Architect as mercenary businessman

I remember the class being asked at one of our Part III lectures by the great John Cane (arbitrator & expert witness) “What is the purpose of being an architect”. Now Oxford Poly (Brookes now) was pretty arty and the answers where along the lines:

“to create exciting spaces…”

“to interplay the areas of light and shade”

“to create an environment that responds to the user”

You get the idea.

The lecturer’s answer was more straightforward:

“The purpose of you being an architect is stop prevent any offspring getting green and wrinkly through malnutrition”

Architects sometimes forget this. Beyond the beauty and ‘exciting’ projects is a business and in maintaining that business sometimes you’ll need to be a little ruthless and if not a little mercenary.

Just think of the offspring …

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