Our thoughts on architecture

Rough Draft:

"No number of object-lessons, got up as object-lessons for the sake of giving information, can afford even the shadow of a substitute for acquaintance with the plants and animals of the farm and garden acquired through actual living among them and caring for them. No training of sense-organs in school, introduced for the sake of training, can begin to compete with the alertness and fullness of sense-life that comes through daily intimacy and interest in familiar occupations. Verbal memory can be trained in committing tasks, a certain discipline of the reasoning powers can be acquired though lessons in science and mathematics; but, after all, this is somewhat remote and shadowy compared with the training of attention and of judgment that is acquired in having to do things with a real motive behind and a real outcome ahead."

From the School and Society, by John Dewey

We used to call it "Vocational Education." Now we call it "Career Technical Education". Now CTE includes a broader swath of potential "Career" paths, that we previously not thought of as "Vocational". Perhaps Veterinary assistants, Nurses assistants, future police officers, future Fire Fighters, etc... These are in addition to Auto Mechanics, Auto Body, Metal Working etc.. and the more Traditional Vocational programs have expanded Electrician, HVAC, and Building Arts / Carpentry programs from "woodshop" or "engine shop" to prepping students for real careers and apprenticeship programs.

Thomas Friedman in "The World is Flat" argued that because of computer technology and the internet, we must train our next generations in computer technology in order to compete in the world. This might be true to an extent. But Mathew Crawford in "Shop Class as Soul Craft" argues that you can't call someone in a far away country to fix your motorcycle, or your house plumbing. These are well paying jobs that require just as much and often more "thinking' that one has to do in the more typical academically oriented career paths.

When young people call our office asking about careers in Architecture or internship opportunities, the first thing I ask, is "why are you interested in the profession of Architecture?" If you really like to know how things work, and to make things, please be sure to consider a career in "the trades." They will pay better and you will be in a profession / trade where your value is not questioned. When someone needs a plumber...you are appreciated!

More to come on this topic