What is the ‘Real World’?
Is it the shanty town seen above? Or is it this concert hall by Frank Gehry?
What is the ‘Real World’?
That question ranks right up there with ‘What is the meaning of life?’ It’s all about perspective right?
That’s the spin I’m putting on this month’s #ArchiTalks article.
Have you been following along with #ArchiTalks?
Here’s the format: every month someone (usually Bob Borson of Life of an Architect) throws out a topic and a growing number of us in the architectural profession wax poetic (more or less) on the subject.
You can find a complete list of everyone participating in this month’s #ArchiTalks challenge at the end of this article.
Did you miss last month’s articles? My contribution was “How I Get Through My Day: My Favorite Things”
As I’ve been mulling over this month’s #ArchiTalks subject, ‘Architecture in the Real World’, it occurred to me that our profession is in an interesting place right now; perhaps the most interesting place we’ve ever been.
As I contemplated this, 3 events immediately came to my mind.
Genius Purveyor of Pure S*%!
Late last year Frank Gehry provided plenty of fodder for the pundits and critics when he said: “98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure s*%!.”
It’s true that’s one statement taken from a longer, slightly more eloquent and slightly less abrasive response to a press conference question.
It’s true Gehry’s work is award-winning and often heralded as genius.
It’s also true that Gehry is sometimes called the ‘World’s Worst Living Architect.”
No More Future Through the Power of Design
Earlier this year, Architecture for Humanity laid off all the employees in its San Francisco headquarters and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Not-For-Profit Organization that was formed to build “a better future through the power of design” because “everyone deserves access to the benefits of good design” has collapsed under its own weight.
1857 or 2015 Who Can Tell?
In an effort to better explain the value an Architect brings to the world, the American Institute of Architects launched the #ilookup campaign. The AIA has followed that up with the launch of television commercials in the same vein.
A few months ago in “Architects can Improve their Marketing by Incorporating Storytelling” I told the story of 13 men who got together on a brisk February morning to talk about essentially the same things … the year was 1857. It seems the story has changed very little in the 158 years since.
What do these 3 events have in common?
Does the Architect of some of the world’s most distinctive, most expensive, most litigated buildings operate in the real world?
Does the collapse of an organization that set out to bring relief to communities in extreme need signal that there isn’t a business model where Architects can effectively serve clients of less than elite status?
Does the fact that the American Institute of Architects has to consider a Repositioning Initiative and launch campaigns like #ilookup to remind the public that we’re still relevant (a discussion that’s 158 years old) signal that we’re out of touch?
What is the ‘Real World’?
I decided that I’m not going to try to answer that question. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to answer the question.
In fact the only statement I’m going to make is that if the events that I’ve referenced are any indication, it’s no wonder Architects struggle to prove their relevance. You live and work in the Real World. Your family, your friends and your neighbors live and work in the Real World. How are you connecting with them in the Real World?
Let me leave you with this trailer from “Citizen Architect.” I think it contains some thought provoking commentary.
What is your ‘Real World’? Let me know in the comment section below. I’d like to hear from you.
Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall Image by: Carol Highsmith
In the meantime, here’s a list of the other professionals that are stepping up and pushing us forward. Let’s see what’s exciting them:
Bob Borson at Life of an Architect (@bobborson): “Architecture in the Real World … sorta”
Matthew Stanfield at FiELD 9 architecture (@FIELD9arch): “Welcome to the Architecture of the Real”
Marica McKeel at Studio MM (@ArchitectMM): “Architecture in the Real World”
Lee Calisti at Think Architect (@leecalisti): “Architecture in the Real World”
Mark R. Lepage at Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect): “The HGTV Affect”
Lora Teagarden at L2 Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC): “Architecture: It’s a Human Thing”
Nicholas Renard at Dig Architecture (@dig_arch): “Keep on Architect’n in the Real World”
Andrew Hawkins at Hawkins Architecture, Inc. (@hawkinsarch): “Here in the Real World”
Jeremiah Russell at ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect): “architecture in the real world: #architalks”
Meghana Joshi at IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA): “Architecture in the Real World”
Michael Riscica at Young Architect (@YoungArchitexPDX): “Architecture in the Real World”
Stephen Ramos at BUILDINGS ARE COOL (sramos_BAC): “Architecture in the Real World”
Tara Imani at Tara Imani Designs, LLC (@Parthenon1): “Architecture in the Real World”
Brian Paletz at The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz): “Architecture in the Real World”
Michele Grace Hottel at Michele Grace Hottel Architec (@mghottel): “Architecture in the Real World Architalk #6”
Jonathan Brown at Proto Architecture (@mondotikiman): “Architecture in the Real World”
If you’re interested in joining in the #ArchiTalks fun for future posts leave a comment in the Speak Your Mind area below and I’ll make sure you’re including on the email chain going forward.
My goal is to start an open dialogue and let Architect of the Internet be a forum where we can all learn to have success in the business of architecture through Social Media.