Architects Vs. “Sculptor” Architects based on a conversation btw @WJMArchitect and @FrankCunhaIII

by Frank Cunha III

A conversation with a fellow Architect (you know who you are) led to the discussion of the separation of Architects who practice (everyday, ordinary) Architecture versus those elite who practice “Sculpture” Architecture.  It was his belief that the Sculpture Architects were provided a platform by the leaders of our most popular professional organization (you know who you are) that everyday Architects were not.  Why cater to the elite? Perhaps because they are the ones that have developed a formula to produce interesting works of art.

There is no doubt that these Sculpture Architects are important to the profession, but I believe his point was that our professional organizations need to convey to the public that Architects can assist them with the everyday design and construction problems that they encounter in their lives.  It is important that the public understand that Architects have licenses to design everything from garages to decks to home additions to churches, restaurants, stores, synagogues, mosques, churches, and office buildings.  It is frustrating for him (and us as a profession), that something so basic needs to be taught to our client base.  No other profession I can think of has to face this obstacle.

Educating one’s client is part of the job, but how many of us have had to explain to a client why they need an Architect (after the builder sent them our way).  It would be preferable to live in a culture and society that values professionals.  Not only would it make our jobs a bit easier, but it would also open the doors for us as design professionals to positively impact our communities.  I strongly urge the various professional organizations and media out there to consider the concept of promoting everyday Architecture as well as extraordinary Architecture.  In the end, the entire profession would be elevated and our contributions as designers would be seen as more meaningful for all those who would benefit.

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Frank Cunha III
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