Tag Archives: design

CNN Got My Gears Turning

16 Jun

Yesterday I got sucked into the world of CNN. Nick pointed me in the direction of a featured article on their homepage. “‘Masterpieces’ on hold, waiting for better times,” was the article’s title. I think the writer was slightly confused about the way he was portraying his story. The top of the article featured ten ‘masterpieces’ of architecture…all of which are already built, with construction having started probably five-plus years ago. None of the featured structures are “on hold.” The text of the article was focused on the (upsetting) state of the design and construction industries. (Hop on over to CNN to read the full article!)

My interest yesterday stemmed mostly from the comments from CNN readers at the bottom of the article. Members of the general public were bashing the featured “masterpieces,” calling them funky, pieces of junk, and dated. It seemed as though everyone had missed the point of the actual article. Maybe our society is too caught up in flash movies, slide shows and pretty pictures to actually read. Regardless, here’s what I had to say about the situation:

“As a current student pursuing a Master’s degree in Architecture, I think a lot of people missed the point in this article. Did everyone just flip through the slides, or did they actually read the article? This article is about the state of the design/construction industry. Are we going to ‘lose a generation’ of architects? Maybe so. Architecture students are currently using their creative nature and education in other areas of design where they previously would not have sought employment and other opportunities. We’re finding new ‘niches,’ if you will. And even worse, some are being forced to ignore their degree choice and areas of passion and interest by seeking opportunities for cash flow ‘flipping burgers,’ and such. I suppose in such situations, our degrees, in fact, seem irrelevant. As far as the ‘masterpieces’ presented in the article; any educated architect would note that design is incredibly subjective. Students will note this in the grading process of studio design projects. And registered architects will note this in reviews (such as the ones in the comments of this article) by members of society. To each his own. Most designers, if they maintain their integrity despite issues such as economic hardships, etc., are simply seeking to create good design for the betterment of society and building users.”

I received a positive response on the comment. (It was the most “liked” comment of all those posted!) The whole article really got my gears to turning. While I have never claimed to be a world-class designer, I love architecture and design. They are truly the areas I am most passionate about. I could talk about architecture all day, and nothing is more exciting to me than walking around Minneapolis lavishing in all the various architecture the city life has to offer. (You can’t really do much of that in the ‘burbs of Indiana, or Muncie, for that matter.) After I posted the comment yesterday, I realized how much I care about this field I’ve chosen to be a part of. I know in recent months I’ve been really confused about where I fit in to the big picture. Slowly but surely, my comfort level in the aspects I am actually good at is improving. I am determined to fit into the field of design where I feel most comfortable–as a communicator. I don’t know exactly what the means about my career choice exactly, but I’ll figure that out in due time.

As I’m frantically trying to work with NCARB (National Council for Architectural Registration Boards) attempting to get my IDP (Internship Development Program) credits from my summer at TEG in 2008 (I’m a huge procrastinator…it tends to be a problem), I’m realizing how much I enjoy the possibility of one day being a registered architect. While the process may not happen in the same means in which I once thought it would (ya know, undergrad, grad school, 3 years work, sit for exams, BAM! Registered architect!), I think I like playing with the idea of completing this process in the way I so choose. After all, why can’t I help design my future the way we design studio projects?

I know that this crazy subjective field of art which I’ve chosen to pour so much of my time, sweat, tears and money into is where I will spend my profession. (So yes, Dad, my degrees will not be a waste! =) ) Whether I decide to work in a design team (uh…), work in marketing, write architecture reviews, lead a business team, or improve the field through work with the five collaterals, I know I’ll be working with other design professionals to achieve that same goal I mentioned in my comment on the CNN article; “…simply seeking to create good design for the betterment of society and building users.” I’m a huge advocate for people in design. I mean forget all your ghosted entourage in your renderings! That thing you designed that you call a building is for REAL PEOPLE, not ghosts of Christmas past…

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic, especially if you read the article! Let me know you stopped by! Leave a comment, start a discussion!