[Essay] For an Architect

_the Inventive Architect:
Let me start with a declaration: [01] I am not an architect, nor just studying architecture, nor am I interested in becoming one or designing buildings in any shape or form and [02] since the 19th October 2009, the day I started this research project, I have learned quite a few things about how to become an architect, how to deal with the current situation “out there in the real world”, how important it is to have market awareness and how glad I am, that I don’t want to be an “just” architect “when I’m grown up”.  

[What makes architects tic?]

To quote Jonathan Hill “The term ‘architect’ is enshrined in law but ‘architecture’ has no legal protection.” [1] To become an architect, one must bring a lot of commitment, time, money and eagerness to “built (and I am using this term in the most open sense possible), as well as creativeness and joy for the profession. After all, the traditional route includes studies for an undergraduate degree (three years), two professional work-experience ‘gap periods’ (usually one to two years each, but possibly longer) and a masters degree (another two years); but that’s not all, as each student has to go through a professional examination process, taken at an RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) validated provider in order to be able to register with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and then being able to call oneself  architect.
As it this wasn’t enough, architects have to be in constant awareness about this instability that the “real world outside university” has. As we are in constant flux with ourselves and our surroundings (including the built environment) , one can never fully pinpoint where we are going next.

To infinity and beyond!
To infinity and beyond?
To infinity and beyond!
To infinity?  And beyond?

And we trust those creative people, who have undergone all these studies and procedures, to create something for us, something that we can love or hate, that we can dwell in, something stimulating, – one might even add something beautiful  and/or ugly, but I shall be careful with these two expressions, something eco-friendly (or green), something technical, virtual, something that makes us think “wow”  and something refreshingly new.

 

[So when did it stop being just about the construction of shelter? ]

Most, if not all successful architects today are investigating.
They explore their surrounding, the already built-up world, the natural world, the chemical world, the digital world, the technical world, the art world, the literature world, the historical world , the online world and any other possible world they can find, and they draw conclusions and lines on white layout paper.
And then they teach and research, they write books, design furniture, and rooms that interact with you, they search for and create new material and craft structures with plants and trees growing out of them, or ones that appear blurry and look like clouds when being approached , and they create brands, they communicate through various languages, they work with different specialists and professionals across disciplines, they think up new solutions for the market of tomorrow, and they design buildings for this world.

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein 


[1] Hill, Jonathan (1998) occupying architecture. London: Routledge

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