Architects: Why are they in the NEA Jobs Report?

Posted by Mandee Ferrier Roberts On November - 3 - 2011
Mandee Ferrier Roberts

Mandee Ferrier Roberts

They’re skewing the data. They make the most ($63,111 median income); they are the highest educated (88.5% of architects have Bachelor’s degrees or higher) and 70%  actually majored in their discipline; they’re the most likely to be foreign-born; 75%  are men (and are paid on average $12,000 more per year than the women in their field).

And I don’t think they’re necessarily artists.

Alright, alright, I take that back. Let me put it this way: they’re not just artists.

There’s more to architecture than what—literally—meets the eye. Of course, mating great design with practicality is an architect’s goal, but last time I checked, I didn’t have to concern myself with public safety or meeting codes when I created that painting or wrote that song.

I am of the opinion that the primary goal of architecture is not purely in the design, but in the usability of the space (with the best architects being those who can successfully balance aesthetics with pragmatics). The most “haute” of architecture (think David Fisher’s forthcoming rotating skyscraper) still must be able to be inhabited. If a building can’t be, it’s a sculpture. It’s an interesting fine line. Read the rest of this entry »

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