REPORT IN THE AUSTRALIAN, THURSDAY 5TH JULY, 2012
Further to the piece, WHO OR WHAT IS AN ARCHITECT? - see http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/who-or-what-is-architect.html - this headline of an article in The Australian is offered as an example of how the use of the word 'architect' has changed - see above.
While we might like to consider it to be otherwise, language is always changing, changing meanings and references over time, almost playfully. This circumstance does highlight the dilemma of the Board of Architects that takes on the role of managing the use of the word 'architect.' It leaves one wondering if the 'architect of media' has to accumulate the required Compulsory Professional Development points that a traditional architect is now obliged to record. Perhaps the solution is to create a new type of architect - the 'architect of' - that is exempt from all Board requirements: or maybe the Board has outgrown its usefulness?
8 JULY 2014
25 MARCH 2017
Under the headline,
Republican repeal of Obamacare fails as healthcare bill pulled from House vote, the text reads:
Conservatives also objected to the legislation for keeping too much of the architecture of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), frequently referred to as Obamacare.
Is the understanding of 'architecture' demeaned, confused, by the use of the word in the context above? The sense, if any, in the use of the word in this manner seems to come from the interpretation, the transformation of metaphor into fact. It is similar to the situation in Murcutt's mosque where he sought to make the goings-on within the mosque 'more transparent,’ so the naive, almost too obvious solution was to design a glass wall on the street-side of the prayer hall: see - http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/murcutts-mosque-meanings-sources.html
It is the same idea as the Forum Area in the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University that seemed to want to be ‘open’ to ideas and opportunities, an ‘avant-garde’ educational learning place, so it was made a part of an open space leading off from the entry foyer and into three levels of studio spaces, with full height glass walls framing vistas of the adjacent road and circulation areas: see - http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/the-art-of-many-danish-biennale-in-brief.html
Both examples appear to negate the very intention that generated the idea for the solution; both approaches have transferred a notional concept, an idea, into a physical reality, as if the descriptive words held sense, relevance, and meaning in the intention as well as the solution. Experience is more complex and subtle than this blatant approach to language.
In the article on the pulling of Trump’s healthcare bill, ‘architecture’ seems to be used in the association that sees such legal items being ‘designed,’ ‘structured,’ ‘developed,’and ‘built’ - all phrases that can also relate to architecture. Is this why the word ‘architecture’ finds its way into this text, almost as a summary of these collected items? Is it taking the same silly, simplistic path as the mosque and the school designs have? 'Build,' for example, can be an idea as well as a physical act that has nothing to do with architecture. What other relation can there be in this bill and its so-called 'architecture' beyond some broad sense of preconceived, organisational management of the document, which is what architects do when they design and construct?
There also seems to be something prestigious, ‘creatively’ different, 'slick and smart,' 'bespoke,' in the use of this word, in the same manner as ‘segue’ has been adopted today : see – JARGON in sidebar. One thing is certain: the use of the word ‘architecture’ in this way will not only confuse visions of matters architectural, but it will also reinforce every cliché anybody might have on what ‘architecture’ is or might be. The association is certainly not helpful, as here it links architecture with failure, a notion that lingers in the broad, fuzzy idea of dilettantes indulging personal ideas and design ambitions while playing carelessly with other people’s time and money.
Language and its usage is a difficult matter to control. Perhaps, in this usage, it embodies an expression of the understanding of a culture that appears to place architects and their efforts at the bottom of the heap, dismissively transferring any relevance and sense that the word might hold into describing other concerns, anything but architecture.