Saw this one from Josh. Beautiful:
How to be creative in architecture
Being an architect in and of itself is supposedly a creative endeavor. But, it’s not. The business model, the approach – not creative. It has become a commodity. Architects undercut each other to the point of insanity, creating a “low-baller’s profession”. The good architects transcend all of this. Joe Schmoe will not undercut Daniel Libeskind. You have to be creative, not just in your designs, but in your approach and mentality.
* Understand that anybody can be an architect. Being an architect is different from being “the” architect. It’s worth your time to become “the”.
* Understand your strengths. Know how good you are, and demand that people recognize it. The best of the best demand the best, while the everyone else takes what they can get.
* “Your plan for getting your work out there has to be as original as the actual work, perhaps even more so. The work has to create a totally new market. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.” Thanks, Hugh.
* Don’t even think for a second that you will be discovered. Architecture is not really a “discovered” kind of profession, but to an extent, some people think waiting around to be noticed for being exceptional will happen to them. No, it won’t. You’re not an actor. Your plan has to be unique. Do something different.
* Don’t be afraid to change. The world is changing, are you? When it comes down to the come down, what will stay with you throughout your career is how you help other people, and how many people trust you.
* Evangelize the profession. Do not bitch and moan about architecture and how terrible the pay is. You decide what you get paid, as stated above. It makes architecture look bad. Do something that is good for the profession, and you will be heralded.
* This is not your grandfather’s architecture. It’s not 1890. We need to move forward. Do something about it. Think about your heroes…did they regurgitate the same old stuff? The guys at the top of this field in 25 years will not be thinking about the “new” same old skyscraper. Are you capable of being somebody’s hero?
* Realize that any creative endeavor will be subject to scrutiny. Do it for yourself. Nobody will care about you until you are OK with what you are doing.
* “The best way to get approval is not to need it.” So very true in so many ways.
* Don’t be a hermit. Get to know people. Help them.
* Not everyone will understand the power of good architecture. It’s your job to make them understand.
Thanks for the mention as well, Josh. But it would’ve been just as good without me in there etc.
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That is the same advice I hear about writing and trying to get published. Write for yourself. Approach the business of writing (getting published) in a creative way (don’t write the same, boring query letter everyone else does). Network.
I think this applies to any profession. Anything can be done better if it’s done creatively. Many points sound like what I tell myself about my own job.
Nice one – it should all be a bit obvious to any creative professional, but it bears repeating often as its easy to loose sight of. You could insert any creative endeavor in place of ‘architecture’ and it would still ring true.
We need to return to “user generated architecture” 🙂
This is almost the same comment I posted on Josh’s blog, but with less directed to architecture wonks:
My father is an architect and a retired professor of urban design. I do not know what’s the specific name for his area of interest, but I see it as equal to user experience for software design. Inhabitant experience? Resident experience?
Anyway, he has lots of experience with young, creative architects and I’m using some of his thoughts here.
What separates architecture from writing a book or creating an ad is that people will live with your “creative work”, each and every day, for years. And unlike choosing a book to buy in a bookstore, people are often not free to choose any house or building to live in (or around).
What is “creative” and “good” architecture is defined by other architecture geeks, not by the users of the architecture, the people whose life is affected by it. The criteria are mostly external and have to do with the technical and aesthetic design of a building. Yet these are tiny minor details if the building doesn’t make the inhabitants feel at HOME.
So, to me this list here looks like a recipe for those architects who are generally way too interested in themselves, their bank account balance and their ego.
It’s great for the profession. Which is great for the architect’s customers. So all is great, if you never mind the USERS.
Current “good” and praise architecture is a lot like building software without consulting any users, and concentrating only on making the surface look good. Sometimes the users stick with it, sometimes they don’t. And people can dump sucky software. It’s not that easy with buildings that are stuck in perpetual beta.