Value

Value

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‘Value’ is the theme we seek to explore as members of The Architecture Lobby @ YSoA – a group of students who aim to articulate the value of architecture, and its production, for ourselves and the public. The Architecture Lobby was founded by Yale professor Peggy Deamer in New York City, where a growing number of architects are joining its ranks. The group is represented across the country in the form of student chapters, some of whom give updates on their activities in On The Ground. We want to articulate why, in the ‘real world’ of architectural practice, our expertise risks lying dormant- due to the often necessary position of working under bad labor practices, bad pay, and poor influence. This issue aims to address three questions- First, what are the cultural conditions within architectural practice and education which cause us to devalue our architectural work? Second, how can architects re-define their role in an effort to capture value in new ways? And finally, how can we reassert the value of the architect to a larger audience? We believe that architectural production needs to be restructured to allow for work/life balance, the integration of new forms of knowledge, and fair compensation for our work. Throughout the issue, we feature drawings done by our colleagues, and keep track of how long it took to make them. Issues of time spent, forms of representation, alternate forms of practice, studio culture, how diversity can increase our value, what a good practice looks like, and how we communicate to the public are all explored. We hope to reassert and redefine the architect’s expertise, rather than let our profession fall to the decision making of predominantly developers, politicians, or engineers. At the same time, we hope to re-evaluate the idea of the architect as solitary genius, forever relegated to the confines of their desk, isolated from a larger political and cultural conversation. By increasing the value of architects, we hope to also increase the value of architecture. Special thanks to our graphic designers and everyone who contributed to this issue!