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Architects as planners? Who do they think they are? Me?!
Well, at least the conception of what being an architect is changing. I think now that architects are more designers than engineers, the concept is becoming stronger than the details of the architecture. Engineers are increasingly being the ones responsible for making materials fit together and stand rather than architects. I think its funny when people ask me about learning structural integrity in architecture school. I have to laugh. Yes, we have classes in that topic, but no, we don't really learn anything about such things. Or, I haven't.
Interestingly, my projects have become very "urban oriented". Unfortunately, I hate the program at Columbia and I'm not really absorbing all that much because of that seething hate. Yet, my natural inclination is to develop "architecture" projects that are in line with urban conditions... that means that I think about how the built thing will affect everything else around it and the opposite influences as well.
The world does not work like an archiectural rendering. You can't have sunny skies, ghost people, and no other buildings in the area. Real buildings have conditions imposed upon them. Current architecture schools seem to neglect that while making the cirriculum exceedingly difficult so as to make the students feel like they are considering important aspects of the design.