I want to start conversations about architecture
with everyday people about our built environment, and how to see it through a builder's eyes.
An inordinate number of people I meet for the first time say, "when I was a kid, I wanted to be an architect, but I wasn't good at math," or "but, I couldn't afford the lengthy schooling*," or something similar. And to the first one I think WHAT? basic math and physics are part of the required education, but all the complex math gets outsourced to engineers. But to the second, I just nod my head & say YEAH.
|Thomas Jefferson |
by Rembrant Peale (1803)
Reproduction courtesy of the
New York Historical Society
Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. 90%!
That does not include the time spent outdoors in the built environment (as contrasted with the natural environment). Of course, there have been scientific studies to show that we SHOULD spend more time in nature; that it would be good for us physically, mentally, creatively... But that's a different story.
What remains is that buildings are integral part of the human experience.
We will likely spend the great majority of our time surrounded by stuff that man has made. And that STUFF affects us all, for good and otherwise.
I can't think of any good reason why someone who has an interest in architecture couldn't explore it from a design perspective.
American architects like to think that one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, was an architect. Even though the rules were different back then, it's fairly certain that he did not consider himself as such. He was a planter/lawyer/politician who merely dabbled in architecture. Wouldn't it be wonderful to dabble like Jefferson?
I know that architecture is not the most important thing in the world. Love, happiness, generosity, humility, family, kindness... these things are the trump cards. But architecture inspires me, and I want to share.
Thank you for starting the conversation with me,
* the required education for a professional degree (a degree that you can use to become a licensed architect) is either a five year bachelor of architecture or a two year master of architecture following a bachelor in another subject. Following this is a lengthy internship and a series of exams, which can take years. The subjects taught range from basic engineering (structural, electrical, mechanical, civic) to high art and include a heavy emphasis on architectural problem solving, visual communication, and history. Very little was typically taught on estimates & budgeting, business management, hands-on craftsmanship or the building code. But maybe that is changing.
The architectural career is a long one, though. Architects in their 40s are generally just getting their own start, like starving artists. The small percentage of architects who are doing well might be in their 60s, 70s and 80s.
About ZESSNZessn (pronounced ‘zeh shun), derives from the European “Sezession” movements of the late 19th and early 20th century. Modernists separated from the traditional establishment to pursue progressive approaches to their art.
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