Oculus - Spring 2015 - (Page 23)

opener Thinking Into Other Boxes I f there is a map of the professions, then the boundaries for the Architect have been precisely drawn. We know what's on the inside and we know that everyone else is on the outside. Boundaries keep the risks low and the knowledge specific. But are the boundaries too specific? They help keep the wild things out, but do the inside things become too tame? Tame things take no risks and make no plans. Tame professions are always in danger of being boring. Architects have less excuse for being boring than any other profession out there. And that's the problem: too much of the profession isn't out there. It has retreated inside of those carefully plotted boundaries. It's safely inside of a predictable organizational box, and left out of most everybody else's conversations. So it's time to look away from your screens, dust off your pencils, and draw some new conclusions by thinking into other boxes. Add intellectual depth to your thinking the way you do to your drawings: use multiple-point perspective. See the world through the well-trained eyes of an architect, but also try seeing from other angles, as each has a valid and valuable perspective. Invite the points of view of non-architects. When you think into other boxes, you can see the greater context of your problems and the greater reach of your solutions. No one is better qualified than an architect to connect across boundaries because you already do - by connecting art and science, form and function, strength and beauty. By thinking into other boxes, architecture becomes an emerging profession. Architect and educator Billie Faircloth, AIA, believes, "All materi- Dialogues from the Edge of Practice als are emerging materials." There's so much more about everyday materials that we don't yet see, but we can if we take new perspectives. AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, talks of the value of reemerging professionals who stepped back from architecture and then returned, bringing with them the wealth of additional perspectives. Architect and educator Maia Small created the fascinating Tumblr list "Architects of Other Things," showing people who trained as architects and then famously did other things. They prove that thinking into other boxes works and creates value. In 2012 I surveyed AIAS students, asking: "If you don't become an architect, what else might you do?" Their answers generated this word cloud. It reveals that emerging professionals see design as the center of connected professions. They will bring design to the work at hand, no matter what work their hands do. Licensed or not, gripping a tool or holding a stylus, they will be designers. Connecting with these young professionals will help this profession to emerge in new ways and to reemerge in time-tested ways. Their talent must not be boxed into just one line of work. They will rethink boundaries and re-enchant the world with design connected outside of today's boxes. They will not be boring - and that may be the most exciting thing about the future of architects. ©Richard Barnes BY dAvid ZA C H Knoll San Francisco, Architecture Research Office, page 26 What's Inside 24 Mars in the Bronx 26 Spinning Research Into Practice 28 A Results-Oriented Think Tank 30 The Resilience Factor 32 Socrates at the Drafting Table 34 Architecture in the Social Data Era 36 Museum as Incubator 38 When Bottom-up Meets Top-down David Zach is a futurist who frequently speaks to the design professions. He was the 2011-13 Public Director on the AIA board. In 2012 he received an AIAS Presidential Citation for his work with emerging professionals. His website is www.davidzach.com Spring 2015 Oculus 23 http://www.davidzach.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2015

First Words Letter from the President Repositioning All Around By Tomas Rossant, AIA
Letter from the Editor The Edge of New By Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA
Center for Architecture Center Highlights
One Block Over Rough Waters: Squalls continue over the redevelopment of South Street Seaport By Claire Wilson
Opener: Thinking Into Other Boxes By David Zach
Mars in the Bronx CASE gets new environmental technologies out of labs and into buildings at (relative) warp speed By Jonathan Lerner
Spinning Research Into Practice Intense experimentation with digital technologies is yielding remarkable designs and products by ARO By Lisa Delgado
A Results-Oriented Think Tank Defining architectural practice broadly enough to include research, theory, and public discourse, Grimshaw’s Urban Research Unit is a full-circle activity leading to a richer built environment By Bill Millard
The Resilience Factor Perkins+Will is making resilience design and planning a growing area of practice and income By Richard Staub
Socrates at the Drafting Table REX champions a slow thinktank architecture of methodical problem-solving By Janet Adams Strong
Architecture in the Social Data Era Transforming our practice to engage new data sources and design intents By Melissa Marsh
Museum as Incubator The New Museum hatches a multidisciplinary workspace to nurture creative entrepreneurs By Julia van den Hout
When Bottom-up Meets Top-down The benefits of community engagement in post-disaster rebuilding plans By Deborah Gans, FAIA
In Print Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made By Tom Wilkinson Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Birth of the Modern City By Jonathan Conlin Visionaries in Urban Development: 15 Years of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize Winners By Trisha Riggs, et al. American Urban Form: A Representative History By Sam Bass Warner and Andrew H. Whittemore Preservation is Overtaking Us By Rem Koolhaas, with a supplement by Jorge Otero-Pailos Reviews by Stanley Stark, FAIA
31-Year Watch Architectural practice once embraced dinner plates and candlesticks produced by Swid Powell By John Morris Dixon, FAIA
Last Words Eve of Construction By Rick Bell, FAIA
Index to Advertisers Alphabetical & Categorical Index

Oculus - Spring 2015