losing faith in architects, but not in architecture

i’ve been very quiet about architecture and architect for quite a long time (well, i consider interior design as a different field of work). until this afternoon my friend gave me a link that brought me to this picture and the source link.

image source

she asked me “are you still impressed with this kind of thing?”

my answer was as plain as, “i’ve just lost my awe”

no, i’m not impressed. for me those images are nothing more than simply green-look designs.

i think no matter how wonderful prize winning their design is, it will be worthless if it failed to give its essential functions to its users, the people. but i’m not going to talk about the basic question of “what is architecture?”. i’m just getting bored of what architects do recently.

there’ve been questions in my head that drag me, slowly but sure, away from architecture practice. i don’t know, maybe it’s because of what’s been happening in architecture in this country. i think many architects nowadays seem to be easily neglect moral, social, and environment responsibilities. i feel like today, here, architecture is not more than a money machine. well, yeah, architecture cannot be separated from money, capitalism. but i don’t think architects should do such a disrespectful act like making architecture as merely a money(& fame) machine. disrespectful here means like, for example, when architects just import some famous foreign architects’ designs or some famous design styles, to this country without really considering the social and environment impact. or when architect just make templates that they think they’ll suit whereever they’re placed.

i know the natures of architect are: smart, stubborn, and smug. so they’ll do everything to defend their designs just like mothers defend their children no matter what it takes. but do they have to go that dirty? i mean, architecture is not something that you can get rid of very easily when eventually at the end it brings trouble, and you’ll never know it before it’s built completely. but don’t they know that a little mistake can cost lives?

i think i’ve lost my faith in architects.

especially in Indonesian context.  maybe, not all of them are bad, but unfortunately the bad ones seem to outnumbered the good ones. architects function seem to be back to Roman times: to serve a patron. so all they care is about getting paid, getting things done, and getting fame. sorry if it sounds harsh, but i think that’s just the truth.

i’ll give you one example. so here we’re having this issue of proposal for New Building for Indonesian Parliament House. it raises public arguments since the hilarious budget was announced. many people think that it’s just some exaggeration while the money they’re gonna use is actually the people’s money. some say with the budget that high, we can actully build hundreds of schools across this republic. but as people with so much power, nothing can stop them from what they want to do right? we all know that. so people may say as many contras as they want, but the proposal of the project will probably get the goal at the end. and as for the pointed architect, he won’t give a damn of what this whole country say about the project. he’ll just go on with the design. he’ll run his office, tell his juniors and drafters to start working. they’re having a project and that means they’re getting income, period.

i may sound very apathetic or too negative, but this is what i think about it. it’s my own blog anyway.

but i don’t lose any faith in architecture.

i think architecture itself is the most important factor that can change the situation into a much better one. i believe architecture can do much better for people in this country. i’m not saying all architects should be humanists, but i think they should be more human. they should treat architecture and also the people respectfully. as architecture and capitalism cannot be separated, architecture and human being cannot as well. i still believe that changes can be made, can be done. and people also need a proper education about architecture, because architecture belongs to everyone and about everyone, not belong to or about only the architects and some wealthy people.


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