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public perceptions

edited July 2008 in architecture
<p>I somehow drifted into Fairfax's Essential Baby website... where plenty of young mums are discussing in the forum how to renovate and extend. Lots of people trying to decide between architects and builders. Architects don't come off too well. Could be a useful place for the Institute to advertise in its new campaign.</p>
<p>Some perceptions are:</p>
<li>The architect is too expensive.</li>
<li>The architect got carried away while the builder drew up exactly what they were asked to.</li>
<li>That architects are only good if your project is "too hard for a draughtsman" or if you want some thing fancy or trendy.</li>
<li>That archicentre isn't very good, but that is about the only place to go if you don't know an architect.</li>
<li>"I mean we could afford it but I would rather spend that money on the inside of the house."</li>
<p>On the positive side, one person thought that architects could come through cost-neutral by lifting the value of your home, and another suggested that an architect could help you lower your energy bills.

<p><a href=""></a></p>
<p>or go to <a href=""></a> , scroll down, and enter 'architect' as a keyword.</p>


  • mark_melb
    edited November -1
    <p>The web has a lot to answer for. Everyone is now an expert.</p>
    <p>Even Henry Kissinger comes out as a humanitarian.</p>
  • simon seasons
    edited July 2008
    <p>The public perception of expertness has nothing to do with the baby site and new mothers discussing wether or not to employ an architect. The quality of the information they have to make a choice regarding architects is the fault of architects. You might as well blame the web for pornography.</p>
    <p>The information is out there but it is in the form of closed shop discussions and critical analysis which is generally unavailable to new mothers and frankly many other types of potential client.</p>
    <p>I have quoted again Robin Boyd below (which is a cut and paste from another thread on this forum)</p>
    <p>Quote "The only ultimate cure for visual squalor is the redirection of public interest and responsibility to the entire feild of the artificial background of life, and a first step to this end is a better understanding of architecture's aims and means. However, most attempts to promote this step which have been taken in books and articles of architectural propoganda, take the form of a short course in the history and compositional devices of building: and so much of this is confusing and irrelevant. The aim cannot be to make a world of amatuer architects." End quote</p>
    <p>If the AusIA choses to do a campaign directed towards such people, championing the benefit of architecture, then there has to be an understanding of what it is those people would like to hear, as well as an understanding of what it is that the AusIA really wants to get across. Even up to right now (if you don't include such programs as Grand Designs) Robin Boyd's lament as to the quality of the information provided to the general public is as valid as it was 50 years ago.</p>
    <p>It is your type of dismissive condesention of the general public that makes them think architecture really is a closed shop when in fact it is an all encompassing art form that creates the quality of enviroment they might like to live in, If they knew that there was a real differance in quality to be obtained.</p>
    <p>You can't hope to reach such people by insulting thier intelligence when it is your own fault that you haven't bothered to inform them. And you can't hope to inform them if you can't be bothered to put your ideas into a format they can understand, let alone feel comfortable listening to.</p>
    <p> </p>
  • mark_melb
    edited July 2008
    <p>I beg your pardon Mr Seasons. Who is being condescending? Who are you calling '.... the general public'?</p>
    <p>The <i>practise</i> of (small a) architecture <i>is</i> a closed shop. Read the end of Mr Boyd's qoute again. "The aim cannot be to make a world of amatuer architects." This is exactly what has happened by people explaining a dangerous amount about this practise. Has public (not here) criticism of 'good' and 'bad' architecture helped?</p>
    <p>Get real. Soggy brained 'young mums' are hardly qualified to write a dissitation on the merits or otherwise of using an Architect just as an Architect is not qualified to change a tap washer. There are plenty of Lance Armstrongs out there wanting to ride in the Peleton.</p>
    <p>It's not a matter of me allegedly insulting their intelligence. How do you put these ideas to this general public you speak of, into a format they understand? What? Put it in the Sun Herald?</p>
    <p>The AIA have tried the publicity thing to death.</p>
    <p>You only have to go to your accountant, naturopath, or go for a latte and it seems everyone is an expert on anything especially cooking, house building, computers................ Do you want to know why? It is because there are a hell of a lot of people out there that do all those things very..........very............badly. And there are a hell of a lot doing it badly and being given 'positive reinforcement' because Sam N....... is 'famous' or so and so endorses a particular house building company.</p>
    <p>A 'baby bump' website is hardly the place to go for building advice. The <u><em>practice</em></u> of architecture is quite different to writing about it or teaching it.</p>
    <p> How very dare you criticise me!</p>
  • simon seasons
    edited November -1
    <p>If you're going to quote Catherine Tate it's a good idea to steer clear of misogynistic attitudes as it compounds your sins with hypocrisy.</p>
    <p>In the words of an anonymous quote from a US lawyer "I had a baby, not a lobotomy". How very well dare you call young mothers "soggy brained".</p>
    <p>Peter did not go to a "babybump" site for building advice, he went there for some market research and he found some valuable information for anyone hoping to understand the foibles of the modern client. That is, that the foibles are far from modern but they do need a modern approach to dealing with them.</p>
    <p>I think you are mistaking my faith in the general public to be enlightened by efforts to educate them with a paranoid notion that you have some information to hide from them, and how dare i suggest that we just give it away. Obviously from Peter's research these potential clients have approached architects and because of the web, we know what their impressions were. Either one takes note (and hopefully the AusIA does take note) and adjusts accordingly or one rants off into the sunset in a grand funk about the perfect idiocy of everyone but himself.</p>
    <p>I am not calling you the general public, by the way, I think you are quite unique.</p>
    <p>Young mothers are often the ones who have to spend most of the time in a house and new wives are often the main impetus to commision a new home. Are you suggesting that as a whole 50% of the population are not worth taking into account when designing a house.</p>
    <p>I have myself often ranted against the notion that the general public thinks it doesn't need an architect. I also believe that teaching the general public that they are wrong on that point is an important aim for any architect to keep in mind.</p>
    <p>I think Peters accidental insight into the value of such websites as a young mothers forum is a brilliant start and I urge him to pass this particular insight onto the AusIA, if only for the reason that it presents a vast mine of relatively cheap market research for their publicity campaign.</p>
  • miles
    edited November -1
    its boomer hour again!! martini's at 10 paces!
    simon get a new book mate.....boyd was brilliant but bonkers. bitter cos he didnt get the knighthood that grounds got and spent too much time in the media to get any work done. something in that mr seasons.
  • simon seasons
    edited November -1
    <p>Ohh Miles, Boyd would not have been as interested in a gong as you imagine.</p>
    <p>But as you suggest, I have work to do.</p>
  • simon seasons
    edited November -1
    <p>Now my work is done, I just wanted to take up with you Miles the issue of Boyd at what seems to be the end of this discussion, but i hope not. I don't know enough about Boyd to either defend him or otherwise, but...</p>
    <p>Can you imagine if some fellow walked into your offices and pointing at you, said to the boss, "I won't have my time wasted with that 'bonkers' bastard over there". I can confidently guess that you would be justified in thinking that to be a rather harsh asssesment of your character. In fact, no assesment at all. Rather, a baseless piece of conjecture bordering between insult and slander.</p>
    <p>When you make such statements, Miles, they say more about you than they do about the person in question. (Boyd in this case but I assume he is not the only one to bear your hasty judgements)</p>
    <p>What it says, (to me and the few others I have related your post to at least), is that you have a swagger and a confidence that is in inverse proportion to your ability. I don't mean that as a rebuke, but as a piece of advise from someone older than you. You may well have the ability, but posturing obscures it from my view because usually those who do have the ability have no truck with extraneous abuse of others who came before them and certainly the abuse of those long dead.</p>
    <p>There is no one and nothing in this world that you cannot learn something from. Even I, the villiage idiot, can teach you how to smile without malice. And another old proverb. Always be kind to those you meet on the way up the mountain, as you may meet them on the way down.</p>
  • miles
    edited November -1
    mr seasons. thankyou for your concern and assessment of my character. get back to your chickens.
  • simon seasons
    edited November -1
    <p>No harm intended Miles. I hope I have been of some small assistance to your character.</p>
    <p>Sheep actually. I have three pregnant sheep, who mow my small paddock, and look dignified and humble all at the same time, even as they currently look, in their heavily pregnant state, like ciabata loaves on legs.</p>
  • simon seasons
    edited July 2008
    <p>This is an image of a new born lamb that arrived 15 minutes ago.</p>
    <p>The mother doesn't look at all soggy brained though she missed out on getting photographed. OOhhh Aahhh!  I designed and built a sheep shack for the three sheep, soon to be more,  loosely modelled on a swiss hay barn. Of course they had little say in the matter but I did make a note of where abouts in our three acres they prefered to spend the night, so as clients, I have to say they were not too difficult.</p>
  • miles
    edited November -1
    swiss hay barn.... herzog de meuron or gigon guyer?
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