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Are all the top grad schools at the same level with social justice?

CheriMack

A parent here of an undergrad architecture student that will be applying for Grad schools next summer.   The choice is hers to make, but I'm curious about something.  I've researched several schools and just about all of them come across as too political for me.  I mean, I can understand that in architecture, you have to push for the "Social Justice" mantra vs say "Personal Responsibility", but as I read the web pages and social media postings from these top schools, many seem so over the top on this.  

I know, my kid has dealt with this at some level in undergrad already and it didn't phase them and they have really thrived in the current program doing actual Architecture in studio.  But of these March schools I've listed, who focuses more on actual Architecture vs politics?  I understand that politics is part of Architecture, of course, but just wondering if there are large differences between these schools in this regard or do they all toe the same line:  (No particular order)  Princeton, Univ. of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rice, Univ. of Washington in St. Louis, Illinois Tech, Rhode Island School of Design, Univ. of Texas in Austin, Clemson, and Georgia Tech.  Thanks. 

 
Dec 5, 23 12:57 pm
Non Sequitur
  1. Define "too political" and "social justice"
  2. Architecture academia is defacto on the left side of the political spectrum.  This is a good thing because progress rarely happens with right leaning pundits.    In the real world (ie. outside of school), architecture is much more centre than left on average (money tends to do that).
  3. Let your kid make their own choices based on their goals without having to satisfy their parent's social shortcomings. Looking at recent projects and promo from each school's curricula should clear that up.
  4. Social progress good Mk'ay.
Dec 5, 23 1:07 pm  · 
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CheriMack

She has and will make up her own mind. No problem there. I asked the question because I was curious and of course I can share some info with her but decision is hers to make. Haha…and no social shortcomings here. Not everyone shares identical views.

Dec 5, 23 6:02 pm  · 
1  ·  1
Non Sequitur

M’erica. Pew pew.

Dec 5, 23 6:08 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

It’s true that not everyone shares certain views but there are many views that are objectively wrong. I would wager that based on your post above you share some of these toxic views.

Dec 5, 23 11:11 pm  · 
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CheriMack, first, no single school's the same. Social justice matters are a matter of the faculty and staff and to culture of the student population. All these are fluid so it is kind of pointless question by comparing to an equal status. There are many that are promoting social justice or support it. Of course, in some states, they are less openly stating that due to possible state political positions in power. Your daughter should be the one asking the questions and doing the research on what schools aligns with her goals. Especially, now that she's an adult for a few years. 

That said, architecture school is not explicitly about social justice. Yes, it can be used to facilitate such but that is not what going to architecture school is about. To some degree, some schools are hesitant to push or promote political agendas or views. They won't get in the way of an individual's political views or expression but won't want to present any sort of position themselves for numerous reasons. It is not the purpose of an architecture school or architecture degree to be create social justice warriors or whatever the catch word of the day is. It is up to the individual if they want to align their professional background and education with personal/political goals. That is up to her. 

What she needs to focus for the education in architecture school IS architecture. Since this is a masters level degree, it is unlikely to contain much of any general education courses as those would be presumingly attained while getting the bachelors degree. 

As a professional, in this world, she should attend an M.Arch that covers sustainable design and climate change in the curriculum. Her professional career will likely be involved with firms that does this and she would need to be adequately equipped to design involving sustainable design practices. 

To be clear, climate change is scientific fact. Politics aside, it is fact. The world had been on a general warming trend since the middle of the ice age. This is why the ice age ended and glaciation melting. It is also what enabled access to areas that used to be inaccessible just 200 years ago. Yes. This allowed population spread. It has allowed extraction of natural gases, oil, etc. Things even 100 years ago was inaccessible. It wasn't just because we have learned how to drill deeper. It is because with melting of ice and areas melted away, it became accessible to bring equipment and drilling. The simple fact is as ice melts, it raises water levels. During the past 1000 years, a lot of settlements were built close to water areas and oceans. This is basic rules of human settlement. With increasing water levels and now more extreme summers and winters, it is become real issues. If you look to past civilizations like Greece, some of its settlements are under water now. Although not very deep but still. This is the kinds of issues that will effect some U.S. settlements in the future unless solutions are made. Look at New Orleans. Once water levels are higher than the levies, New Orleans will become uninhabitable. This isn't really social justice issues but certainly can intertwine with it. Social justice deals with issues like social equality. Take a look at bathrooms. Even look how architecture changed with reflection of changes in issues like racial issue. 

It wasn't that long ago that there was segregation. With segregtion, you had to have separate fountains and bathrooms for whites from those of blacks. Now, we don't do segregation so our architecture doesn't have to have separate facilities for these issues. 

While architecture itself is not about social justice and related matters, it intertwines. Architecture education would also exist in that reality and naturally should. While the academic grading should not be based on your social justice or political position, it should be objectively grounded on architecture. Such as how you address real-world issues in the project program and arrive at an effective design solution. An architect should be effective regardless if they support the social justice matter or not. Albeit, it would be easier for an architect that supports the social justice agenda of the client to design for it.

Dec 6, 23 5:53 pm  · 
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TLDR, In general, I agree with what others have said, substantively. A design professional isn't an employee of the client. An independent contractor. Of course, your daughter may work as an employee of an architectural firm but the firm, as a business is an independent contractor. As a professional, you are not to placate to whatever your client wants. You need give your client a dose of candid and forthright professional advice and not lead your client on a primrose path to failure. Your job is to be candid and forthright. Your job as a design profession is to guide the client through the legal processes. Even advising when the project needs to be changed in some material way. As others say, it is a very political process. NO architectural project (even residential homes) are private acts. They are public acts. If it requires permits then it has a public nexus. Houses aren't just going to be occupied by the current owners. Now, the average time people live in a home is 5-10 years. Homes have a structural life cycle of several decades to over a century. Architecture is a public matter. I'm a building designer so I design houses and depending on the state, small commercial buildings, some MFRs, farm buildings, etc. What others have said is very much true in my professional life as a building designer.

Dec 6, 23 6:41 pm  · 
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natematt

I doubt anyone on here or anywhere for that matter will be able to cross reference the political intensity of a swath of architecture schools. Individuals don’t associate with enough different schools on an appropriate level to be able to make that assessment. I am curious what your benchmark is for this though. What is an example of being over the top with “social justice” marketing? Links would be great.

Does it matter though? I find it hard to believe that the politicality of these schools will have much impact on the education to be honest. I’d say what I do to anyone ever asking for advice on schools. Minimize debt, if there is a clear winner on debt pick that one. If debt isn’t a concern because of scholarships or rich family, then just pick the one they want, either for the perceived quality of education or the location.

Dec 5, 23 1:18 pm  · 
1  · 
CheriMack

I think it could matter if the politics is over done because it can be very distracting and some students will get tired of it. The country is divided on many issues pretty much 50/50, so not all students are going to be in agreement with the liberal professors. However, if not overdone or totally consuming the education, then yeah, that is fine. I imagine kids that disagree can "play along" and "get along".

Dec 5, 23 10:40 pm  · 
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CheriMack

And regarding the debt, YES! That is what I tell her. If she stays in state at the school she is attending now, I think she could get the MArch without even taking a loan. It is loads cheaper, massively so actually, but she wants to try for bigger and better schools I guess, although the school she attends is decent I believe. It is on the top 40 "most admired" Design Intelligence list from a few years ago at least.

Dec 5, 23 10:44 pm  · 
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ivanmillya

Heads up: The Design Intelligence list doesn't really mean much. For reference, I got my degree from a university that was ranked #2 in their list... it hasn't made a huge impact on my ability to pick up a job one way or the other. The job market is much more focused on viable and applicable talent and relevant work experience, much more so than the name of your alma mater (so long as that school has an accredited program).

Dec 6, 23 12:39 pm  · 
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CheriMack

Javon. I agree with you on the DI most admired list, but I was simply using it as sort of a baseline of sorts. But I noticed that it mostly lined up with other "best" lists on the Internet, but again, I do agree with you on this one. As an example, Carnegie Mellon is not on their list and CM is good at everything, and good at high price too. :-)

Dec 6, 23 3:54 pm  · 
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CheriMack, if your daughter wants an NAAB accredited degree because she plans to become licensed and she being enrolled in a 4-yr architecture degree not NAAB accredited then should seek out a decent architecture program that she likes that isn't too expensive. While some colleges are expensive at face value could be less expensive if she secures a good aid package from the school but one thing that is important is to not get exuberantly in debt. This profession's pay sucks too badly. This profession's business model is pathetic and there is a lot of trouble just getting by to have a massive loan debt. I highly recommend avoiding getting in big debt. However, she should do the research and inquire and look over the options. It is important that the school and degree is listed on NAAB as accredited by them for licensing in a number of states. She could get by in some states without an NAAB accredited degree. If her undergrad bachelor degree she is working on is NAAB accredited then she doesn't need a Masters degree unless it is for some professorship job. I am speaking regarding US. What does she want to do beyond college?

Dec 7, 23 6:13 am  · 
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jwilliam

Recent grad of Univ of Virginia here. This is something that I thought about when choosing an M.Arch program and was turned off by some of the schools who overly emphasized social and political issues. I would say that UVA had a fair balance of acknowledging pollical issues without basing the curriculum around them. 

I will say that the students who did thesis projects surrounding political/social/identity issues definitely received more attention than those who had more of a design focused thesis. With that said, I gravitated to the faculty who cared more about design and aesthetics and tailored my class choices to study under them rather than the more progressive "social justice" type of professors. 

There will always be academics who find refuge in higher education and preach to the students that social issues are the most important problem our world faces but I believe that I received a solid education from UVA and have a better understanding of political issues while still feeling like the bulk of my education focused on becoming a good designer.

Dec 5, 23 1:28 pm  · 
2  · 

Serious question: You say you focused your personal curriculum on design. Did that design track include addressing climate change in any meaningful way? Because IMO that’s a huge design problem for all architects right now.

Dec 5, 23 3:42 pm  · 
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jwilliam

There were core classes that raised awareness to climate change and discussed the general responsibility of the architect in confronting these issues. T he solutions that were being researched were mostly the introduction of organic material into the building process. Grass based shingles, mushroom foam, and various experiments with rammed earth. I personally would have liked to learn about more practical ways of building more sustainably w/out the focus on very niche and unrealistic solutions.

Dec 5, 23 4:27 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

^those are product options and do very little to address the issue in any meaningful way.

Dec 5, 23 4:31 pm  · 
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jwilliam

Exactly. Building sustainably isn't about using the most sustainable materials but actually designing a building that can be useful and adapt to future needs . A well-designed building will outlive a poorly designed building that integrated sustainable materials.

Dec 5, 23 4:39 pm  · 
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ivanmillya

To be fair, the most sustainable option would simply be to build less. We focus so heavily these days on expansion and progress. Our houses have tripled in size since the 1950s. Every building must be tightly sealed and have perfectly balanced HVAC systems. Various appliances and devices are plugged in and drawing power constantly, 24/7. The construction industry itself is not sustainable, but I couldn't begin to offer a realistic solution to the problem beyond "we need to build less."

Dec 5, 23 4:44 pm  · 
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CheriMack

Jwilliam….Great to hear. I believe my child would operate much like you did. She loves design and is eating it up in undergrad. UVA would be an awesome school for her. I’m assuming Virginia Tech and probably others would be similar, with a mix of professors but again I’m not sure, thus why I asked the question. Thanks for your response.

Dec 5, 23 5:51 pm  · 
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curtkram

how is "social justice" not the same as "personal responsibility?"

Dec 5, 23 1:39 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

It's different when one's own personal life philosophy differ from the mainstream woke communists'.

Dec 5, 23 2:02 pm  · 
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curtkram

except for sfr, all architecture exists in public space. architecture is what defines public space. you can't really have a personal life philosophy that runs counter to "public space." wouldn't that mean acting counter to "social justice" would also be acting counter to "personal responsibility?"

Dec 5, 23 3:35 pm  · 
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gwharton

Architecture reflects core social culture, not trivial surface effects like politics except in the most banal and superficial ways. Like with art, the more political architecture gets, the more irrelevant and boring it becomes.

Dec 6, 23 4:59 pm  · 
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curtkram, even sfr exists in public space. Albeit they may be more private than places of public accommodation and the likes.

Dec 6, 23 7:02 pm  · 
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____

Architecture is in most cases reflective of a particular designers political views whether intended or not. Architecture tends to be more autobiographical than the other arts. Therefore ones political views show up pretty clearly in a building.

Dec 6, 23 8:00 pm  · 
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Perhaps. I can agree with you Arch2. The art of architecture is expression and all expression is political to some degree. There's no expression on anything that isn't technically political. Political doesn't mean just what we commonly think of in terms of POLITICS like political party agendas. Politics is the discourse of values and beliefs. All expression is about some value or belief embedded. Be it visual art expression, or music, or any other work of expression. Even music without sung words. However, that's harder to pick up on the politics. Every creative work imbues the values and beliefs of the creator of the creative work.

Dec 6, 23 11:23 pm  · 
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Arch2, architecture tends to be representative of the political views of the client who hired the architect.

Dec 7, 23 6:29 am  · 
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____

Yes, if you are that kind of designer. Like an actor with a role in a sense.

Dec 7, 23 7:51 am  · 
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bowling_ball

"Architecture tends to be more autobiographical than the other arts" I'm sorry whuuuuuut? You're telling me that architecture, which involves typically hundreds of people, laws, codes, markets, etc etc etc is more autobiographical than a poem? A song? A drawing? I know it's not a given, but that's a very bold (and very incorrect) statement!

Dec 7, 23 10:54 pm  · 
1  · 

If you are a believer in personal responsibility, certainly you must feel it’s your kids’s responsibility to do their own college research, yes?

Dec 5, 23 3:39 pm  · 
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CheriMack

She will do her own research. I simply enjoy digging in to these things as well. I have this monster spreadsheet with total cost figured out and all that but in terms of picking schools, that has to be her. I know nothing about Arch. But absolutely no worries at all with Personal Responsibility. She is really on the ball there.

Dec 5, 23 6:08 pm  · 
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Almosthip

Just because you enjoy digging into these this doesn't mean you should. How stressful and exhausting it must be for you kid to have to satisfy your needs as well as try and navigate the education system for their OWN future.

Dec 6, 23 11:50 am  · 
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CheriMack

Again, you don't know what you are talking about and I'm not really asking for some anonymous nobody on the Internet for advice on this topic. My kid is not satisfying my needs at all. This is my research and interest. They have chosen their own path, but of course, we are a close-knit family and we talk and share about things as all families do or should.

Dec 6, 23 4:00 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Wrong, you just don't want your kid associating with more socially progressive ideas. You want to restrain your kids so that they keep the "values" you ingrained in them before they were smart enough to know better. Arch school is great way for kids to break away from their parent's political views so hopefully they end up choosing the opposite of what your research gives you.

Dec 6, 23 4:06 pm  · 
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CheriMack, then why do you ask a web forum where 5 minutes of observation would tell you that there are people who posts anonymously. If you wanted non-anonymous posts, either contact the architects and firms around in multiple states or post the question on a forum where everyone must use their real name identity.

Dec 6, 23 6:46 pm  · 
2  · 

A lot of people use anonymity so they can speak more freely their opinions but also about things at work that if they were identified, may result in retaliation at work. I know the identity of some individuals here but I won't describe them. It should be noted that not everyone are licensed but many are practicing professionals be it as employees or their own business. It should be noted that some people are not licensed or practice in the U.S. This isn't a U.S. only forum. This is a forum accessible by users from across the globe like the internet... the WORLD WIDE WEB. That's the www part in the URL that you may sometimes type in the domain name.

Dec 6, 23 6:52 pm  · 
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In fact, your daughter should create an account on here and inquire for herself. She should use anonymity at this time in her career and inquiry. There is some professionalism to be desired by some of the users here but that is besides the pont. Your daughter should inquire and research for herself. It would bold well for her professionally to do this for herself and decide. It is part of adulthood and maturing which is part of becoming a professional. A license doesn't make a person truly a professional. Professionalism does. You appeared to have come here with some agenda. This is not what you are supposed to do. Your daughter needs a list of schools and evaluate for herself. There isn't even a requirement that she immediately goes to grad school instantly after undergrad. She should, if possible, visit these schools. Go to their campus. Check out a class session. You name it. See how it is like. Check out 5-10 schools if possible.

Dec 6, 23 6:59 pm  · 
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monosierra

You could avoid schools with a post-modernist bent if the goal is to avoid reading history and theory through French theory.

Dec 5, 23 4:50 pm  · 
2  · 
☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

All architecture is political. Please find another profession, mom.

Dec 5, 23 5:20 pm  · 
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CheriMack

Unfortunately, all professions and schools are too political these days, sort of the point of the question.

Dec 5, 23 6:13 pm  · 
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ivanmillya

When you live in a society in which your livelihood is determined via politics, everything becomes political. Understanding the sociopolitical climate around you is how you become a good designer. Suggesting that there's "too much politics in [x]" is a very comfortable position for someone whose life is not affected much by said politics.

Dec 5, 23 8:15 pm  · 
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☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

It's interesting, the NYT Ethicist this past weekend, had a letter from a parent, where their teen daughter did not tell them about a boyfriend, so they decided to get a bear with a spy feature to monitor their teen. They ultimately forgot about it, but when their daughter turned 18 she confided to a friend how awesome she thought her parents were for trusting her. This conversation was captured by, you guessed it, the bear. Now they were in a quandary.

So my question, does your presumably 22 year old daughter know you're circumventing her autonomy?

Dec 5, 23 10:14 pm  · 
1  · 
☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

We've had future grad students come here ask all manner of questions about school choice, programs, cities, GRE, thesis topics, you name it. This is likely the first time, in this site's existence, that we've had a parent ask this question. As a 25 plus year professional, I have to say, if I ever encountered a student who wasn't politically, or culturally inquisitive, they'd not be able to work in my firm. There isn't an architectural program in the world, where grad student could be home schooled. Every single thing i do, everything, is connected to the political.

Dec 5, 23 10:35 pm  · 
2  · 
CheriMack

I'm just trying to get some feedback for a question that I posted on an anonymous forum because I'm interested in the topic myself. Take it as you will. I've had one encouraging response that sort of enforced what I believed was probably the case going in to this, at least for one school. Not going to discuss parenting on this forum. That is a different forum. :-)

Dec 5, 23 11:05 pm  · 
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Sharky McPeterson

If you refuse to listen to anything else among the long list of answers you asked for when starting this thread, this seems to be the most concise, insightful takeaway: "All architecture is political. Please find another profession, mom."

Dec 6, 23 1:03 pm  · 
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CheriMack

I've read all replies (listened, if you will), including the ones off subject. Not going to reply to everything or go too deep here with strangers. Not enough time and not worth it. I was just curious and received back pretty much what I expected. And in the end, I disagree with your takeaway. And there is nothing wrong with Architecture being political, although I don't see that as the main focus of Architecture. I was asking about an over-emphasis on social justice politics in various programs, or were they balanced at all. I'm an engineer and software developer, cybersecurity person by trade. Maybe my mind thinks differently then yours, but to me architecture is designing things. It is as simple as that.

Dec 6, 23 4:13 pm  · 
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gibbost

Designing things, yes. Simple, no. At the heart of what we do are people. And people are complicated. There is no such things as 'over-emphasis on social justice' until there are no injustices. Best I can tell, we've still work to do. As such, the profession requires that we be diligent in that effort.

Dec 6, 23 4:37 pm  · 
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As long as a factually documented misogynist, and pretty clearly racist white supremacist former President trying to become a dictator like his idols in Russia and North Korea, and those that pander to his ideology trying to undo every social progress since the Civil War and undermining any sort of republic founded on democratic principles (not the party but the principle of democracy) to keep their "god" from being sent to prison for the crimes he instigated or even committed under the laws of the United States so he can become a Putin-Hitler-Mussolini style dictator, we are going to have this intensity on political issues because the threat is MUCH more than just political. This former President has already committed treason by levying war. Levying war means "assembling people to attack". This actually occured on January 6th. Insurrection is a treasonous overt act that the former President along with his co-conspirator incited especially with words of Giuliani who is an official representative of the former President as his personal attorney so it was a official personal representative. You know.... lawyer as client's representative. Giuliani's words to fight like hell or there wont be a country anymore. The whole overtone of "stop the steal" and "stop the certification" was clear that there wouldn't be any sort of chance this would be peaceful. Peaceful protests have no effect on government proceedings of any kind. A peaceful protest would not stop a proceeding. It had to be violent to stop it. It did... for a short time though but it actually did. There is already two witnesses that have testified. This former President should be indicted for Treason under Article III, Section 3 and convicted and prohibited from holding any public office. On top of that, he should be executed and held in prison while on death row and stay as he goes through his appeals while at the same time watch his wealth wiped away. He should be civilly sued in the billions to trillion dollar level for his actions that day. He should live long enough to watch his wealth and business empire collapse and then executed as a sentence after being convicted by a jury. As long as he is trying to be reelected, he is a threat. His interest in being President again isn't for any good, noble, reason. He hates the United States and democracy, as well as, justice system, laws, rules, etc. There is too many in America that supports him and his agenda because they are stupid, ignorant, and have no *bleeping* idea would that means to have and live in a dictatorship. They think they'll all be his right hand servant of privilege. He doesn't need servants. He can just order the execution of whoever he wants without a trial. No legislative or judicial branch to stop him because he would put an end to those branches of government if he succeeds at becoming a dictator. Hell, just having them under gunpoint (literal and/or effectively literal by effective coercion) is enough to make those branches of government yield and rubber stamp whatever he wants. This is how Hitler ruled Germany.

Dec 6, 23 6:22 pm  · 
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Shoutout to gibbost because this is a real hard truth: “There is no such things as 'over-emphasis on social justice' until there are no injustices.“

Dec 7, 23 6:34 am  · 
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CheriMack, part of the role of an architect is to be a creative problem solver especially in context of buildings, space, function relationships, and ingress/egress. It is about solving needs. Architects may be involved in developmental urban planning and other matters. Designing yes but it is not simple. If it was, we wouldn't be charging tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars for what is done. Even designing a home is a lot more complicated than just making sketches. Our role is much more than just clicking on an icon and magically prints a set of plans. What we do involves a lot more than just drawing pictures. Just last week, I reviewed a 200+ pages of facilities assessment prepared by an architect. This can involve significant investment of time to prepare. This is just one kind of thing an architect may do.

Dec 7, 23 6:48 am  · 
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Sharky McPeterson

...imagine being a layperson asking a forum full of architects a question on architecture, and then subsequently telling said architects what architecture is and what it is not. Comedy.

Dec 7, 23 1:40 pm  · 
5  · 

Yes. There is a lot of things that is architecture. I expressed some. Others expressed some. We're all right even if none of us gave a complete exhaustive list of what is architecture in the broad but contextually relevant manner we are all speaking or more precisely writing to. You may find discussion like what constitutes the "practice of architecture" and what doesn't... in discussions of a legal analysis for what requires a license and what doesn't. 

Then there are discussions of what is architecture in the broader academic theme of what is architecture when it comes to the built environment... delineated from software architects, sandwich architects, and such.... but the more traditional architects of buildings. The exact role of architects and what they do evolves. Although there are the core roles architects have and what they do. There are the ever evolving stuff that is done ancillary to our core roles and duties. Like other professions, we evolve and adapt with the times. 

CheriMack, Sharky makes a clear point about how you came across. To tell us that all we do is design in a diminutive fashion when what we do is so much more than a singular aspect. 

I may use the title, Building Designer, but what I do is more than merely designing. We provide and perform an array of ancillary professional duties sometimes some are more important than the actual designing. I think my colleagues agree on the fundamentals of what I am getting at. This is important for your daughter to understand about this career.

Dec 7, 23 3:30 pm  · 
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BulgarBlogger

equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome. 

Dec 5, 23 9:40 pm  · 
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____

"Personal Responsibility" is an archaic phrase of a defunct political party that was predicated on the false belief that this society has no structural inequatites and is a level playing field.


This defunct political party was not transformed into what it is now. It just became what it always was - a system for maintaining these inherent inequatites.


What you are asking for is a school that will teach your daughter to be an educated boob - smart enough to do the technical work but never asking why or what for.


This is antithetical to the entire purpose of a college education. I don't know what to advise you. If you wanted her to be ignorant then maybe you shouldn't have sent her to school in the first place.

Dec 5, 23 10:32 pm  · 
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axonapoplectic

Too political… part of our job is to get projects through permitting (which is a political process) and if we are too focused on only what the client wants then we aren’t really helping them. We often have to help clients understand that things like public benefit and loss leaders not only help their projects get through permitting, but support the long term viability of their project. Someone also has to look out for the little guy because these are the people that add vibrancy to the built environment. 

Dec 6, 23 8:45 am  · 
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axonapoplectic

Plus if we as architects want to continue getting work built we need to make sure that we aren’t pissing off locals and elected officials. Social justice is a big issue right now in many major cities - and if you can speak that language and demonstrate how the project helps meet these goals, then you get to build more stuff.

Dec 6, 23 2:05 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

Half of my portfolio is in non-profit / social welfare / health care. All of our clients are discussing these issues - out loud. We recently lost a job because our proposal didn't include a section on Empathy Mapping. I'm dead serious. This will be the norm going forward.

Dec 7, 23 11:07 pm  · 
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lacalr

I would almost argue that as much as the school is important, the location and surrounding city is as well. So much of design and architecture is influenced by the surrounding context, so if it is a city that your kid feels like they identify with, or at least CAN identify with, they will most likely find their own personal path in the MArch program. 

Dec 6, 23 10:58 am  · 
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reallynotmyname

Doing your graduate work in a place where you would like to settle after grad school can be very beneficial.

Dec 6, 23 12:24 pm  · 
7  · 

CheriMack wrote:

"I'm just trying to get some feedback for a question that I posted on an anonymous forum because I'm interested in the topic myself. Take it as you will. I've had one encouraging response that sort of enforced what I believed was probably the case going in to this, at least for one school. Not going to discuss parenting on this forum. That is a different forum. :-)"

So you didn't come here for advice then?  Why bother asking the question at all if you already have beliefs' you want to be true? 

Dec 6, 23 4:59 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

Because it’s the internet. A magical place where you can find anyone who will validate the most dumb ideas.

Dec 6, 23 5:42 pm  · 
1  · 
ill_will

theory: OP's kid is going to grad school but OP still wants to exert motherly dominion by sharing an opinion of a "professional" that "coincidentally" aligns with her own beliefs to show the kid(adult) that she still knows best

Dec 6, 23 5:52 pm  · 
3  ·  1
ill_will

maybe that was a bit harsh, there are actually a lot of real professionals on the forums. but then there's also the jawk's and the xjla's too.

Dec 6, 23 5:56 pm  · 
 · 

I also like that CheriMack wrote: 

"Unfortunately, all professions and schools are too political these days, sort of the point of the question." 

 Then why come here for professional advice?

Dec 6, 23 6:40 pm  · 
2  · 
ShakeyDeal

Politics are necessary. But what and who's politics are acceptable is the real issue. 

Dec 6, 23 6:48 pm  · 
3  · 
Le Courvoisier

You might like studying with Patrik Schumacher and Alejandro Zaero-Polo.

Dec 6, 23 8:44 pm  · 
4  · 

Excellent response, king.

Dec 7, 23 6:41 am  · 
 · 

Shoutout to gibbost because this is a real hard truth: “There is no such things as 'over-emphasis on social justice' until there are no injustices.”



Dec 7, 23 6:35 am  · 
5  · 
JLC-1

That's the missing explanation from the OP, What is wrong with seeking social justice?

Dec 7, 23 10:52 am  · 
2  · 
Wilma Buttfit

Architects are licensed professionals. The license is to protect the health and safety of the public. But someone with a high level of personal responsibility such as your daughter probably knows this already and now you do too. 

Dec 7, 23 6:36 pm  · 
1  · 
curtkram

Cheri, did you share this thread with your daughter so she can be exposed to new perspectives?  a few of us would be happy to share our experience with architecture and architecture school.

Dec 7, 23 7:32 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

And loose full control on their kid? Are you crazy?

Dec 7, 23 8:37 pm  · 
2  · 
____

Her daughter is an architecture student. There is more than a good chance that she is reading it already.

Dec 7, 23 9:07 pm  · 
 · 
Archi-Fartsy

Agree with over the top Social Justice… seems to be modus operandi at universities all around these days.  I’m an architect that pushes for personal responsibility first and foremost as that is the foundation to civilized society - so there are some of us around!  Good luck to you and your daughter finding the right school :)


P.S.  I’m also a strong believer that there is no benefit in this profession to spend exorbitant sums of money or go into a ton of debt to get an education.  Do what’s needed to get a License…  and decide on what kind of architecture she wants to specialize in.  All the best

Dec 8, 23 1:01 am  · 
 ·  5
ivanmillya

Pretty sure the whole "personal responsibility" shtick is why so many public housing projects in the United States failed so badly and had to be demolished due to poor design and subsequent neglect. The fact is that any profession which interfaces with public life has to have a sense of social care and duty, far beyond the individual "fuck you I got mine", which has proved time and again to be disastrous for both the built environment and for all of the life that exists around it.

Dec 8, 23 6:10 am  · 
3  · 

Alrighty then, Archsi-Fartsy. Make sure you take personal responsibility to build the road you drive to work on today. Personally verify that the brakes on your car meet basic levels of reliability and that the gas in the engine isn’t actually jet fuel. If an ambulance comes by don’t bother getting out of the way; it’s clearly the patient‘s own responsibility to get to the ER in time to be saved. And good luck not getting hit by the driver running the red light; it’s his personal responsibility to get to work on time. Sure sounds like a civilized society!


Dec 8, 23 7:01 am  · 
9  · 
Wilma Buttfit

Let’s go back in time to when you were a baby and you can feed your damn self and wipe your own ass too.

Dec 8, 23 10:15 am  · 
3  · 

Archi-Fartsy wrote: 

 "trollin', trollin', trollin'  Hope I land a big one.  Trollin', trollin', trollin' "

Dec 8, 23 10:43 am  · 
2  · 
Archi-Fartsy

Wow.. I rest my case.

Dec 9, 23 1:37 am  · 
 ·  1
☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

Well, you're right, we should have more teaching on dialectical materialism, and how our profession can help foster a new revolution for the people, instead of just settling for the culture war. We need more socialism.

Dec 9, 23 8:36 am  · 
2  · 
Wilma Buttfit

Internet friends: Personal responsibility and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive and any philosophy that doesn’t overlap the two is fringe and therefore faulty. I seriously doubt any grad school programs are truly on the fringe like I think the OP is.


P. S. Architecture grew out of civility and will always be entertained with it because of the nature of the beast. Lots of people, lots of varying needs and ideas. You won’t be learning to design mansions for wealthy people in school.

Dec 8, 23 10:31 am  · 
1  · 
Wilma Buttfit

ope, intertwined not entertained

Dec 8, 23 10:32 am  · 
 · 
casual_rm

Fancy a rhyme? Another fish has been chomped by the sharks. The arch-sharks, armed with snark and smart remarks.

Anyway, the prospective student’s knowledge of this inquiry for graduate school programs is not specified and neither is the student’s perspective. The reply, “She will do her own research” (Dec 5, 23 | 6:08 PM EDT), leads me to think the student is not involved and has no knowledge of this query, which is suspect. The range for what is deemed “too political” is also not specified. If the goal is to help, then the student should at least know about this research attempt.

For any prospective thread posters, please read through some of the age-old threads on this forum as well as their responses before posting; threads with vague and senseless inquiries are met with ridicule.

Dec 8, 23 5:05 pm  · 
3  · 
ShakeyDeal

Who's Social Justice?

Dec 11, 23 1:29 pm  · 
 ·  3

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