The glass is always half empty. We are about to go up the steepest street in the world. You are liable for anything that goes wrong with a building but if someone just hates the spaces you design? So if I’m wrong, prove it. The "architect" was the person who could build structures that didn't fall down. Good news: you can change this, says Christine Murray. New tools that I don’t see you using and quite a few old techniques that you could get a lot better at. Blah blah blah. The ANZAC/British/North American architecture profession is not in the best of shape. In the following article, which originally appeared on Medium as "What Starbucks Gets that Architects Don't," Christine Outram, bemoans that architects today just don't listen to people's actual needs. Let’s face it, most commercial buildings, hospitals, and police stations are underwhelming. For now I remain humbly disappointed.” This modest essay ends with this: You don’t need to prove anything. Architects typically tend to think about architecture all the time, I know … Now you might hate Starbucks. Technicians may opt to complete a … Why Architecture Should Leave the University The Good Oil Dr Garry wrote this originally for the inestimable online journal ArchVoices (16 August 2002), in response to a discussion on architectural internship, and suggestions that architecture schools should model themselves on medical schools. When it became a discipline in its own right it somehow lost its claim to humanism, banished from the humanities it was once conceived as a part of. You can hear Guy on the radio and podcast as guest host for the show DnA: Design & Architecture on 89.9 FM KCRW out of Los Angeles. You rely on rules of thumb and pattern books, but you rarely do in-depth ethnographic research. That’s a sobering statistic given that it takes a minimum of two years to get the necessary education, plus passing a national licensing exam and getting licensed (which requires a fee) within the state of residence. You do it or you don’t. Since moving to the US, she's been a research fellow at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, founded the think tank City Innovation Group, and is currently the Senior Inventionist at Deutsch LA. You do it well or you don’t. You have all these new tools at your fingertips. My dear architects. Do your attempts really make their way into your design process? You could use and develop tools that help you understand if this will happen. Why I left the veterinary profession. Architects don’t listen and they need to be more like ethnographers. I correct myself. I know this because I once was one of you. I didn’t think so. Alternatively, it could be argued that since computers can design beautiful and functional buildings, the character of the designer has been shown to be unrelated to the quality of the thing created. All images are © each office/photographer mentioned. Opportunities like: polling a vast number of people using online tools or modeling the likelihood that a retail space will actually get foot traffic. But you don’t. Great civilizations leave behind great architecture. “You” are a soulless machine, designing by code templates and cut and paste, with no regard for humanity. You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Christine Outram is a human-centered #smartcity and #bigdata strategist, music lover, and designer of the Copenhagen Wheel. Moreover, culture is divided and contentious when it comes to spatial and material values. It begs to be deconstructed. He has also written for Architectural Record, GOOD Magazine, and Architect Magazine. Yesterday, I had a really interesting conversation with somebody about the future of the architecture profession. There was too much at stake, there was only one chance to get it right, there were too many variables. Architects leave the profession almost but not quite with the frequency that lawyers leave theirs. Architecture’s grasp—that is, buildings and the designed environment—ends only in extreme conditions (the bottom of the ocean, the atmosphere, and a few dwindling spots on terrestrial earth.) I imagine that you have to come … No one wants an empty row of shops. Christine Outram ’s rant “ Why I Left the Architecture Profession ” is an honest and seemingly spontaneous attempt at staking out a position against an “outdated” profession. For a thoughtful examination of the role of listening in architecture see ArchDaily contributor. Brandon Donnelly is an architect-trained and tech-obsessed real estate developer who runs an insightful daily blog for city builders. As if the recession wasn’t enough to deal with, architects must also constantly defend themselves against negative stereotypes hyped by popular culture. It’s explosive in its assertion that “you,” meaning all you architects, are out of touch. You don’t listen to people. Follow Guy on Twitter @GuyHorton. The round tables at Starbucks were the result of asking the question how do we want people to feel before considering what do we want them to do. But the truth is, most of you don’t try. And even when they are pleasing to the eye, it doesn’t mean they are built to address human needs: if you don’t believe me, read this New York Times’ review of Santiago Calatrava’s buildings. The profession needs to stop losing vets from its ranks of two-years-plus qualified vets. Well there’s no lawsuit for that. First, there is a replacement effect. Do they? It’s clumsy and reckless. Bad Architecture is the inevitable result of a sick or dysfunctional society. You betcha. The supposed gulf she identifies between architects and everyone else seemingly triggers a shock response, like the clap of a Zen master’s hands, breaking the silence. It’s popular to bash architects. Architecture, I thought, was too permanent for that. Even more depressing is that her solution is that we all become more like Starbucks. Find plenty of pictures that worship obscure angles and the place where two materials meet? Why I left IBM to join the team building CockroachDB When switching jobs, especially after so many years, there’s rarely a single reason why. Her point is taken and it is clear she was just using this as an example, but the example cited does not validate or prove her original claims. It’s not for everybody and not everybody finds the right clients to usher their plans into buildings. The main culprit: Other majors are beating out architecture—particularly those that lead directly to jobs, such as engineering, the hard sciences, and those related to health. This is why Starbucks designed round tables in their stores. They’re particularly known and respected for their ethnographic techniques — though these days they seem to focus on master plans and urban regeneration and I don’t think they really do architecture. From my understanding, the reason why we have a 5 year program is because the buildings we design need to be structurally sound and safe so no one dies in them. If someone feels uncomfortable, or cold, or scared? If you leave architecture it goes with you and remains, always, a part of who you are. In legal terms, an architect is the all seeing, all knowing, building professional. It’s an iterative process. Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users. And as for the rest of the profession. This is just a symptom of a larger problem, where architects let the "fancy" design projects define the profession as a whole, even though the bulk of the architecture work that gets done is far more mundane. Mandy Stevenson, RVT. Don't leave the architecture profession, make it better. In fact, the word architect comes from the Greek word for "chief carpenter," architektōn. There is always more you could … Flip through an architectural magazine today. I moved on because despite your love of a great curve, and your experimentation with form, you don’t understand people. Most architects don’t really start to become good until later in life – I’m talking in their 50’s. Architects depend on each … ACSA’s partnership with AIA SF Equity by Design in 2016 and 2018 uncovered unequal pay, numerous barriers to work-life balance, and a glass ceiling in job roles and responsibilities as just a few reasons why women leave the profession. For now I remain humbly disappointed. Poor architects. The world is changing. 10 Reasons Why Nurses Want to Leave Hospitals The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports that one in five nurses leave their first nursing job within one year of hire. Now I’m not saying that all architects are dumb in this regard. Maybe I’m wrong. Sadly, Outram’s globalized view of the profession comes off as an outsider’s perspective, rooted in a vague, generalized understanding about what architects do and how they work, all the while stripping them of the human capacity for empathy and the fundamental ability to listen. It is five years of literal blood, sweat, and tears to obtain a degree. As for leaving the profession? This pipeline leak requires a better understanding of the lived experiences of women working in the profession. It’s not a Job, It’s a Lifestyle. But now I’ve moved on. It demands a counterattack. I used to think it was impossible for you to respond to an audience in the way that tech startups do. (That one I can’t get over). They were strategically created “in an effort to protect self-esteem for those coffee drinkers flying solo”. Architecture is not monolithic and should not seek monolithic solutions like the one Ms. Outram suggests. Join his 14,000 followers and subscribers by clicking here.. Why I Quit Architecture (And What I Did Next) “It’s one thing to know what makes a building beautiful, but it’s another thing to go out and raise the capital and build the damn thing.” Dear architects, You’re outdated. Do you find out their motivations? I moved on because despite your love of a great curve, and your experimentation with form, you don’t understand people. As the architecture profession becomes increasingly dominated by programs that create buildings by algorithms, and as architectural schools shut … Professions in the field of architecture include being an architect, an architectural technician, or an architectural drafter. I know this because I once was one of you. Nonsense. Somehow, the cultural framework needed to support understandings of architecture has eroded to such a degree that architecture ends up being defined in oppositional ways. ArchDaily 2008-2020. The problem is that architects seem to pray at the feet of the latest hyped-up formal language. All images are © each office/photographer mentioned. Bubbles Niki McNeill August 29, 2016 23 Comments. As a current student in architecture school, can someone tell my why they want to waste so much of our time? Architecture that is currently considered to be great may not be, and Architecture that reflects a just and kind society may currently be considered mediocre. We know there are as many approaches to architecture as there are practicing architects. 5. It’s a drone strike that has killed innocents. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) reported that enrollment in architecture degree programs has dropped about 10 percent in the last five years. Responding to people’s needs and desires. Architects can’t necessarily fix such problems. a recent article on the design of Starbucks stores. You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! You are likely surrounded by it right now. But now I’ve moved on. Here’s my rebuttal. What Starbucks Gets that Architects Don't. It makes for a sad neighborhood. Unique among creative and artistic professions, […] In addition, it can be read as an expression of the ideological and intellectual rift that exists between the public and the profession, one that architects are not necessarily psychologically equipped to bridge. The architecture was not always thought of as a profession. : if you don’t believe me, read this New York Times’ review of Santiago Calatrava’s buildings. I won’t even bother defending the good ones, the master architects who do indeed listen and hear, who get it, who aren’t “outdated.” You know who you are. I was reaching my 30’s and realized that I wasn’t making a lot of money. Her essay hits like a splatter bomb, throwing shrapnel in all directions. In the United States, architecture as a licensed profession changed in 1857. Keep doing what you do. Architecture against reason, against beauty, feeling, humanity. They need to put more round tables in spaces so lonely people don’t feel so lonely!