Are orchestras becoming less and less fashionable? Or to focus even more on that question: are orchestra conductors in danger of extinction, because orchestras are less and less fashionable? Have we gone mad? No, perhaps you intuit where we want to go with this extravagant question, but for those who don’t have the ability to follow us, here we confess what we really wanted to ask.
Is the classic role of the architect as director of the orchestra that is the project in jeopardy?
Globalization, specialization, greater celerity in the changes making obsolete with more and more frequency the contemporary panorama…
How can we be the conductors of this orchestra if it is more and more difficult for us to stay informed of the changes taking place in our sector? If we have to learn new programs to be able to deliver projects that can well be understood in printed formats? We cannot, we run the risk of anchoring ourselves in time, in “our moment”. And it seems that economic dynamics tend to worsen this situation. On the one hand, dividing the work that is developed in a project can be “good”, it means that more people will be able to live from this professional activity, although they will do it with less quality than the one that used to take “the whole cake”.
It is also true that this may lead to a loss of quality in the projects. Are the structures no longer taken into account? The installations? The construction? How then do we arrive at consistency and coherence in the projects? Can we?
We believe that maybe you can, although it could be more difficult than when you are in charge of the whole creative process. The key? Communication. Who was going to tell us that the same thing that can save a couple from breaking up can make an architecture studio that follows these dynamics work.
Intrusion at work or team building opportunities?
In this moment in which we are still not finished deciding – do we take the step towards that architect who no longer has so much control and knowledge in all the matters of the project? Do we give ground in exchange for being able to dedicate more time and effort to the definition of the spaces -, we are not very clear about our role. We look badly at those who come to work with us and criticize us, without being “architects”. Sometimes they even insinuate that we lack the knowledge that would allow us to develop each of the different parts of the project – are they right? Let’s remember, does the conductor know how to play all the instruments? Does he play them better than the musicians left in his charge? Perhaps they are right, although it may be a half-truth.
So? What to do in this situation? We mentioned it before: Communication
Form teams. Sometimes the only problem we encounter in these situations is our ego. Wanting to appear to be the one who knows the most about something. Not accepting that other people can help us. Wanting to respond to all problems. What if we faced this situation in a humble way?
Maybe things would work differently. There would be an exchange of knowledge, options would be discussed, and the architectural project would become a sum of consensuses. But arriving at those assumptions is very difficult.
Let’s see it through an example. The interior decorator. It is a craft that by the mere fact of containing the word “decoration” already arouses anger in many architects, as if it were a spatial sin. The cause of the loss of the purity of the places. Perhaps they are right? Or perhaps they are not? Perhaps there is no answer, and each one must form his own well-founded opinion?
Surely if we go to the universities of architecture that exist high and wide across our geography, we will find that most of these find interior decorators not only as an unnecessary profession, but they will also find it a blasphemous profession towards architecture.
What if we now think from the customer’s point of view? Let’s do it in the following way, in how many cases does the work of an interior decorator end up with a happy client, as opposed to the spaces that an architect can develop? Probably in most of them. Why? We believe that because perhaps we have disconnected from society, from our clients.
We have become obsessed with thinking of space as elitist and complex – and it may be, of course – but we have closed the door to all those options which, undoubtedly, are also spaces. We want our clients to adore our works as if they were works of art, when in many cases -perhaps most of them- the most important objective is that they solve the program to be developed in a functional and economic way.
We want to defend our projects from the brainy culture – something undoubtedly interesting – but we forget that taste, the subjective, is also part of people’s lives.
What if we reached a middle ground? Let’s not have on our bedside table “Ornament and crime”, nor let’s become our Christmas decorator to define the spaces all year round.
Is it so hard for us to reach a middle ground?