As I was walking through the College of Fine Arts (CFA) on campus at Carnegie Mellon University after getting my mail I finally stopped to read this plaque posted up high in the main hall. It is intended for those in the drama department but I found it so fitting for those preparing for the architectural profession.
It is a privilege not a right to be educated and participate in a profession, albeit imperfect, as ours. We are at a crossroads so to speak in where we are heading. Despite the many opinions and current speculations in recent days, let’s remember this is our profession, our way of life and it is up to us to share our value, our worth and our contributions.
We don’t teach tricks or formulas, we teach our students to think and think critically. As an instructor it puts a responsibility on me to do the same, to think and think critically. Mediocrity wants to learn tricks without understanding. I suppose it’s another form of laziness and it’s infectious in our school and our kids. They’ve learned it well from us.
So let’s prepare ourselves for our profession and our way of life. It’s ok for architecture to just be your job and what you do for a living. It’s not up to me to judge priorities and motivation. However, I’d like to think of this as one of the highest of responsibilities in professional life. I am an architect; it’s who I am, not just what I do.