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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1210
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 06:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Cincinnati, OH

Get ‘em started, and they will burn your ear off! The problem is to find them all, and get them to really let go, from the gut. There are, apparently, a lot of really fine folks, who see the proverbial light and are dismayed at where that light is NOT shining!-- they are of the “silent minority”!!!

There is no murmur; no hum; no rioting; no shouting, but “architecture” is being done each and every work moment-- and some, though they won’t admit it, don’t know how the hell it’s being done!!!! They simply DO NOT KNOW what is entailed; what needs doing; or how to do it—mysteries all! Shameful! And for all three groups-- those disposed solely to design; those doing work as instructed; and the miniscule minority who do understand, lead the way, know what to do, with what, do the things, and guide others to accomplish what needs doing-- ah, yes, the “silent minority”!

I don’t think any of the members were crushed into subservience, but they are just engrossed in what they do-- putting buildings together, correctly, in a timely manner, and faithful to the design concept. They work their construction knowledge, and the documenting skills [of many sorts] simply to ensure project progress and good sound construction-- period! They are not necessarily “suffering” in silence, but silent they be, with their own quite valid thoughts that unfortunately never see much organization or collective outcry-- BUT I guarantee you, these folks are passionate in what they don’t see happening and what they must put up with! They’ll give you an ear full; just ask!
Therein lies the really peculiar thing. Silence; large number of people involved; valid concerns; unorganized for speaking out; passionate [almost testy]; and I guess, no real place to voice any comments, or make any headways. Simply, their work MUST be done!
Truth be known January 2010 quote from Carl Kilgore Jr. AIA , Senior Project Architect - Breckenridge Group <> President / Architect - Profile Design Inc., is quite telling and so accurate:

“Which accredited higher education institutes are producing the professional grade students
we need to power the next generation?.................Students that have not only design abilities
but production skills like AutoCAD, B.I.M., Conflict Detection, Scheduling, Estimating, LEED &
Energy Analysis, Web Communication, etc…..…………….Many of our higher education institutes
have adopted the attitude that they are not accountable to the profession they claim to support
through their educational curriculum. They lack professional advisory boards and sufficient registered
professionals on staff with current or recent practical experience……….……..…..They become
bogged down in tenure driven curriculums with class offerings that have little practical application
in the professional arena …………..Consequently many if not all of their graduates are unemployable”.

This quotation was supported many times over by others. Its accuracy is stunning and many may contest it, but it is the truth and is a concern very few are paying any attention to. It has been suggested in many venues that CSI become involved with project documentation-- BOTH specifications and drawings. In a sincere effort to serve the entire construction industry this would be high service and could very well be an activity that brings the reality of academics into alignment with reality of the profession. Simply what the schools don’t choose to do can be facilitated and legitimized in other venues through the coordinating efforts of CSI. This in turn can be factored into the professional requirement of NAAB, NCARB and their members. The idea is to augment what they do, BUT to also create a creditable, high-value, and beneficial system of instruction that begins to “round out” a comprehensive architectural education.

Why not? No one else seems to give a damn about this situation which certainly may be called “severe impairment and deterioration of status” [of architects overall] Naïve and unknowing students should not have to fend for themselves to find things they don’t even know exist and yet are invaluable to them in their work. Silly situation! A “boiling” situation in dire need of resolution!

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