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being pushed back to the position of the decorator

residental project by ifau und Jesko Fezer // Heide & von Beckerath Architekten

The job as an architect is becoming more and more complex. Through new technologies, guidelines and opportunities of construction, the architectural profession is getting divided in various areas of expertise.

These different areas of expertise showcase themselves as independent professions, which leaves the architect himself, usually known as the universal machine, pushed back the role as a decorative technician. Other Professions, such as the structural engineers, feed us with information about the terms of construction and we (as architects) seem to cover those technological necessaries with our flair for atmosphere and material.

It happened at some points, in the offices I was working in, that the task was to "optimize" the floor plan or to "continue working from the last consensus of the master-builters work". So sometimes we really just get to make a (technological and spacial functioning) building look more interesting - or as private clients like to say "make it look like architecture". At this point i always have to smirk a little bit.


It is a pity that nowadays even when people ask me what I am doing for work and after words they now that I am a upcoming architect, they initially start to ask me very banal questions:

- "Okay, I have this bedroom which I want to renovate. What do you think - which curtains should I pick?"

- "I don't really know if this question is appropriate, but can you help me with tiles on my terrace…?"

The list of awkward questions goes on and on. And of course I tell those people my opinion, but I really do not consider this opinion as a professional advise.

And as funny as these examples may sound - it showcases the image of the architectural profession nowadays. My opinion: we have to get back to the position of the allrounder. We should not feel over-questioned when it comes to building constructions and therefore we will not loose prestige in front of potential clients.

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