Can we Sustain and Expand??

“What is necessary for a firm or organization to increase its capacity to engage in public interest practices? How can you increase the architecture profession’s involvement in public interest architecture?”

What interested me most about PID is not the fact that it exists or the good that it does to the public, but how realistic is the sustainability and the expansion of this type of architecture? a section from Wisdom from the Field talks more in depth on this topic and comes to very true and agreeable resolutions.

Educate the profession

I think educating professionals is one of the most important aspects to see growth in PID. We need to start educating in the early stages during architecture school. It’s a key to promoting and sustaining the vision that PID delivers. The problem is that there isn’t enough education that gets to the professionals, interns and architecture students.

“Scarpa: I get this all the time when I go around and speak about our work. You’d be surprised how many architects come up to me. I think there’s a tremendous interest, and it’s a growing interest to do this, but they’re like, “How do we get involved with stuff like this?” That’s a direct question. “What can I do?” They just don’t know the vehicle to be involved.”

Overcome identified challenges of lack of “time and money”

Time and money are the biggest challenges to overcome for most firms. Costs need to be covered by other projects and it’s not that simple. If funding was worked into projects then a lot more firms and organizations could be involved. Time and money set limitations on the scope of projects and especially on expansion and sustainability.

“Architecture design takes a long time. Sometimes people  don’t necessarily understand how much time and effort goes into getting a project through plan or getting a set of construction drawings put together.”

Educate the public about the value of architecture

“People don’t know what the heck architects do. They darn sure don’t know what the definition of green design is.”

Now this is where a potential solution can come in with the issue of time and money. The more the public knows about PID the more support, finances and help we will have. I have meet people that don’t even know what architecture is about. Doing small impacts on the public with architecture will help grow the community and educate the public that this service is needed: “Every person should be able to live in a socially, economically and environmentally healthy community.

Featured Image: John Cary


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