Even before finishing the univertsity in the 2000 year, there were teachers who tried to explain how hard was the professional reality of the architect. By then, we only dreamed of Koolhaas and his book “S, M, L, XL,” and the more daring or unconscious, we were confident that when we play jump into the ring in a few years, would be able to contribute some interesting architecture, in its most general sense and social aspect.
The profession can be divided according to the various motivations of each architect and the degree of achievement of the objectives of its professional development plan.
1. ARCHITECTS ARCHITECTURE PERFORMING LIVE.
2. ARCHITECTS SURVIVE IN A PROFESSION mercantilist approach.
3. ARCHITECTS ARE HALFWAY OF EARLIER.
Of course, we could refine this classification as reductionist, with more subcategories. However, I think in this case it is better to focus on these three. Here we will not talk about the architects who have become stars thanks to its architectural genius, or at least business. These belong to the world of intangible value and not serve normal criteria, as happens with artists.
The first. The architects who live performing architecture are those who for various reasons, have reached a point where their job is to sell architecture committed both to private clients and public, and their fees, although they have fallen by the crisis, are in line with the quality of their proposals and the degree of responsibility of the profession.
The seconds. The architects who survive are those that have focused mainly on the part of the profession mercantilist ….. “see what I can do to live comfortably and fulfill myself with my hobbies” …. Maybe punctually them He leaves the vein of passionate architect, but it is not usual. This large group of companions are those who do not understand the option to present ideas competitions, almost certainly too much effort to nonexistent prize. Your job search is often in the field of private promoter, and the product they sell is usually imposed by the promoter, anyway a community, a business, an individual, etc. “Red Oceans” before 1997 and liberalization of prices, accounted for higher pay. Such projects, where no architectural component, beyond the signature of the architect, were very profitable because they developed rapidly. Today it is not, red oceans where most collective offers the same, private clients and / or public are only interested in our financial offer. We all know that also compromised architecture helps improve the economic performance of the real estate transaction.
Those in the middle. The architects who love architecture as much as the first, but are “lost” struggling to “committed architecture” for customers who may not demand it. This group combines his professional activity: work where the developer only requires a signature and a custom architecture. In search of the second part in many contests of ideas, usually it lack of time as it needs to sustain the structure of the study architectural projects without interest or commitment, above today are deficient.
The paradox is that these three architects are unhappy. Successful; talking to them confess the difficulty of developing quality architecture once won the competition, in many cases without compensation. The “mercantilist” no worse for it professionals, are engaged in a fierce struggle of communities, property managers, municipalities, etc., where the prize are equally deficient projects. Dreamers who are “neither here nor there” are also deficient studies; with the handicap that have not yet clearly focused the focus of their activity they are frustrated because they make things mildly interesting but do not get no recognition or financial compensation.
It is important that every day we put in value our profession. We take time to our customers understand the vicissitudes of it, so that we are taken seriously. It is a high-risk profession, huge responsibility that requires a great involvement, seriousness and passion. When we compete we think that the goal is to architecture and our profession in value. When working below minimum economic, nobody wins; not even the promoter, public or private, as a project that does not meet criteria normally committed architecture lacks sufficient reflection and normally is anti – economical for that.
Bilbao, March 8, 2016.