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core values of the architect

architect as master builder

What is taught in architecture programs, and in highly respected architectural firms across the nation that other disciplines do not teach or practice? Architects are trained in universal design principles, and how they are applied holistically in the development of a building, street-scape, or town plan, or in any other design challenge. This is our critical edge, but only if we stand up as a profession and enforce those principles in the built environment, and regain the public’s trust that these things are important to everyone’s quality of life.

Here are a few historically consistent core values of the true architect that, as I see it, other building professionals, project managers, developers, contractors, planners generally do not share.

Wisdom: Understanding the meaning and application of core values in the Vitruvian axiom “commodity, firmness, delight”

Creativity: Continuous use of imagination both in problem solving, and artistic expression; with drawing, painting, sculpture…and practical study of the sister arts, adding to the richness of their solutions

Resourcefulness: Modeling design and building technologies after natures own laws of order, and striving for unique solutions that wed together the highest ideals of beauty and practical utility

Leadership: Providing artful guidance and oversight throughout project, like a conductor leading an orchestra

Integrity: Ability to uphold authentic building traditions and architectural principles without copying superficial styles; expressing truth in material and structure

Prudence: Critical judgment, deep insights and a level of discretion that comes from a comprehensive understanding of the whole

Enlightenment: Strong desire to educate the public on the meaning and value of the architects work in creating high quality, sustainable environments; and to nurture their apprentices so they might carry the torch of architecture into the future.

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