I am a good enough writer, with years of architectural training under my belt. But I still find it difficult to write convincingly about Architecture, since verbalising many aspects is pretty much impossible, except for the very best writers. Some of SW101s responses have knocked me for 6
I will admit. I feel privileged enough though, to have met that person online, and talked frankly about views of Architecture. Just to know a student of 21 years of age, with such a high degree of sophistication and clarity of thinking is something that amazes me. Doozer was a very eloquent speaker too, and a very shrewd one, who carefully chose the debates he/she wanted to get into. But I would have loved some more time bouncing off of that poster. But what it does prove conclusively is that at least some Architects are capable of speaking about their work and their profession.
I hear what you are saying, about posters here being from a much broader cross-section that what you would get at the AAI. I am inclined to think, that everyone here, is from the AAI, but that is far from being the case. So I do accept the challenge you have laid out for yourself Paul. I came to Architecture first from an entirely artistic background and talked extremely freely with professional artists for years prior to meeting even one Architect. I suppose I did expect the same from Architects, and yeah, me experience was about the same as yours with the AAI.
Ralph Bingham is a guy I used to know in the AAI, and I had Ralph as a tutor in Bolton Street for a short while too. The only person who I could ever say to, Ralph, I don't want to draw today, so why don't we just talk about Architecture instead.
So there we would sit for half an hour maybe, he sketching away as I listened to what he was saying, and I observed the way he drew constantly as he spoke ad lib, about whatever subject/topic I asked him about. Normally the tutor would sit there and LISTEN
to a student talk at length about something called his concept, or developed scheme.
I feel that system rewards individualism very much, because as long as you want to talk and talk and talk, about yourself and your opinions of a design - you seem to do well. Most of the very successful graduates I know are perhaps strong individuals - this was most apparent when trying to do 1 week designs in groups - one guy, who normally did well generally in studio, would take over the entire group. The reason Architects are unwilling to talk, because the best of them have this strong individualistic character. Which doesn't sell very well in public or in the media etc.
I did cover this subject here before
but do not underestimate the contribution you have already made to the profession Paul. It really does need more people like you, whether it is willing to admit it or not. I see the Architects using 3DS VIZ-ualists, who are completely unaware of what Architecture is - many are just people who 'know how to use a computer software'. That is just typical of the exclusive attitude of the profession to many people who may help it a great, great deal indeed. Perhaps in future I might manage narrow that gap between Architect and VIZualist, as Duane talks about:
It is essential that the techniques of graphic depiction not determine the design of the buildings. Computer-aided design must remain an instrument for the liberation of labor and not become a determinant of form. Because a shape can be easily depicted does not necessarily mean that it should be constructed.
What I mean is, to develop a meaningful relationship between the Architect and Visualisation/Information Technology. Which at the moment falls far short of that between an Architect and the clutch pencil and paper.
My Learning to see post is all to do with the VIZualist and Architects relationship
The Architect learns to see the world through drawings primarily though, so VIZ-ualists need to do the same.
Brian O' Hanlon.