This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Was there ever a time when architects felt properly valued? Probably not. Certainly not since the profession became dependent on the business of America, which is business. With economic growth as the country’s prime directive through the 20th century, architects—as members of the construction industry—played their part. How? By designing buildings of all kinds that were lighter, cheaper, and quicker to erect. Architects’ values might have been social, artistic, even cosmic, but their value to society has been primarily economic.