Architect: A Designer or a Technician?

A recent discussion with Mr.Arif Hasan- has led me to ponder over the question ” Are the achitects of todays have simply been reduced to being a technician? ”

Arif Sahab seems to agree with this point of view. I however, as I said, pondering. As the days of my internship continues, I have come to miss some of the hustle bustle of the studio – mind you, only some!

Architect or a Modern Draftsman?

Except for a small portion of designing in the over all work of building something, the rest gets dragged into redoing the bathroom, and the piping according to how the mistress of the house really wants.

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Most of the day me and my colleagues simply stay in front of a computer screen, changing one line or the other, making lines into polylines so that they can be extruded, or simply banging our heads against the wall when we can’t.

Besides this, today in Pakistan at least, the role of the architect has simply been limited to designing a house which is already pre-conditioned in the imagination of the client. More than that you can’t do. Here we have simply been limited to designing a sequence of spaces and to come up with the best way to link them with each other.

Partial – again I am talking from a completely Pakistani perspective- it is also the fault of the Education System. As the fields of engineering and science become more and more specialized, the Educational Institutes have taken it into their head that the degree of Architecture doesn’t need focus much on the structure, mechanical or plumbing side of the designing. That is the work of the many graduates of the same universities that are graduating wearing the caps of Structural Engineer, Mechanical engineer or HVAC Specialist.

This leaves the poor architect to simply sit in front of his computer and then works on his CAD, as one by one almost every thing starts to rely on the machines, from calculating wind loads, to light distribution, living nothing to the faculty of imagining by a designer. He is now simply a tool, a mere technician, who works on a machine like a machine, worrying over the Plot style tables and exploding of dimension.

We have definitely come a long way – from being the master of all arts to a person who is now limited to simply being a technician.