Why are the vast majority of architects liberal?


""because architects want to be separated from engineers"


- FRaC

Jun 27, 12 10:24 am

FRaC wins...  

" "...hysterical and useless; hysterical and..."

-thom yorke 

--lletdownl "

Jun 27, 12 10:29 am

"An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along."

~ Evelyin Waugh

Words to live by.

Jun 27, 12 1:07 pm

OK, so seriously, I'm going to equate the OP's use of "liberal" with the term "progressive" and say that architects tend to be progressive because we are entirely trained in being able to look at an existing thing or situation and see how it could be made better.  We look at empty sites and see structures, or we look at existing structures and see adaptive reuse.  And all of our work is intended to increase the pleasure of human habitation, to improve how we experience the world.

Rusty, I wrestled the bourbon back. Chickens are dumb, godbless'em.

Jun 28, 12 1:04 am

"We look at empty sites and see structures, or we look at existing structures and see adaptive reuse.  And all of our work is intended to increase the pleasure of human habitation, to improve how we experience the world."

'Progressive' is the better word than 'liberal', yes, but 'delusional' might be even more accurate.  Ha ha!


Jun 28, 12 9:15 am
i r giv up


most architects don't read enough to be libertarians, and that, coupled with the archetypal architect's pathological need for control, makes them end up as progressives.

Jun 28, 12 9:46 am

Don't read enough to be libertarian?  Really?  There is some sort of correlation in your head between reading and libertarianism?  Perhaps you didn't realize that there are progressives, liberals, conservatives, religious radicals, and whole slew of other people who both read and write.  You need to find better stuff to read i r.

Maybe start with reading an unbiased news source, pay attention to the world around you, and get some common sense.  You can certainly be a libertarian with common sense; I'm just saying it might help you grow up a bit if you pay attention to the real world in addition to lame philosophy, instead of focusing solely on lame philosophy.

Jun 28, 12 10:26 am

Or Harry Potter.  I read all of the Harry Potter books and enjoyed them.  I would definitely recommend them.

Jun 28, 12 10:30 am
i r giv up


Jun 28, 12 10:38 am

I think the vast majority of architects are in the middle, just like the rest of the population. They may not be the loud ones though so you don't hear them as much.

Jun 28, 12 10:59 am

Yea ... Affordable Care Act upheld by SCOTUS.

Apoplexy is breaking out among Republicans all over the country - especially among those earlier convinced the SCOTUS would do their bidding.

This is such fun to watch !

Jun 28, 12 11:48 am

I am not mad.  I like the ending of the Harry Potter books.  I know there were some difficult times in there, and it was hard to move past some of the events that transpired.  However, I think the hard times and sacrifices made for a more rich and rewarding experience.

On a side note, Roberts would have been by next to last guess for the swing vote (Thomas the last).  With about 60 pages for the opinion and 60 pages for the dissent, Thomas still felt he needed to add an extra paragraph at the end.  I bet his wife made him do it since she was campaigning against the bill from the start.

Jun 28, 12 11:54 am

LOL at all the democrats cheering SCOTUS upholding the biggest corporate subsidy in US history. LOL at the republicans for thinking the Constitution means anything at all. LOL at SCOTUS for its desperate and convoluted attempt to shore up the failing elite power structure.

It's a fine day to be a reactionary. The absurdity of democracy is on full display today.

Jun 28, 12 12:17 pm

"most architects don't read enough to be libertarians,"

Haha you're right. If only we read more Ayn Rand we would understand how much better it would be to pay 7 tolls on our way to work and watch our neighbors houses burn to the ground because they couldn't afford to pay private fire fighters.

Jun 28, 12 12:44 pm

And Gwaharton, you're right. The partisans have lost their ever loving minds. Most progressives (or whatever we're calling ourselves these days) weren't big on the mandate to begin with. Its pretty funny to see conservatives losing their shit, this was the Heritage Foundations idea of a free-market cost control mechanism. But whatever. Most on the left preferred a public option anyway. We have one in Vermont and it's effing ballertown. 

Jun 28, 12 1:07 pm

Fools, keep debating over silly issues while the troops quietly move in. (via zerohedge)

"Americans battle over whose side is most to blame; Democrat or Republican, while ironically being disenchanted with both entities.  For some people, the thought of holding each party equally accountable, or accepting that they are essentially the same animal, never crosses their minds.

While this irrelevant farce of a debate rages on, the true culprits plotting the demise of our Republic gain momentum, and implement policy initiatives that the public should and must take note of.  In the past year alone, many blatant steps towards the Orwellian gulag have been openly administered.  A carnival of peddlers and freaks and greasy popcorn overwhelms our senses, but the stench of this cheap circus still tickles our noses, and if we use our eyes for even a moment, certain dangerous trends reveal themselves.  Here are just a few recent events that bear a dire warning; the ultimate assault on freedom in this nation grows near…"


Jun 28, 12 1:14 pm

Haha dude. Relax. Nobody is coming to get you. If you really think the TSA are comparable to brownshirts, you need to learn more about the brownshirts. Obamacare says you have to buy health insurance, because if you don't have it and you show up at the emergency room we have to pay for you anyway. If you already have it, then all this bill does is prevent them from jacking up your rates or dropping you when they find out you have cancer. You dont need a bunker for that.

If you really dont like the oligarchy, maybe you should come help us find a way to keep them from using superpacs to buy congress.



Jun 28, 12 1:31 pm

Actually, the ACA doesn't say you must have health insurance. You can elect not to carry insurance, but - if that's your choice - you will pay a tax (penalty, if you prefer) to offset the cost that other taxpayers will have to incur in order to cover your (inevitable) health care costs.

I think this is eminently fair.

Jun 28, 12 1:35 pm

Thanks for the clarification. Oh the tyranny.

Jun 28, 12 1:46 pm

Architects are very creative and open-minded people, more like artists, you cannot put borders in art.

Jun 29, 12 6:23 am

Wouldn't those in the middle be the open minded ones? Those that can see it both ways?

Jun 29, 12 8:07 am

Actually, the way the ACA is worded, the "penalty" (i.e. tax) you pay for not being insured under the mandate can only be applied to your tax witholdings (taken from any tax refund you might be due). Easy way to avoid paying the penalty: don't pay USG a penny more in witholding than you will actually owe in taxes. I always take max exemptions even though I wind up having to pay a little more at tax time each year. If you're getting big refunds every year, why are you loaning money to the government for free? If they don't owe you a refund, they can't apply the penalty.

Plus, the whole thing is dependent on self-reporting. I don't see any way that could possibly go wrong, do you?

Jun 29, 12 12:49 pm

you guys are buying into the insanely false conservative meme that a penalty is a tax. a penalty is a punishment for circumventing a law (e.g. not paying your taxes/not having car insurance/dumping millions of gallons of petrol into the ocean). it is not a tax.

Jun 29, 12 5:41 pm

Yeah but holz, it's so much easier for Frank Luntz to come up some scary sounding two-word catchphrase for fox news to repeat 500 times a day if its got the word tax in it.

Jun 29, 12 6:13 pm
i r giv up

gunshots don't kill people. bleeding out does.




sorry dude, but if you don't pay your taxes, you're penalized.

Jun 29, 12 6:15 pm

and it was scary when "crazy eyes" said those catch phrases on fox news 500 times

Jun 29, 12 6:28 pm

"Insanely false conservative meme that a penalty is a tax"

Uh, d00d, the Supreme Court of the United States of America just explicitly defined the penalties inherent to the ACA coverage mandate as a use of the taxation power, since they would be invalid under the IC clause. They were very clear about that: ACA penalty = tax.

Meme Status: not a meme.

Jun 29, 12 7:28 pm

it's relief from the non-stop ass rape we get from private insurance companies

Jun 29, 12 8:24 pm
Justin Ather Maud

Simply because architecture is an intellectual, rather than an idiological excercise.


Nuff said.

Jun 29, 12 8:32 pm

One would think with such intellectual superiority, that superfluous commas would not occur in one's writing.

*strokes beard*

Jun 29, 12 9:37 pm


only one justice called the penalty a tax, and that was roberts. the other 8 stated it was not a tax - including the dissenting opinion.

"When an act "adopt[s] the criteria of wrongdoing" and then imposes a monetary penalty as the "principal consequence on those who transgress its standard," it creates a regulatory penalty, not a tax."

Jun 30, 12 1:11 am

I realize much of the SCOTUS decision came down to whether or not it's a tax, but I really don't care one way or another what word we apply to the situation, because, as since eloquently stated: it's relief from the non-stop ass rape we get from private insurance companies.  Yay for that!

Jun 30, 12 1:48 am

if liberals are the forward thinkers questioning how we do things,  conservatives bring them back down to earth and ground them in reality.  liberals = teenagers, conservatives = adults.  aside from this life has a balance of people in it:  liberal/conservative, artists/engineers, rightbrained/leftbrained.  its not really politics, just types of people.  i wish people didn't always have to take down people in the other group.

got to say, in grad school a lot of my professors would talk about solutions to problems that were downright stupid and/or impossible.  but we're also the ideas side of the building industry, so if it weren't for the think-tank that is the architectural profession, there would be no change and no creativity.  good ideas (good as in not just creative, but feasible) get built.  i tend to get annoyed with the pure fantasy though.

Jun 30, 12 2:48 am

Yeah, damn free libraries those teenagers created so everyone could have access to knowledge.  Didn't they realize the adults could come up with a monopoly on book prices and slashing of library funding so a few people could make tons of money while most people couldn't have access at all?  

Libraries being just one example of thousands. So mature, so grounded in reality, those adults who can't dream of things being better, albeit different.

Jun 30, 12 10:18 am

liberals = teenagers, conservatives = adults

I feel like this needs expanded upon.  Liberals=teenagers who want opportunity.  These are the kids that want to earn a living and get fair pay for honest work.  They generally don't like the idea of their work going to pay for other people's executive and investment income.

conservative=old people who haven't been paying attention for the last 10 years or so.  This is the sort of person who you might hear yelling at kids to get off their lawn, or complaining about floppy disks since their punch cards worked just fine.  These people still think their party believes in rewarding people for hard work, but generally have difficulty in pointing to actual policy positions to support that claim (likely because they've been complaining about the kids on their lawn instead of paying attention to the world around them for last 10 or 20 years).

Jun 30, 12 12:04 pm

liberals = teenagers, conservatives = adults

What the fuck are you talking about.  Where the hell have you been.  Conservatives don't believe in evolution, don't believe in global warming, are furious that gays are having sex, think that people rode on dinosaurs, think the earth is 4000 years old.....  The conservatives are not just teenagers, they are dumb jock teenagers that listen to christian rock.  Intolerance is a sign of adolesence.  I am critical of everyone, but not all idiots are created equal.  The liberals are far more rational (and thats not saying much).  I'm not saying that all conservatives are idiots, but I would bet that overall the average conservative IQ is pretty low, which it has to be considering the fact that most of their policies are against the interests of their base.

As for obamacare, I like the fact that I will probably survive if I get sick and won't go bankrupt doing so, but I wish it was a single payer system rather than an individual mandate.   

Jun 30, 12 12:59 pm

i knew that would make everyone pissed.  if nothing else proves architects are liberal (at least here) its that this statement seems to be okay with most of you:

"What the fuck are you talking about.  Where the hell have you been.  Conservatives don't believe in evolution, don't believe in global warming, are furious that gays are having sex, think that people rode on dinosaurs, think the earth is 4000 years old....."

when you talk like that nobody with a differing view wants to fucking listen to what you're saying.  i believe in evolution, global warming, don't care about people's life choices, and have half a brain. i'm conservative.  ask any intelligent conservative in their 20's that hoped to god rick santorum didn't win in the primaries.  these are gross distortions and really call into question the "liberals are far more rational" bit.  so far for open minded. 

and i love how everyone assumes conservatives are the only ones involved in corruption/backroom deals.

newsflash:  democrats are too :O

democrats also buy votes by promising "free" stuff to the uninformed and uneducated.  but its disguised as being practically a charity so we dont' talk about it, whatever.

lets also ignore that fact that america is center right.  aka mildly conservative.

Jun 30, 12 1:31 pm


Jun 30, 12 1:40 pm

due I said "I'm not saying that all conservatives are idiots" 

I know several very smart conservatives.  I am talking more about the general party as a whole.  Conservatives (al least the politicians)  are mostly religious right wing nuts like santorum.  Sorry but it's true.  Its a rare day when you meet a "conservative" like yourself, and even more rare when one is elected to an office.   The fact is that there are very few old school conservatives nowadays, and the party has been taken over by the crazies.  I usually disagree with both sides on most global issues and tend to be more of a libertairian on certain domestic issues, but I also understand that ideology is never going to work all of the time.   Healthcare, roads, police, the responsibility of gov't.  We need government for certain things, not to regulate the size of our sodas, but yes to regulate banks and protect the little guy from the big insurance companies.   I agree with 50% of what ron paul says (the global policy stuff and some of the economic stuff), but in actuality, his domestic policies would probably lead to favellas more often than utopia because he is an all or nothing guy.  I tend to agree with obama about 50% of the time too, but I trust him behind the wheel because he does not  only make left turns. Of course the destination is important too, but all ideology must be flexable, and I feel that the conservatives are an all or nothing deal which is dangerous and immature.  Dem's, while they are also corporate worshipers to a lesser degree, tend to be more flexable and adaptable. 

Jun 30, 12 3:12 pm

I should add, flexable within the constitution.

Jun 30, 12 3:19 pm
i r giv up

*flexible. autocorrect is awesome. trust the machine.

ed conard basically sums it up for me. classical liberals had to co-opt the religious right in order to have enough numbers as to stand a chance against progressives (socialists/communists/"hug you" fascists).

Jun 30, 12 4:38 pm

Watch Louis Farrakhan talking to Phil Donahue and his angry  white audience. He could be a member of the congress.  Also, in above videos notice the demeanor of the black audience in comparison to white one.

Is he talking non sense or is he making points? If Newt and the likes running for presidential office, then why not this guy running for congress at least? He has the voice and knows the discourse everybody else is using in US politics very well.

I am sure a lot of people think he is a joke and a dangerous thug... Who knows how much dirt government and the popular media threw at him and completely discredit the issues he is raising in order to marginalize him? What he says is very threatening to status quo. I don't agree with every point he makes about gay marriage etc.., but I like his rhetoric. He is very outspoken on some issues people see it as taboo. He is very smart and thorough. I am sure he made some monumental mistakes for allying himself with questionable donors for financial support to keep his platform working.

Church of Scientology hates him.

OK it is getting too comical now.. I digressed from the original post all along... But every once in a while it is good to see Farrakhan in a debate.

Jun 30, 12 6:26 pm

Separate from any other political leanings, I'll posit that we tend liberal because planning and urban design with any attempt at a holistic approach requires regulation, some overarching level of authority, and a community-minded vision. It's a design thing.

Jun 30, 12 8:19 pm

I myself have never understood the whole "Left wing people are idealists because they hope for a better future. Right wing people are realists because they know that the status quo is an unchangeable and fundamentally a result of human nature."

All this does is confuse left and right with idealism and realism - these are distinct paradigms, not the same thing. Deregulation of systems that have been working very efficiently in the past, ie privatisation of public services, is pretty damned idealistic, no? And really goddamned optimistic. The left wing, generally, are the folks arguing for more regulation, acknowledging that it is needed as the free market, a force driven by human nature, will not be beneficial to most. A fairly realist perspective, if you ask me.

A few people here have been conflating idealism with the liberalism (in the current common usage of the word), and then saying that architects are liberal because they often have idealist values. I'm not sure this makes much sense, given that liberalism and idealism only overlap on certain issues, and on others disagree.

Have architects always been (mostly) aligned with the left wing? I don't know enough to say myself, but using that we can tell if this political orientation is systemic to the profession, or merely the result of some other more current factor (schools being more liberal, etc.).

Jun 30, 12 9:18 pm

right wing turdburgers aren't realists. their libertarian wet dreams are fucking distopian fetishes. they go (literally) batshit crazy over insane lies and false memes. the entire conservative wing of our country lives in a deeper dipshit fantasy land than the dems do. it's pathetic. and unhealthy.

Jun 30, 12 11:57 pm

i believe in evolution, global warming, don't care about people's life choices, and have half a brain. i'm conservative.

So why would you align yourself with republicans?  Is it entirely focused on your passion for trickle-down economics or oil interest?  What other policy have the republicans put forward that has even a remote chance of passing through the legislative branch?  If you vote republican, you're giving that party committee chairs and letting them focus a significant amount of time going after Eric Holder so you can politically posture as somehow more ethical than the current executive administration.  Why not elect people that are going to try to help the economy and unemployment situation we're in?  Or are you the sort of conservative that votes democrat since your party gave up on you (in which case, the rest of the above is kind of pointless)?  Sure, on a state or local level you can find reasonable people to vote for, but not on a national level.

My other point would be this.  Not all republicans are racist, but if you are a racist there is a really good chance you're a republican.  Not all republicans are religious lunatics, but if you are a religious lunatic you're probably a republican.  Both parties attract fringe minorities, but right now for the republicans the fringe has too many people.  The fringe for the democrats isn't that bad either.  Our fringe is made up of gay people who want the right to get married and poor people who want a little more opportunity.

Also, trickle down economics didn't work.  If you give rich people more money, rich people get more money.  It's really that simple.

Jul 1, 12 9:35 am

im a fiscal conservative in massachusetts and believe in small government.  people with that belief system are really not that hard to come by here.  we're also the most liberal state in the country, or close to it, so there are more "fringe" democrats.  a massachusetts republican is pretty much the same things as a texas democrat.

Jul 1, 12 9:59 am

I'll actually have to agree with Due that among actual voters there is a huge amount of diversity of opinion on both sides. The fact that Romney won the primary does kind of undercut the argument that all republicans are fundamentalist christians. A huge wing of the Democratic party are doggedly pro-union, and I'd be as bothered to be lumped in with them whole-cloth as Im sure Due would be to be equated with a lot of social conservatives. 

The hyperventilation, (again, on both sides) really is getting us nowhere. They pump this shit out to scare their bases into voting. I don't personally need that kind of motivation. The nutty thing is Obama's heathcare bill is mostly structured around republican free-market ideas. Romney still would have done a stimulus, and it still would have been 40% tax cuts. He still would have bailed out the auto industry, he just would have called it something different. Regulation isn't evil. Clear rules of the road are absolutely necessary for markets to function. Bitch and moan about some may about the TSA (now that a democrat is in office), I have yet to meet a republican who really thinks we should abolish the FAA. I also don't know a single democrat who would like to congress outlaw private banks. We just think if unethical behavior isn't also illegal there will be no incentive to prevent it. Even Reagan's  economic advisor said Dodd Frank didn't go far enough. Obama hasn't gone after anyone's guns. He has also for most americans lowered taxes, to a rate lower than they were under Reagan. These basic facts come to the chagrin of rabid parisans on both sides, which is why no one seems very interested in them.

The trouble is we aren't even arguing about the margins. We're arguing off the page. I guess real discussions about actual policy disagreements dont make for riveting 24hour news coverage. But just because the doomsday scenarios are exaggerated  to the point of mindless absurdity doesn't mean who holds office doesn't matter. Obama has invested a monumental effort into putting the screws to Iran, doing the actual work it takes to prevent a war that would leave half the middle east a chernobyl like radioactive wasteland, killing millions, and bringing the world economy to a grinding halt. I have zero faith Romney has the personal fortitude to sustain that effort. Obama has also done some great things for gay rights, and if congressional Republicans weren't so apoplectic in their pathological hatred of everything he does  we would have a DREAM act as well.

More profoundly, Obama's investments in solar energy have probably been the most forward-thinking efforts of a president in 30 years. I am not in the slightest bit bothered or surprised by Solyndra. The fact these technolies are initially risky is exactly why it is necessary for the federal government to invest in them. Obviously existing energy companies have zero incentive to take on those risks individually. But for every Solyndra there are 10 companies who's innovations could lead them to become the google of the solar industry. To fail make those investments  is to hand China and Germany total control over what will inevitably be the most important industry of the 21st century. Only a national effort can effectively overcome small initial risks like that for the sake of long-term economic superiority over decades rather than individual quarterly profits. Investments like these are the only reason we are now so dominant in the aerospace, computer, and communications industries. These are the decisions that determine the fate of the country. Again, Republican's to this point have demonstrated total ideological myopia to this.

Jul 2, 12 2:25 pm

President Obama gave us Solyndra; President Bush, and his sidekick Cheney, gave us 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Which did more to injure the country ?

Jul 2, 12 3:07 pm

Ha criminy. Apologies for bad proofreading. I thought we could edit posts now?

Jul 2, 12 3:09 pm

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