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Professional Practice
 
Consumed architects
Dear All,
why does architecture consume architects? in contrast to most other known professions architecture practice is never limited to working hours. It seems many architects think about architecture, design and its related disciplines most of their time. and they seem to see everything through the eyes of design, from the criticizing the design of a teapot to urban fabric.

As the late Italian architect Gio Ponti once elquently put it " Think all night architecture, work all day architecture". Did the boundary between work time and "free time" gradually disappear, or wasn't it there in the first place? is it a healthy sign?

In other words does this make architects better professionals? or is it an enivitabilty one must accept?
Karim Elgendy
Responses
 
Consumed architects
Dear Karim,

Architecture is a way of life, indeed! Architects breathe architecture, love architecture, think architecture and do architecture all the time. You have said it so beautifully. It reflects the total involvement of architects in their work. It is good in so many ways.

But at the same time, architects are engaged in so many things and activities which to others is not architecture but architects take that as part of their living environment. As you mentioned it, from criticizing the teapot to urban fabric. Every architect has some hobbies and other interests. It may be art, some craft, literature, music, films, photography, theatre,.. and so many related activities.

They are involved in some activities that stretches their imagination and finds them a sense of higher purpose, such as designing for public causes, working with NGOs, debating public issues, environment, conservation, development etc. They tend to spend a lot more time with their own kind, for they are much better organised and seem to share the feeling of a well knit community. Yet,they travel a lot, interact and meet a lot more people from different walks of life and in the process they are more humane!

Their notion of time is not mechanical. They defy boundaries in search for creativity and in the process they create a new sense of space and time. They are indeed good professionals but we like to be critical about ourselves and keep on questioning ourselves.. are we really so good?.. and that is a good practice!


They celebrate life in all aspects! The architects are the blessed ones. Thank God.

with warm regards,
Akhtar Chauhan
Consumed architects
I think that all of us Architects are suffering from what I always refer to as the architect syndrom which is anexiety that we are not doing our best.

Architects are masters of all trades and this may lead to spending endless hours learning and updating. It is so tiring to keep on doing it.

"A day where you did not learn something new is a day lost". This moto can drive anyone crazy.

Being an Architect means that you feel yourself responsible for the enviroment, the artistic taste of the common people, the conservation of the past, the building of the future,.....etc. Architects have a mission, at least they think so,

I can talk all day discussing the architects syndrome and only scratch the surface of the problem.

you are right karim we end up with nearly no sparetime. we are always climbing the mountain with no rest. The lucky ones can enjoy some physical rest but be sure there minds never does.

Dear freinds in the last three years I never slept more than five hours. I always have this nagging feeling that life is too short to accomplish what need to be done. Endless hours of meeting. My day has changed from a 12 hours day to a 24 hours day (meaning I have to use all of them), I am working with clients, architects engineers, contractors, all with varrying itellectual gaps that I have to have a differnt language for every and each one..............etc

However can you think of anything more satisfying. I donnot. I would never have it any other way.
Ahmed Sabry
Consumed architects
Just curious, have you ever met a serious practioner or student of architecture who did not have some sort of querky character? I have not, the ones I see around my school who do not are the ones that are failing and who could have done marketing or something pointless with their existence instead as their lives will not professionally reach much further than the till in a corner shop they do not own whislt fostering their 60 children and their drunken significant other.
Knut Nord
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