Thursday, 7 August 2014

Ego in architects – who, me?

From the New York Times: 

An architect laments the image that “starchitects” have given her profession.

Nice article.   Peggy Deamer, New Zealand architect and Yale professor, tries to make the point that there are lots of different ways architects practice, and they are not all like 'that'.

Deamer's emphasis on architecture as a social agency reminded me of another hornets’ nest stirred up by Christine Outram a few months back with her essay Why I Left the Architecture Profession.

Though Outram's point of view is interesting enough in its own right, even more interesting is what kind of reaction it elicited in the comments, mainly of course, from architects. Which is why I am linking the archdaily version rather than the original post on Medium. It would all be quite amusing, were it not so disturbing.

I have a declared interest: Christine Outram is a graduate of UNSW, the third of the Outram siblings to have ‘done’ architecture, and to whose talents and commitment I can attest from the time I had the privilege to be one of their teachers.  So I tracked the ‘controversy’ over Christine's point of view a little more closely than usual.  

One of the most interesting reactions was by John Hill of Daily dose of Architecture.  I usually quite like Hill's site, and have recommended his often admirably unassuming posts.  So I was bemused at how he ties himself in knots rationalising the exclusive subjectivity of the hypothetical architect.  It isn’t an argument for starchitects, but it may as well be.  

It made me think: however much we architects differ from each other, collectively we do have responsibility for creating and glorifying the 'starchitects', don't we?

Connect the dots, read the artciles:
2.   Why I Left the Architecture Profession.

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