More signs of the times
The reality of our profession, post-recession, is something we need to seriously consider. What is the value of any degree that leads to unemployment? Should we encourage those in the generations to come to invest their time and money if this is their future?
I was in New York this past weekend for a friend's wedding. Many of my old classmates and colleagues were there, as it was the union of two classmates that we were celebrating. And as I caught up with them, it became more and more obvious that the realities of the article - of architects leaving the profession by choice or not - was becoming the norm. Of my friends, at least half of them were now in "alternative" careers - they were related to design, in some way, but definitely outside Architecture's traditional bounds.
It makes me think, particularly as I teach, if I preach an unobtainable dream. Our profession has increasingly become a commodity, tied to the whims and instability of fads and economies.We can never be broken from the finances that fund our work; however, without asserting that the value of what we do extends beyond luxury and excess, we will continue to be the first of professions cut when times get tough.
We face uncertain times, that much is clear. This might, however, be the best opportunity for our profession to carefully examine itself, make tough choices, and reinvent itself. If we don't, The statistics of the article will not represent a disconcerting trend, but our profession's future.