The Arrogance Of Architects

<p>An exploration of the architectural ego, the reasons for its existence, and whether it could be any other way.</p>
August 2, 2007, 12pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Architects, opined a companion over dinner, have designed themselves into a re-entrant corner, bricked themselves behind their arrogance and vanished up their vent pipe. Admittedly my companion was a design academic, not an architect, so maybe he would say that. But it's not an unusual view.

Stephen Lafferty, ex-president of the Tampa Bay (Florida) chapter of the American Institute of Architects, described the profession as a dinosaur, "unwilling to change, slow to move and, without some intelligent change, soon to be extinct".

Business Week's Bruce Nussbaum was more general and more succinct. "Let's talk about the arrogance of architects," he wrote recently, insisting those people-free pictures so beloved by architects reveal an arrogant insistence on designing for - not with - humanity.

But is it arrogance? Or just insecurity? Take architectural publishing. Nobody reads architecture books, right? Normal people find them impenetrable and architects read only pictures."

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Published on Wednesday, August 1, 2007 in The Sydney Morning Herald
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