integrity…where did you go?

My friend Jeremiah wrote a poignant post today about architecture and integrity. Please read his post today at r|one studio architecture and visit his blog regularly.

This subject has come up many times in my day-to-day life as well as countless online discussions. Where did it go? Why do people interpret our quest for integrity in our work with arrogance? None of us went to school to become anything but well-respected great architects who would design environments that would impact our current culture and hopefully last for centuries. We didn’t set on this journey to be brought in at the last-minute to stamp mediocre work created by others. It’s time to get back to having integrity in architecture, development, real estate, and the ongoing development of our cities, towns, neighborhoods, streets and yes even our own houses. It’s time to stop giving in to the bottom dollar and think about where we are going.

What do you think? Are you on board?

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integrity…where did you go?

3 thoughts on “integrity…where did you go?

  1. As I’ve already commented on your friend post, I do not agree with you. I don’t think anybody asked to stamp another person poor design.
    Our frustration regarding the respect we think we deserve is strange. Actually people use to be more attentive with us because we are architects. The developers and investors use to think that we are some sort of good and amusement people with bad habits.

    This is because we do not show that we are concerned about their investments. On the other hand we give the impression that we might provide poor design if we are not satisfied with the money we get.

    We keep saying that we are expensive due to the quality of our work. We don’t stress what is the added value of the buildings we design.
    I think that somehow we don’t add enough value to their investment and when we do it, all of it comes with a cost, demanding bigger investment, more cash to spend.
    We are not actually allowed to say that if an investor will spend 1.000.000 for the building and 100.000 for our fees we can guaranty that the building will look and act like a 2.000.000 building. You now why we are not allowed? Because we can’t do this! And if we can, we don’t get the guts to claim it and do it.
    They think money. That is what they are. they know what their budgets are and they know what ROI they should pursue.
    I think that some of us found a way to provide such effective services. Some of us might have a clue, but didn’t find the way to market it.

    1. Thanks for your comments. However, as Jeremiah responded on his blog, I think you’ve drawn an incorrect conclusion. People make a straw-man arguments when they hear our statements about integrity and ideals as architects. Architects are guilty too because they’ve muddied the water that we work in and then are first to complain when things went poorly.

  2. I posted this on Jeremiah’s blog… So when did we start believing that having integrity, pushing architecture forward, seeing architecture as more than a temporary shelter for its owner and being responsible to our clients become mutually exclusive concepts? No one advocating this position is arguing to be selfish, irresponsible narcissists that take our clients money and use it for our own gain. Gosh, this is getting so annoying that this simple point can’t be understood. We are only here a short time, but architecture ought to live longer than us. We are not trying to shine the spot light on us necessarily, we are advocating for the present as well as the future. It’s not hard to grasp.

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