Introduction

The professional brands, known as “architect,” “interior designer,” “landscape architect.” etc… are not clearly understood by the general public.  The brand “architect,” originally the master builder, is increasingly marginalized by other professions edging into the domain, carving out scope of work, and resultant professional prestige. Today, this brand teeters on a narrow precipice made more dangerous by our current slow economy.

Academic architectural theory, wholly separate from architectural practice, has created an attractive oasis of ideas, independent of many practical realities. Without academic interventions in practice, this independent theorizing further marginalizes architects by threatening a segregation between theoretical “haves and have-nots” within the discipline.

In evaluation of the extant literature in this arena, a delineation of background causes for current conditions is a goal.  Understanding the professional concerns of the various groups at work in the built environment is also important.  Further, an understanding of the need for invention is a critical objective.  Should a silver bullet solution affecting the branding viability for architects exist in the literature, it would be a great find.  Unfortunately, it does not seem readily available.  This is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Supplementing the research considerations above, by interviewing architects, landscape architects, interior designers, contractors, and owners / clients, I propose to analyze the roles of the various professions working in the design of the built environment.  Consequently, a new practice / process paradigm for the sustainable practice of architectural design is anticipated.  Through my analysis, I seek to learn what realities must manifest for an architectural design firm to survive well in the current economic conditions.

This review of literature, and the resulting research interviews and analysis regarding the professions, will support the following thesis statement:

Architectural practice began with medieval guilds and its form of education has barely changed since Napoleon. Architectural theory resides primarily in academia, and overlays professional practice through limited interventions. 

Ultimately, a sustainable practice of architecture depends upon prioritizing the brand “design,” requiring a synthesis of architectural practice and theory, interwoven with practical economics.

 

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Hello world!

07Jan12

Welcome!

I am a 2012 Bachelor of Architecture graduate (valedictorian) of NewSchool of Architecture + Design in San Diego, CA.  With a fair number of years of professional experience within the built environment both as a practicing interior designer and as a design manager working for an international development corporation (Emaar), and currently employed in a small architecture firm, I have a broad range of experiential fodder. 

In this space, I will continue my own education by writing about architectural practice and theory in conjunction with my evolving knowledge of economics.  Architecture, and economics, in all their various forms, touch us all; so your opinion matters whether you are educated, or not, about architecture or economics. Please share your thoughts.

I firmly believe that the ideal, and most-effective, practice of architecture requires a transparent process involving all who are impacted by the architectural project.  Practically speaking, in today’s world, this is not possible.  So what to do?  Architects are currently tasked with the facilitation of the steadily evolving architectural process  among many additional important tasks and concerns.  Whether they are trained for the evolution in process that is currently underway, or for the facilitation of complex processes amongst the various constituencies, and whether they are effective with these ideas, is an entirely different matter.  If nothing else, perhaps this blog will illuminate in some small way, how it is going, with architects and architecture.  Your responses are a critical measure of progress.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Lyle