No-one wins at architecture.
It’s not a race. There’s no beginning and end.
We keep going, aiming to improve and to do our best work.
As we keep going change is happening around us.
The practice of architecture is evolving. This evolution is coming in the form of changes in labour, technology and responsibility. While this may present a challenge, it also presents an opportunity to get ahead of or be a part of the transformation. Can we instead leverage those changes we see?
What do we need to do to change with the times?
What if instead of “competing”, a number of architects (& their practices) were to work together. Working both independently and collectively. As a collective.
It’s a truism that we are stronger together.
What does this look like? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to build it and tear it down as many times as necessary until it stands up or proves itself a structurally unsound idea.
Taking a moment to address the elephant in the room, that architects often compete for the same work. That it’s the very nature of the profession. This is true in the sense that it happens. This is false in the sense that there is an abundance of work if we are smarter about how we go about our business and have no need to compete. Consider, that instead of being competition, other architectural practices are what Simon Sinek describes in his book The Infinite Game, as worthy rivals. The thing is, worthy rivals are those that have strengths and abilities that we admire. We can choose to learn from worthy rivals, rather than seeing them as competition. Worthy rivals can push us towards constant improvement. There is no endgame. No-one wins at architecture.
Returning to the concept of a collective. The advantage is that by working with worthy rivals, we might both strive for constant improvement, to assist and to learn from each other. It follows that it would also strengthen the profession as a whole, when done in the spirit of working together to make things better. This relationship, this approach, may also lead us to uphold our values and to work more ethically.
With an abundance mindset, there is more than enough work for everyone. By working collectively, it is conceivable that more work might be attainable, rather than the reverse.
The risk in this, is not in trying. The risk is that the practice of architecture will change and we did nothing to change with the times.
It might not work. It might not, but it is worth trying.