The dream of the art of architecture

Submitted by digital on Fri, 03/25/2016 - 16:15
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[],"markups":[["a",["href","https:\/\/\/xthJKWOErVU","target","_new"]],["em"]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"Ethical obligations shouldn\u0027t come with negative connotations"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The \u201cdevotion to the art of architecture\u201d that Carl Sapers, Hon. AIA, references as his fourth \u201ctension point\u201d in the video \u201c"],[0,[0],1,"Ethics: From Building to Architecture"],[0,[],0,"\u201d might also be termed an ethical obligation\u2014or, more safely, an ethical aspiration. His cohorts in the video\u2014Henry Cobb, FAIA, and Mack Scogin, FAIA\u2014exhort architects to go beyond the limits of what we consider professional ethics (what Cobb terms \u201cthe ethics of practice\u201d) in order to fully realize the potential of architecture."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"It is the ethics of professional practice that architects must contend with daily, defined as those obligations that we hold to others: clients, the public, users, colleagues, employees. As architects face ethical decisions that fall purely in the range of practice, they often discover that the greatest challenges occur when one obligation runs\u2014headlong, it may seem\u2014into another. Sapers alludes to this when he indicates that the obligation to the public may take precedence over the obligations to the client."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Going back to the most personal end of the Sapers scale, we find the first tension point, which he terms \u201csufficient income to support the architect and his or her family.\u201d While this may be the starting point of a spectrum that runs from the personal to the sublime, no one would claim that an obligation to oneself would be part of a workable ethical code."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"Self-delusion is a drug to which some architects may not be sufficiently resistant."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Sapers, Cobb, and Scogin have stressed the importance of looking beyond the narrower range of the ethics of practice to invest in the realization of the art of architecture. In accepting their invitation and exhortation, the architect must heed the dangers presented by the other side of this coin\u2014to yield to temptation and lose perspective in doing so."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"To be blunt, self-delusion is a drug to which some architects may not be sufficiently resistant. One can pause to think of examples (without mention) where an architect, in pursuit of the sublime, has lost touch with clients, users, and the public\u2014those whom architecture is intended to touch and inform. The dream of the art of architecture can take many forms, and while some can derive from and express the visions of those which are served by the design, others become lost expressions of an insulated singlemindedness."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The paradox of the profession, and the plight of the architect, is to be entreated to reach for the stars while being ever mindful of who occupies the built product of the design\u2014and who writes the check. Architects are asked to deliver what the client has asked for, but also to transcend the program to envision the unexpected. In doing so, occasional reminders of the core of our ethical obligations may be useful\u2014not to tether or squelch our dreams but to inform them in ways that are richer than we thought possible."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Cornelius (Kin) DuBois, FAIA, a Denver architect, is serving his second term on the AIA National Ethics Council. His leadership service to the profession includes 2010\u20132011 president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, AIA Colorado 2007 president, and regional director for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards."]]]]}
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Reminders of our ethical obligations should not squelch our dreams but inform them in even richer ways.
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