative organizations see their role as facilitating a wealth transfer from the rich to the workers and craftspeople building the buildings their firms are commissioned to design. Sometimes firms take on work to keep their staff employed, job preservation should not be viewed as political.

I think in this profession, like any other, you will find a wide array of political views, beliefs and levels of engagement.


Over and OUT

Peter N

Jan 9, 21 5:50 pm  · 
2  · 
BulgarBlogger

I’m a staunch Republican.

Jan 9, 21 9:15 pm  · 
 · 
BulgarBlogger

I should add:


As a Republican, I am pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and believe in climate change. I am not a racist. Everything else: count me in as a conservative. White privileged is a myth.

Jan 9, 21 9:17 pm  · 
1  ·  1
tduds

I am honestly curious to hear your explanation of what you think white privilege is.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

Not engaging. Been through this so many times with multiple people. Nothing anyone can say can convince me otherwise. It is a concept that is propagated by academics for their new research that justifies the steep tuition in institutions, and ultimately brainwashes people.

 ·  1
tduds

For the record, I won't try to convince you that white privilege exists, I am genuinely curious to hear your definition of it.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

My position: there are racists in any organization, beit police, corporations, or any other type of community

 · 
BulgarBlogger

(Clicked submit too fast) bear with me:

 · 
BulgarBlogger

Few people truly discriminate against people solely based on skin color. They discriminate against perceived class and like in any business involving clients with a lot of money, employers want their employees to “fit in” when having client contact. This is not to say that client, employee, and employer have to be equal financially; they must be intellectually and culturally compatible. People want to do business with people they trust.

 ·  1
BulgarBlogger

Few people truly discriminate against people solely based on skin color. They discriminate against perceived class and like in any business involving clients with a lot of money, employers want their employees to “fit in” when having client contact. This is not to say that client, employee, and employer have to be equal financially; they must be intellectually and culturally compatible. People want to do business with people they trust.

 ·  1
BulgarBlogger

There is no privilege to being white if you are able

 ·  1
tduds

Thanks for answering.

 · 
SneakyPete

"There is no privilege to being white if you are able" ...defines white privilege, I think.

1  · 
BulgarBlogger

Read my post below. It got cut off.

 · 
SneakyPete

I understand, but it still works.

 · 
archi_gram

So a registered republican holding some democratic values

 · 
tduds

Classic "Social liberal, economic conservative" 

"The problems are bad, but their causes are very good."

 · 
BulgarBlogger

not sure what is going on with archinect; I tap enter and it submits... anyway- there is no privilege to being white if you can’t demonstrate you are trustworthy or intellectually/culturally compatible. Billy from Kentucky won’t stand a chance against Darshon from the Bronx if Billy sounds like a hick when speaking on the phone and Darshon sounds professional despite being black. 



Jan 9, 21 10:57 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

This is only true because we are making small progress. Tell this to a white hick in the 50s if you could get him to stop being racist for just A MINUTE...

 · 
BulgarBlogger

Just like I won’t hire someone who shows up to an interview who sags his pants. It is human nature to

 · 
BulgarBlogger

Want to be in business with he/she who can have the potential of maximizing your profit.

 · 
bowling_ball

Bulgar, that's literally white privilege, when race can be such a huge contributor to that feeling of "who's going to maximize my profit" when 99% of firm owners are white. It seems to be a blind spot for you, as you benefit from that privilege. Your denial doesn't change that.

2  · 
x-jla

Here’s the deal. The rhetoric of White privilege is too general and doesn’t take into account the many factors that create privileges and disadvantages in our lives. However, being black comes with a baked in disadvantage. My brother in law is black, and he’s also a contractor (different kind). He has a hard time with homeowners letting him in their homes to do his work. He was talking to me for hours about this last week. His problem can’t be overcome by working harder or changing his clothes. Most disadvantages that whites have are somewhat within their ability to change other than being ugly or something. This problem really negatively affects his
business.

1  · 
x-jla

White privilege is another bad choice of words to explain a real legitimate
thing.

 · 
tduds

"Privilege" was one of those words that existed in academia with a very specific context, but leaked into the mainstream and was taken up (both for and against) by people who misunderstand or deliberately disregard the context. I see this sort of thing a lot, the drift or outright hijacking of words. It causes a whole lot of problems.

 · 
x-jla

Anyway, people who judge others based on their skin color, accent, mannerisms, or clothing choices are imo very stupid. Their loss. They are also going to miss out on a huge talent pool of the population because of their ignorant mindset. So maybe you think you’re “maximizing profit” but for what? To appease ignorant clientele? And at the expense of what? Stifling the creative potential of your company....

 · 
BulgarBlogger's comment has been hidden
BulgarBlogger

You and I seam to understand racism differently. I have a very strict definition of racism: hate based on skin pigmentation. Discrimination against culture is not racism. If I discriminate against you because it is part of your culture to blast your boom box on the subway, I am not racist. 

Jan 9, 21 11:05 pm  · 
 ·  1
SneakyPete

Cool. When you get to define racism, that will matter.

6  · 
BulgarBlogger

As I said, you can't convince me.

 · 
SneakyPete

I don't need to. I'm speaking for anyone else out there who shares your ignorant beliefs.

1  · 
BulgarBlogger

Whatever man.

1  · 
SneakyPete

You chose to speak up. Didn't need to, chose to.

1  · 
bowling_ball

Bulgar, you've mentioned discriminating based on saggy pants and boom boxes. Be careful - your racism is showing.

2  · 
BulgarBlogger

I discriminate based on culture and class, not based on race.

 ·  3
x-jla

BB, cultural norms are subjective. When dominant culture (wasp) finds the cultural norms of others to be inferior, that is ethnocentric. Maybe that is unique from racist, but in effect it is the same.

 · 
bowling_ball

The both of you are so deeply un-self-aware that I'm not going to bother with this conversation. You both twist every discussion to fit your existing narratives and it's very tiring.

2  · 
x-jla

I’m sorry for correctly diagnosing your mental disorder

 ·  1
BulgarBlogger

I’ll take enthocentric over racist.

 · 
bowling_ball

Bulgar again with making up his own definitions. Just leave already.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

Am I micro agressing you? Lol

 ·  1
sameolddoctor

Bulgar, to be topical about the events of last week, if white privilege is not really an issue, what explains the total complicity and lax nature of police when compared to a BLM event? I dont ask this as a wisecrack, but am interested in genuine answers

2  · 
BulgarBlogger

What happened last week was despicable, but to use a Tu Quoque argument, looting was too. Two things can be true at the same time. Additionally however, I do believe it’s possible to be black and not look and act like a thug. Hoodies, sagged pants, rap lyrics- that all creates a stereotype about an image that police as members of our society are not immune to when they adopt ethnocentrism.

 ·  3
bowling_ball

You dumb fuck. "I do believe it’s possible to be black and not look and act like a thug. Hoodies, sagged pants, rap lyrics...". If you say "it's possible" then by definition your typical stance is one of stereotypes and racism. Why don't you see that? Also, what do "hoodies, sagged pants, and rap lyrics" have to do with being a thug? I enjoy all three, and I'm a 40 y.o. white male who's also a partner at a mid-sized architecture firm. I say this because I'm successful despite wearing hoodies and saggy pants and enjoying rap, which I play on my office speakers. Take your racism and shove it up your ass. Sideways.

4  · 
Wood Guy

Bulgar, why are you so eurocentric? Is it not ok for others to have a culture and norms that is different from yours, if they are not hurting anyone? Where do you draw the line between acceptable dress and unacceptable dress? I like baggy pants and they tend to fall down my flat ass--should I go to jail for that? I wear a hoodie pretty much year-round and nobody's any whiter than me. Is it only black people who shouldn't wear hoodies? What do you actually know about rap lyrics? Is it only gangster rap that bothers you, or is any rap not acceptable? How about the rich white girl hip hop artist from Nantucket--which list is she on for you? You do know that "thug" is the politically correct version of "n**r", right?

2  · 
bowling_ball

Further, HOW ABOUT NOT APPLYING ETHNOCENTRISM and just be a decent person? Ethnocentrism is pretty damn close to prejudice and racism anyway. But I don't need to tell you that, because you're hiding behind it.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

You think that when I talk about class I mean you need to have money? What does being a partner at a firm have anything to do with anything? Look at Trump- lots of money, zero class. As the saying goes, you can take the boy out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the boy. It’s about intrinsic deep-rooted values. You’re low class at heart, despite having money.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

We obviously disagree on a lot. You think I’m racist, misguided, etc etc. Totally not a bad person; just have a very particular set of beliefs that coincide with some republican stances. We can agree to disagree. Moving on.

 · 
BulgarBlogger

The beauty of being anonymous is being able to share unpopular opinions without having to worry about being canceled. I can also “shut down“ and “reopen” under a different username and no one would never know. Totally not concerned about if what I said above is like able, respectable or whatever. No one here pays my bills or knows who I am, truly. I have no obligation to anyone. Goodnight.

1  · 
curtkram

so when you talk about class, you're saying you are from old money?

 · 
bowling_ball

Bulgar, you've honestly blown my mind. I don't think I've ever had such a tone deaf conversation in my entire life. I'm flabbergasted. You use every racist dog whistle under the sun, but insist you're somehow not racist. You deserve to be called out for what you are - which is not only racist, but dishonest and disingenuous. Even X-Lax isn't coming to your defence there, which tells us all we need to know.

1  · 
tduds

"We obviously disagree on a lot." 

Primarily the definitions of words. Hence my original question.

3  · 
x-jla

My definition of class is not judging people based on their class or different cultural norms.

 · 
Wood Guy

"The beauty of being anonymous is being able to share unpopular opinions without having to worry about being canceled."

For me the beauty is that I can discuss business issues without my clients being able to easily read what I write, nothing more. Scroll through my comment history and my real identity is easy to find.

If my opinions were so unpopular that I felt "cancelled" (what a stupid term) I would reconsider whether my opinions were valid. Hiding behind screen names means you don't have to be accountable.

6  · 
x-jla

“ Even X-Lax isn't coming to your defence there, which tells us all we need to know. “. - Bowling ball please stop dragging me into the mud. I’ve never supported any dumb racist viewpoint ever. Not sure why you would assume that I’m aligned with this ethnocentric worldview? Can you elaborate? I’ve been consistently a proponent of maximizing diversity, immigration, individuality, and an opponent of racism, ethnocentrism, group think, tribalism, conservatism, etc. You are stereotyping libertarian/anarchist philosophy and attaching it to racism and other bad things to discredit the ideas without having to address them directly.

1  · 

BB - you're a pathetic coward posting racist garbage.  A person with real integrity would stand by their views and opinions. 

4  · 
tduds

"The beauty of being anonymous is being able to share unpopular opinions without having to worry about being canceled." 

The beauty of having morally consistent opinions is not needing to hide behind anonymity, even when they're unpopular.

3  · 
sameolddoctor

Bulgar, I still didnt get an answer to my question, so I will rephrase " if white privilege is not really an issue, what explains the total complicity and lax nature of police when compared to a BLM event?" -- Are you saying that looting of stores warrants militarized riot police but an attack on the Capitol does not? In all honesty, do you believe that if the crowd was a group of "low class" people, as you say, the response would be the same?

1  · 
tduds

"I'm not racist, I'm classist, but I have a definition of 'class' that correlates suspiciously with race."

3  · 
SneakyPete

"In all honesty, do you believe that if the crowd was a group of "low class" people, as you say, the response would be the same?"

You don't get much lower class than the people who rushed the Capitol...

 · 
Wood Guy

Pete, the people who rushed the capital were white though. ;-)

 · 
natematt

I'm curious where the OP's coming from with this question. I don't think the answers are at all what they would have been expecting based on the question, but they have not chimed in at all since posting. 

Jan 10, 21 4:47 am  · 
 · 
mightyaa

I was curious as well. There is so much stereotyping about people's 'beliefs' with political affiliation that some just can not believe you belong to one political group yet disagree with certain policies. Who would believe there might exist Republicans who believe in public housing projects, humane treatment of immigrants and cares about the environment? And on the flipside, who doesn't believe all Democrats want to redistribute other people's wealth while they build a socialist utopia for those who don't want to work? Afterall, it should be impossible for any 'good' architect who cares about the environment to be a Republican... just as it would be impossible for a Democrat architect to take on a project just because it pays well without considering net-zero buildings... Please don't tell me all the stereotypes may not actually reflect individual people's thoughts.

2  · 
natematt

Entirely agree. My earlier response touched on the dulling of the progressive perspective when it comes to architecture, but in reality I think it tends to have a centering quality for either side.

 · 
RJ87

I'd bargain the majority of commercial retail firms in the South are headed by folks leaning more to the right. As a business model commercial retail is more similar to the construction industry than a design oriented industry. Not everyone is (or wants to be) building museums & government buildings.

Jan 11, 21 10:17 am  · 
1  · 
Jaetten

How does someone’s political views impact their career as an architect? What difference would it make?


Not sure where you’re going with the original post. I’m curious now, but would wager that political view has little to no impact. 

Jan 13, 21 4:15 pm  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

That's just not true in any way.

 · 
Jaetten

Care to elaborate?

 · 
Wood Guy

I'll bite. I have found that as a designer focused on healthy homes with minimal environmental impact, I tend to work well with left-leaning clients but not with right-leaning clients. I may like them personally, but things that I consider core principles that they may agree to consider are the first to be jettisoned when the budget comes into play. After going through this dozens of times, I have learned to test their commitment to these principles before entering into an agreement. Same for coworkers and builders--if we don't share core values, I am not going to enjoy working with you, and at this point in my career I don't have to. You may not think that things like IAQ and climate impact are political, but my experience says they are.

Edit: on some occasions I have found enough common ground with right-leaning libertarians to work together; I have two big (for me) projects with those types right now. 

2  · 
Jaetten

Thank you Wood Guy, that was really helpful :)

1  · 
Bench

Serious question WG - how do you "test their commitment to these principles before entering into an agreement" ?

 · 
Wood Guy

Maybe "test" isn't the best word. I explain my position and experience, tell them that I have found that these issues are so important to me that I'm not interested in doing projects where they aren't a priority. I explain that I'm not militant about it but that I want the equivalent of a handshake agreement that we will do our best to build a "green" home. I reinforce those ideas at every step. I send articles I have written that explain my position--often this one, though it has a few minor errors: https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2018/11/02/climate-change-builders-biggest-opportunity.

2  · 
Jaetten

Nice article, Wood. Bit of a tangent to the thread, but I have to say I'm surprised how uncommon CLT is in the US! I've recently seen that there is a proposal in Vancouver CA for 'the worlds tallest passivhaus', which I'm sure you'll have seen.

Is this something that is generally politicised with clients? Right leaning people are less likely to build 'green'?

 · 
Wood Guy

Thank you. I have others that are more technically oriented. CLT is gaining popularity in commercial buildings but just doesn't price out well for residential-scale projects. I don't know what the driver is but yes, in my experience there are very few conservatives who build green. "Green" is an imprecise term, and can include elements that libertarians (right or left leaning) like. But a core principle of green building is to reduce environmental impact, and I don't know of any conservatives who think it's worth thinking about their impact. In fact I would call that a core belief of conservatives, without judgement.

2  · 

Personally WD I think it would be fun to work with you!

3  · 
thisisnotmyname

When green building shifts from a voluntary pursuit to a plethora of government mandated rules, conservatives have a problem with it. It goes against their ideas of limited government influence in citizen's affairs.

1  · 
Bench

I'm pretty sure WG is neither A) the government, or B) mandating rules.

I'm pretty sure WG is using his heightened position to leverage where his services go - which is, ironically, a market-based argument, so I'm sure you should be on board with it yes?

Also I'd probably get on board with working for WG as well. Been trying to figure out how i could incorporate more sustainable approaches into my work, although it is on basically the exact opposite scale of small residential..


1  · 
Wood Guy

Thanks Chad, and Bench! You may find otherwise in practice ;-)

 · 
Wood Guy

Thisisnotmyname, although I'm a Passive House consultant, the vast majority of what I do follows Pretty Good House principles: https://www.prettygoodhouse.org/. (I wrote most of the content and linked articles.) The basic philosophy is making energy improvements until they stop making financial sense, and using healthy, low-carbon materials when possible. No government involvement. Even showing decent financial returns and health benefits, most conservatives I have worked with prioritize low initial cost and aesthetics, and seem to be particularly fond of spray foam. Just an observation.

1  · 
Jaetten

So it would appear that conservative clients tend to focus on the upfront cost and/or speed of build rather than the long term operating costs and environmental impact.

2  · 
SneakyPete

^^this. every goddamn day THIS.^^

2  · 
Wood Guy

Jaetten, yes, I would say that's accurate. But they may spend more for things that matter to them--just not things that affect their health, or others' health. It's a gross generalization but in my experience it's accurate.

1  · 
thisisnotmyname

Just to be clear, I am not advocating any position here, just relaying the sentiments expressed to me by others in the course of working on projects. The conservatives I am acquainted with have, in their minds, linked green building to government overreach. Another wrinkle is that, in the USA, companies that oppose environmental regulation are vastly more influential in conservative circles than any environmental-friendly thinkers who may be present in that community.

1  · 

I don't think Conservative clients are against doing environmentally responsible design, especially if it is a feature that can help sell or lease their finished project. The priorities are in different order for those clients, but if they could they would probably want high energy efficiency and as little environmental damage as possible while still getting the return on investment they need to be able to move on to the next project. For example, a higher level of insulation and reducing west facing windows increases cost of the building envelope but decreases the size of the HVAC equipment needed is a much easier sell than to stop global warming we need R 40 everywhere.

 · 
Wood Guy

Peter, I'm not making it up, on many occasions I have had clients who I'm sure are conservative (or libertarian) say outright that they are not interested in considering the environment, they just don't want to spend more than necessary to heat and cool their homes. I had one client who wanted me to design a replacement cottage for him, about 20' from the ocean's edge. When I brought up climate change and sea rise he took me to his boat house and showed me where high tide came to when he was a kid, and said it comes to the same height now. (1-3cm is hard to see.) Others, on many occasions, when I say early in the process that I try to find alternatives to climate-damaging spray foam and have earth-friendly options for most situations, tell me they don't want anything but spray foam. For over ten years I worked at a firm where most of our clientele were conservatives (or Susan Collins-supporting Democrats, which is about the same thing) and I could NEVER convince them to do any energy upgrades beyond code-minimum. For the six years I've been on my own, I've had mostly progressive clients, and the ones who are not stand out sharply. YMMV.

 · 
x-jla

It’s sometimes hard to tell the political lean of clients, but I have found that environmentally conscious solutions are universally acceptable, but sometimes the sell needs to be tailored to the client. For example, I may sell the idea of using native plants to one person by emphasizing their positive role in the urban ecology, while emphasizing their low maintenance benefits to another person. I may talk about using less hardscape to reduce heat island to one person, to maximize efficiency and reduce cost to another person, or to feel proportional to another person. It’s all about feeling out the clients man objectives and concerns.

1  · 
Wood Guy

Huh, I never thought of finding out what's important to a client and tailoring my sales pitch to that. (Where's the eye roll emoji?)

1  · 
x-jla

I’m sure you have, but not everyone who reads this thread has experience. I’ve seen new people frustrated over their inability to convey the importance of sustainability. The pitch that worked in academia is not going to work in practice.

1  · 
Wood Guy

Fair enough.

 · 
lower.case.yao

Guys guys, let's all come together, Republicans and Democrats alike, and focus our efforts on the dumb laws that stopped the AIA from publicizing architect salaries. Maybe we can get more money that way?

Jan 13, 21 7:52 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

More money will have to come from clients. Publicizing salaries won't achieve that, it will just hand more ammo to the clients to drive down fees while setting up a thunderdome for us to eat our own while on display instead of secretly in the back room.

3  · 
natematt

The secrecy of salaries is largely based around people's unwillingness to share how much they make, lest others judge them as worth less as a result of making less money on paper. Tis a great ploy of capitalism in America to keep people from knowing their worth, by making them question it.

 · 
randomised

In Holland there are collective labour agreements for entire sectors with standard salaries, pensions, holidays, etc. If a company, such as an architecture office, works according to those collective agreements (negotiated by their unions every couple of years or so) the salaries can be easily checked...only problem is, are people being properly ranked in the correct range to their responsibilities.

 · 
midlander

AIA publishes a salary survey. It's very clear but relies on voluntary submissions of information so not deeply detailed. What Yao is thinking of is probably fee tables specifying what firms ought to charge. Even those don't make much difference though. Anyone with more than a few years experience can tell you full service architecture design should be between 6-15% of construction costs for the majority of projects, barring special situations. It doesn't matter how you actually bill or present the fee calculations- they tend to fit in this range. No one charges 50% of costs and no one lasts long at 1% of costs.

 · 

I think you are referring to the architectural fees the AIA used to publish not the salaries. There was, for a long time a book of the basic fees architects should charge based on a variety of project types and sises. this covered everything from airport control towers, to zebra enclosures at the zoo. But that was ruled as price fixing and is not allowed under our anti monopoly laws.

 · 
SneakyPete

anti monopoly laws. Ha. What the fuck are those good for in 2021?

 · 
pnj02c

I remember Vincent Scully calling Robert AM Stern to the right of Genghis Khan in the preface to one of Bob's own books. I think in reality Bob's much more moderate than that (and I would describe his firm as outwardly to the left culturally). But that firm is emblematic of a lot of architecture practices where the discourse and the reality of doing business don't align. Foster & Partners came across this recently too.

I also think that because the discourse is so vehemently leftward and has been for a century now, it's harder to find young architects that are conservative because so much of that is beaten out of them in school. But even still, there's a difference between the sensibilities of a rank and file employee and a firm owner who is dealing with making payroll and clients, some of which might have predilections that don't match an owner's personal politics. Donald Trump built an empire as a developer, which means there were plenty of architects over the years okay with working for him (admittedly his ascension to politics has tempered that, but he still has people willing to do work for him and his organization). What i see more of is a kind of lipservice. Many firms follow whatever lefty Instagram fad or sloganeering is in vogue, but then they take the job from the Saudi billionaire or in China. There's a huge difference between the wide eyed kid out of Cornell working at Bjarke Ingels Group and the grizzled firm owner dealing with crazy clients.

Lastly I think politics in architecture is less virulent in North America than in Europe. The fierce reaction to Patrik Schumacher who took a position that even in today's crazy US political climate would not be controversial in the slightest, I think speaks to the European architecture community being more explicitly activist oriented, where in the United States and Canada you just don't see this (social housing is just not something that people here take a strong opinion on and often is viewed negatively and most people here don't really know or care that Hudson Yards or the WTC site, for example, are privately owned). It's not firms don't take activist positions but 1) in the US, its somewhat frowned upon for a company to impose a set of beliefs onto their employees (people really tend to get irritated with this) and 2) no one cares what architecture firms think about much of anything. I don't know about Europe but the scrum over Foster and ZHA working on airports because of environmental impact wouldn't even be a thing in the US. I mean the firms that volunteered to design Trump's border wall barely got a mention. A lot of, especially younger architects because they're so trained to 'save the world with architecture' from school, think their profession has more influence than it really does.


Jan 18, 21 4:23 pm  · 
1  · 
shellarchitect

Didn't AIA take a stand recently against architects doing "death chambers?" A classmate of mine left Smith Group over their work on jails a little while back.

 · 
square.

most architects are socially left, and anything but economically (aka, "bob's" buddy mfg posting anti-trump memes while treating his office with top-down authority and not paying interns). it's a really important distinction to make.

 · 
apscoradiales

Yep! Well said, pnj02c.


 · 

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