The Thoughtful Practitioner

My AIA colleague Mr Richard van Luhrte FAIA of Denver posted this on the AIA website. It expresses my sentiments so eloquently I decided to share. I practiced in Colorado for thirty years before coming to New York in 2010. Those years imbued in me a sense of stewardship of the land and a responsibility to protect it.

“I am inspired that maybe, just maybe the age of the star architect has passed.   This does not mean that there are no great architects, but rather that the measure of recognition of greatness has changed.  No longer is it based on the most odd, most extreme design statements that get the notoriety.   Now, for maybe the first time, it is the thoughtful practitioner that recognizes that the existential threat to our world is not show business, but rather the sustaining of our planet as a habitable place for mankind.   This extends to a concern for sustainable architecture, but also goes further into affordability and equality, in being recognized not just for the extreme rich, but also for the common man.   I see today so many of our group dedicated to doing the right thing, not just accepting commissions based on star power, but rather to make our day to day contributions to the betterment of the built environment and to social justice for the many who don’t have the opportunity to even experience architecture in their lives.   So much of my career was defined by the star power of my peers, by their political astuteness and by their ego driven design.   I am thrilled to say that the lasting legacy of this work is just not really there.   I grew up in modernism, and I believe there is a statement to be made that modern design was important, but today, what more is important is that we are contributing to the betterment of our planet by doing sustainable, resilient work, and by doing our best to leave the lightest footprint on the planet that we can.”    

Lynn Fritzlen AIA