The New York Times had an article today (in the Home and Garden section—you never know in which section newspaper articles about architecture will end up) implying that the best chance for an architect to find a job is to look elsewhere—selling ice cream, making pottery, or driving trucks:

Architect, or Whatever:  Out-of-Work Architects Turn to Other Skills


“According to the latest data available from the Department of Labor, employment at American architecture firms, which peaked last July at 224,500, had dropped to 184,600 by November.” Thanks for reminding us.

But… the good part of the story is the reminder that the best architects are problem solvers, by training and by disposition, and that architecture is, fundamentally, an optimistic endeavor.

A sentence I read in the current issue of Metropolis magazine reinforced that idea:  ”Designers, after all, are inherently optimistic. In their minds, problems exist to be solved.”   That reminded me of a conversation I had with an architect shortly after deciding to architect myself. He asked why I wanted to be an architect, and I could tell he was ready to shoot down whatever I said with some jaded cynicism or other. I answered, “Because I like to solve problems.” He paused for a moment, stumped, and finally said, “Well then, you’ll make a good architect. Best of luck to you.”



This entry was posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010 and is filed under architecture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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One Response to “Whatever?”

  1. Kirsten

    And now I see that article is at the top of the New York Time’s “Most Emailed” list. Interesting. I wonder what that says about what people think about architects?