A Reality Check for Architects

A recent piece in the <em>New York Times</em> regarding the unemployment rate among college graduates, and its bad news for Architecture students, has caused controversy and consternation within the profession.
January 19, 2012, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Writing in Archinect, Guy Horton examines the furor that a post in the New York Times Economix blog by Catherine Rampell has produced. The title of the blog post says it all "Want a Job? Go to College, and Don't Major in Architecture."

Looking at the 134 comments attached to the blog post, Horton takes issue with the objections raised by offended Architects. To him the point of the piece is commensurate with the common wisdom often heard from within the profession, "How many times have you heard architects say something to the effect that they would never want their kids to become architects? They all seem to want their kids to major in fields that are viewed as more economically-profitable. Architects tell this to their young! Don't major in architecture....It's seemingly OK if architects all secretly know (wink, wink) that the profession has its downside. But we don't like to hear it from the "general public".

For Horton, the solution lies in raising the value placed on architecture within the general culture. "When architecture turns toward the public, as business and cultural practice, it needs to recalibrate how it communicates meaning and professional values. It has to become an advocate and listener rather then the arbiter of provocative positions, the assumer of stances."

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Published on Monday, January 16, 2012 in Archinect
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