Profession in question
The qualification exams that the Registrar of Architects and Engineers threw this summer into the perspiring architectural milieu have flooded the country with raging frustration. The truth is that the 673 reactions we received from young architects are rather worrying. How does it happen? Why are we silent? Is it not time to send home the pseudo-professional committees that are driving the Registrar crazy? What do they want from him? What do they want from us? When do they retire in the government offices? Are the pathetic consultants convinced that it is really necessary to know why Cement Board does not expands when it gets wet, how high the improvement tax is, or what the minimal dimensions of a Tel Aviv flat are? Is there any connection between all this and the sad architectural reality in which young people are forced to live in split flats of half a room? Is it not time to stop talking about “minimum dimensions” - thanks to which my mother has to climb onto the toilet seat to get into the ladies’ since there’s no room for her feet? In architecture, dears - what really matters is the optimum!
Question #1 of the exam opens thus: “Architecture is judged by its public dimension”. Where did you dream up this bombastic statement? Haven’t you heard of climate-aware planning, about the dire need to plan energy-saving buildings, about planning comfortable flats at reasonable prices for the masses working their whole life to pay up their mortgage? Hasn’t it occurred to you that no-one can test people on material that isn’t taught at architecture schools, or do you just wish to dictate the schools’ agenda, the agenda of the entire profession? Hasn’t anybody figured out that the consulting committee should also include young architects who can do in a split-second on the computer what it takes you a month to do with your hand, and even then you don’t always finish on time?
And if I may serve as a loud-speaker for the thousands of young people you have got panicked (and doesn’t that give you a kick?), we’re actually speaking of a destructive act that may deter any young sensible person from the profession. Just think for a moment: what really motivates you when you nonchalantly serve power-driven officials who are using all their might (which it turns out they have) to put down the profession?
My young friends: There are more than seven thousand students and graduates who are about to face these exams, and less than a thousand members in the Association. You outnumber them and have energies they have long forgotten what to do with. You have much less to lose. Take the steering-wheel; we’re drunk. Send a manifesto to all the architects in the country, they are for you, I know it - I’ve spoken to them. Disband the Association that’s opened wide its legs without knowing what’s entering. Send home all the dignitaries who simultaneously wear the cap of the architect and the turban of the establishment. It doesn’t go together.
Set up a new association devoid of petty interests - one that will represent the profession with honor and keep anybody from nibbling at the diploma we took years to achieve. Go out to the streets, bring the country to a standstill - the worst is already at our front door. We are governed by mediocrity at its worst.
I’m behind you, drive carefully.
Architect Dr. ami ran