The article titled ‘Why I left the architecture profession‘ by Christine Outram has stirred up quite a retaliation from other architects and general readers. Some may agree with what she has written while many have harshly criticized her views even though she does suggest she could be wrong. As usual people can be judgmental but it is still their views after all.
Why Outram chose to leave her profession as an architect is not clear as us as readers are unaware of any hidden reasons for her leave. However what we can extract from her article is it is clear that as practicing architects and architectural students, we have the responsibility to create space and form appropriate for people. There is this duality of what the architect knows best and what the client feels what is good or desired, and I do personally believe neither can be dismissed. A balance must be struck as the client must trust in the architect’s profession and the architect must respond and emphathize to the needs and wants of the client.
Furthermore she continues to express her concern that architects don’t listen to the needs and wants of people. She projects the idea that some architects are perhaps too confident in their design that they do not need to really survey the different needs of not just their client but every other person that may utilize or has access to the building.
It is definitely challenging to accommodate for people. Not everyone has similar tastes in aesthetics nor appreciates similar design products as each person has their unique character and own motives. Therefore may find the same design either more helpful or not.
However architects are people! And people make mistakes even if they don’t like to admit it. It is great that she has raised this issue that apparently she seems to be many a time confronted with, and so it would be great to see a shift of attitude for these particular firms or people that she is referring to.
For me, her article has definitely made me think more about the architect in the workplace. That being an architect is more than just designing pretty buildings and convincing people with words but that there is a relationship between the architect and client. This goes for all other professions but it is a great reminder and provides a starting point as to understanding what this relationship is like and how that progresses throughout the project.