It appears that architecture as of late has become increasingly obsessed with the search for the new and different. Many architects that I encounter in the United States are unable to describe why they think a certain building is ‘good’ or why they like it. Even worse many architects ‘play’ architecture searching through magazines like Architectural Record cutting out photographs, mixing and matching to create an image board that is a representation of their design. Style governs architecture these days not critical thought, but that is all going to change. A recent example, which comes to mind, occurred while working for HKS Architects. I was assigned to help a senior designer on a project that was currently in design development. We were studying various design options for the canopy of the building, after reviewing the elevations, I noticed that the very large and very expensive canopy which was placed atop the building was actually placed on the northern facade! When I asked the designer why they needed to shade the northern facade he stated that he wanted the facade that faced the highway to have a monumental feature, whatever that is. Every day architects are losing credibility with their clients, because architecture is becoming synonymous with exterior decorators.
The profession of architecture is slowly turning into a field of draftsmen lead by stylists rather than designers. Specialization is killing what used to be a profession of Renaissance Men. The above example is one of many instances that illustrates how architecture in the United States has shifted more towards a profession which is style based rather that the result of a logical artistic solution to very complicated and technical problems. This problem has prompted my friends and I who all reside in various parts of the country to create a site which seeks to discuss real problems in the profession. The intent of this discussion is to prompt change, change necessary to save a profession that could soon change forever.
The original name for the site was U.S. Architecture Sux, but after thinking about it for awhile a name like that only encourages the advancement of architectural shock and awe propaganda. This shock and awe propaganda has spilled over from popular culture into our profession. It is the purpose of this site to restore critical thought and integrity to the profession of architecture It is our promise not to become a sex shop for images which are shocking or daring. We will never take ourselves too seriously, and humor will find itself at home here.
Critique this, below.