I have been struggling lately with a post I wrote some time ago about the top ten reasons to not be an architect and the top ten reasons to be an architect. When I wrote these, it was a response to another blog I saw where the author was really down on the profession of architecture and had prepared a list of reasons why someone should not consider architecture as a career. I thought the list was terrible and when I finished reading the list, I determined that he must not be a very good architect; if you’re terrible at your job, you probably don’t like it regardless of what it is. Right?
The only way I would write my own reasons for not being an architect would be after I had written one containing a list of reasons why you should be an architect – so that’s what I did. The problem since then is that these are the two most popular posts (or at least the most viewed) I have written – with the list of reasons NOT to be an architect in the lead – by a mile.
“Et tu Brute?”
Shakespeare wrote this now famous line describing the moment when Julius Caesar saw Brutus amongst the traitors who stabbed him; in my case, the role of Julius Caesar will be played by Architecture, I will be Brutus, and the first post I read that led to me writing my own list of reasons will be Cassius. If I remember my history, things did not go well for Brutus and he took his own life.
In the 23 days since I wrote the first list, it has had almost 8,000 views (that I know of). I have been contacted by several other sites asking if they could copy the list and add their own comments. A German design magazine wants to run it in their magazine. In addition, I know that it’s also been published in Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. At first, I was really excited because I had just started writing my blog and these lists were generating a tremendous amount of interest in my site which leads to them being exposed to my other posts. I had no expectation that these two posts would be popular and quite honestly, I didn’t have anything clever to write about so I took the easy road and wrote these top ten lists.
Maybe the reason I feel so guilty about writing the list of reasons not to be an architect is that despite being a party to trashing the profession that I love, I am happy that people have found my blog. I told someone just a few days ago that I write my posts for other people to read and that it was important to me to get more and more people reading this blog, otherwise I should just keep a diary. I care about what I write and I want people to feel something when they read it – move them to think or understand something differently. To stop writing now seems unfathomable, but maybe I am at a crossroads. Do I keep writing and try to stay relevant so people are interested and keep coming, keep writing but at my own pace and schedule (and unplug from the para-metrics that tell me if anyone is coming and what they are reading), or quit altogether.
I’m not sure what I’d vote for just now, but I never thought that what people wanted from me the most was a top ten list…..I feel cheap, like veneer…
So if you’re reading this post, I would like for every architect (or architect in training) to list one reason in the comment section below or email me at link to Bob’s email, about what you like about being in this profession. I will collect all the answers and publish them. Since I have so many readers from non-English speaking countries, I will do my best to translate your comment.