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The Architect: Artist or Craftsman?

Uncategorized // Jan 26, 2011
Frank Lloyd Wright and Ralph Walker, two architectural masters.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Ralph Walker, two architectural masters.

Disclaimer: I am not an architect.

A GREAT architect is both artist and craftsman.

Art is subjective.
Craftsmanship is not.
An artist’s calling is to express, evoke and innovate.
A craftsman’s (or artisan’s) is to design, and to create form and function.
It is rare to find one who can combine both effectively.

The great architects that I have worked with that manage to combine both effectively leave their egos at the door. Their agenda is not to create a personal expression, but rather to achieve the highest level of design, form and function for the end user. They have a deep respect for history, but their work is current. Ironically, by successfully achieving this, they create intrinsic value that is a fingerprint of their work.

The attribute I respect most in a great architect is their ability to design from the inside out. Residential buildings need to be livable. There are too many buildings constructed that have a deceptive exterior and a disconnected interior. These buildings may have a definitive facade, but the interiors offer homes with layouts that are incongruous.

How does this happen?

All too often, the merits of an architect are based on successful self-branding and business acumen – not artisan artistry!