Architecture. Grad School. The State of the Profession. Field Trips. Agony. Ecstasy. Life. Etc.

Architecture Addiction, The Official Blog of

unSchool of Architecture
suggested reading/bookstore
other blogs I like
my portfolio
fieldtrips & workshops*
categories | archives | search
contact | rss

Art + Building Science = Architecture?
by Katy Purviance on 01/03/11 @ 07:25:24 pm
Categories: Architects | 472 words | 1966 views

I’v been following the thread “Let’s see what people think about us in terms of how much money we, architects, make!” on LinkedIn.

A member of the group had stated that “Art + Building Science = Architecture”

Chris Currie had an interesting response that I wanted to share with you.

[Emphasis mine.]

When I first saw this comment I couldn’t stop laughing. This is so wrong I don’t know where to start. Art is subjective to personal taste science isn’t. This is another reason why architectural services are looked upon by the public as optional and the architects income is minuscule. Science is closer to math than it is art. Numbers are factual data. Science is based on facts and numbers. Now looking at who is typically liable for that in the process of a design of any project should have been a big red flag for everyone. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the architect. Considering the stark contrast between the two subjects and the very few architects that know any science at all, let alone how the building goes together, you can’t even begin to sell me on the idea that architects are scientific. The probability of that, is like winning the lottery or finding love in a whore house because we all know they are not learning it in their design only curriculum in college. After all it’s so much easier to draw a pretty picture, making it into a reality is always someone else’s problem in today’s world. That’s why there are engineers. I’m not going to go into specifics but I have seen quite a few architectural abortions in my day to support this train of thought.

Thank you, Chris. This issue remains my largest grip with most architecture schools. Students learn how to make pretty pictures on their computer screens.

Do students learn how to build? NO.

Do students learn how buildings are actually put together? NO.

Do students get to go outside to look at real buildings? Only if they can squeeze in the time between their requisit twenty credits, all of thier class work, studio, and their precious few hours of sleep.

As a student, I overheard my classmates bemoan the ridiculousness of the spaces they were designing.

Of course they were ridiculous. We were trying to satisfy ridiculous critics. We designed in a vacuum. We had zero experience with building materials or how they fit together. We learned a number of software programs. We became proficient with the laser cutter and the 3D printer.

Save our occaisional bouts of volunteerism with Habitat for Humanity, we knew nothing about building.

What is it that possesses a school of architecture to write its curricula in such a way so as to exclude any of the building arts? Upon graduation we are like sheep sent to slaughter.

Bookmark and Share Send Feedback | Permalink


No Pingbacks for this post yet...

This post has 3 feedbacks awaiting moderation...

Previous post: What do you wish you knew when you first started your practice?
Next post: Architecture is above the AIA

our sponsors
Other Blogs I Like
GSD Blogs:
Ben in Paris
A Large Lumpy Rock
Wayfinding with Waxman
Other Blogs:
Saved By Design
Jetson Green
Core 77
Rammed Earth is for Everyone
Raw Design Build
Lloyd Kahn's blog
Form Follows You Home
Burning Down the House - Radio Architecture
Unhappy Hipsters
Design Vote
Truly Minimal Plan
February 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 << <   > >>
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28      


Me on Burning Down the House
The VERB School
August 18 2010

October 20 2010

Licensure in the USA
November 17 2010

Become One of Us...Subscribe to Architecture Addiction
Give the gift of an architecture book to Architecture Addiction
Radio Architecture
Listen live to Burning Down the House, Wednesdays 4PT/7ET
Or download the podcasts from iTunes

our sponsors
It's Finally Here
unSchool of Architecture is here. Enter your name and email below to learn more.

Architecture School Survey
Hi. My name is Katy. I like it when you write to me and tell me about the cool stuff you're doing in architecture. Yes, I write back.* I may publish your letter and my reply on the blog. If you don't want me to do that, you can just ask that I withhold your name, or if you're really serious about keeping your letter a secret, you can ask me to just not publish it at all. Of course I'll still write back to you. * I hope you'll take this opportunity to share your thoughts with our worldwide audience.

[Fields marked (*) are required]


Your Name:*

Your Email Address:*

Your Question or Suggestion:*

After you click Submit, you'll come right back to the blog!

* Unless you spam me.

Created by Contact Form Generator

places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

suggested reading/bookstore

Need more? Visit our bookstore

where is everybody?
Locations of visitors to this page

Who's Online Now?

  • Guest Users: 17
random quote generator

Give me another

our sponsors