ISSUE 4: Practicing Practice
Letter from the Editors
A call was made to consider what it means to work in architecture and what future models of practicing practice could look like. So, what does it mean to work as an Architect? Documenting through Revit. Switching between multiple softwares. Sketching concepts. Creating schedules. Form making. Conceptualizing city plans. Developing a narrative. Managing teams. Persuading clients. Presenting design ideas. Mentoring. Staring into a computer screen. Filling out timesheets.
The boundaries of architectural work are not easily defined, but a common thread between the work is the profession’s demand for efficient modes of production and better performance—hence the use of BIM, 3D printing and unpaid internships. Many firms are looking to architecture schools for their next line of “Revit Rabbits” — young designers with high levels of proficiency in computer modeling softwares.
So, what does it mean to work as an architecture student? Conceptualizing projects. Form making. Creating drawings. Iterating. Taking exams. Studying. Model making. Generating concepts. Presenting ideas. Working part time. Writing papers.
The way work is engaged in the profession is far different than the process of working as an architecture student. Architecture schools emphasize the single genius strategy of work with little regard to the benefits of collaboration and exchange. Studio culture has a history of subtly praising overworking and disregarding students’ mental and physical health.
So, if this is what it means to practice practice, what does an industry look like if production and efficiency are less important than design ability? What if we were to reimagine studio culture and the work of architecture students?