My friend Lee Calisti posted on his blog recently about the stereotype (and reality) of architects wearing black, which then started a great conversation over on LinkedIn. He followed it up today with another insightful post. It's a great thread that led into other tangents about the value and perceptions of an architect, types of work, and more. I truly appreciate everyone's comments who chimed in. It's great because architects should be talking about this stuff a lot more, and revealing ourselves to the public through this kind of discourse.
Regarding the value and perception of architects, I think (and I've said it before many times on the podcast - archispeakpodcast.com) that we should be like chefs. Who doesn't love to watch a chef cook? How many people in the last decade have dedicated hours of their lives to watching the Food Network? Just about every time I went over to my parent's house over a 5 year period that is what was on the television.
We should be sharing what we know freely and willingly. That's the allure of the Food Network. It is showing us who we aspire to be. Will we all become famous chefs? No, of course not. But we can all be great chefs in our home kitchens. We can all obsess over this stuff because it enhances our lives in a very personal way.
Architecture could sure use some of that magic.
People always want to know more "behind the scenes" stuff about professions they either know nothing about or at one time (maybe even still) aspired to become. Everyone wants to be a great cook. Many people want/have wanted to be an architect. Many architects actively protest their children's desire to become architects. People love to build. But we actively push them away. This is stupid, and it's up to us to make it better or else our profession will die. If our profession became better at sharing, like Lee does on his blog, we'd have a much better perception in society and we'd be a happier bunch.
I make it a point to share everything I know. Some people have asked me where I find the time. Believe me, I know better than anyone that time is fleeting. But I make it a priority. I hope more architects will too.
How's that for a tangent from Lee's original post? Thanks to him for hosting this discussion on his site and on LinkedIn.