Professional Discounts

Discussion (2)

  1. Rebecca Meloni

    I have a sheet of coupons good for a years subscription to Architectural Record for 50 cents a year!! No expiration date so I wonder if they would honor them?? I retired and GAVE all of my magazines to an architectural student—-I had back into the 50′s……No more magazines for me thanks!

  2. anarchitek

    The strips are sometimes on point, sometimes too esoteric, but mostly not funny. The profession can use some serious air being let out of its balloons, but I don’t see any trace of that. Schools teach some arcane version of what a few failed wanna-be architect-candidates, but the entire profession is too taken with the whole one-upsmanship game it plays, only with others who are in the profession.
    Too many practitioners are inept, unaware, or criminally incompetent, leading to contractors calling our work “Architect’s funny papers” or some similarly witty put-down. I once prepared a set of plans for a client who had paid a licensed professional for plans that looked like a child had drawn them! The 1st problem I noticed, for a house in a mountain area, was no fireplace. When I asked the client if he hadn’t asked for one, he turned to the 2nd Floor Plan, where a fireplace was drawn in, with the words “OPEN TO BELOW” right in front of it! I asked him, “What, were you supposed to throw the logs up there, throw some paper at them, then throw a match and HOPE it caught? Then, cuddle up on the Living Room couch, to stare at the shadows the flames threw against the railing surrounding the balcony?” How romantic. There was also a 6×24″ beam running across the ridge, with 4x* rafters, the loads of this all coming down on top of 4X6″ headers over the windows under each end of the beam! There were easily enough errors in those plans to be actionable, but the client really wanted to get his home rebuilt after a fire, not spend a year or more in court.
    The license is a means to prepare plans for buildings, but most Architects look down on the process of creating plans, as evidenced herein, where drafters are called “CAD-monkeys”. When I’ve told most Architects there license is to prepare working drawings, they act insulted and take offense. Most think of themselves as artists, or sculptors, or some other grand delusion, but the truth of the matter, if you live in a state with a Practice Act, the license is specifically to produce plans, not design a building artistically. If you live in a state with a Title Act, then anyone can draw plans, so long as they do not call themselves Architects.
    I’ve always felt competition is a healthy element to any business, and anyone who wanted to compete with me for business needed to bring their A game. However, most license laws are designed to LIMIT competition, and the Architectural profession is one of the worst of these. I worked with the Architect who designed the Golden Arches for MacDonald’s Stan Meston. He would say, “It’s a license to steal.” He meant, of course, it locked the field up for those who had a license, like “closed shops” lock up businesses for only union workers. It’s not for the benefit of the client, who all too often gets something far different than was asked for in the first place. I’ve had Architects tell me they do not listen to clients at all, and ridicule me for saying we need to pay more attention to clients and their needs. That’s all well and good, if you’re Mies van der Rohe, designing a building to be anything, from factory to church, but if the client WANTS a church, you should design them something that resembles a church. It’s OK to blur the traditional elements, to find new ways of expressing the same old ideas, but to ignore them completely, as Mies did with the University of Chicago, is arrogant and short-sighted. I know he had his own ideas about what his purpose was, but others have taken that belief to ridiculous lengths. Now, we have Architects who ONLY work in WHITE, or who do EVERYTHING in curves, angles or some other self-limiting genre. The most significant challenge human beings face is the daily chore of making decisions. How convenient and safe, to work ONLY in white, or curves, or angles, etc, etc. How dehumanizing, too.
    Lastly, I notice a number of comics relating to AutoCad, and the many problems with it. Instead of continuing to struggle with a program as clunky and awkward as AutoCad, why not try a different one. I prefer DataCad, myself. Originally formatted for NASA, it offers much to Architects, with very few of the problems of AutoCad. It takes a while to develop all the ancillary systems, like templates, but once done, they are available readily. I’ ve been using it for over 12 years now.