Practicing architects have too often ceded control of these kinds of conversations to journalists, politicians, developers, or others outside the profession. Also, those inside the profession have too long marginalized the importance or meaning of their own work in the face of either client indifference or in deference to a star system invented by schools and perpetuated by various professional bureaucracies.
Speaking of professional bureaucracies, the AIANY/Center for Architecture's MADE IN NEW YORK exhibit ended today. There are many things that I liked about this show -- that it was free, that it was in public, that it was unjuried and represented a broad spectrum of practitioners, and that it was consumed in distraction, repeatedly, by the daily users of the West 4th subway station. All of this mirrors the experience of buildings themselves, passed and re-passed, with heads down.