Photography: Carl Bower Thomas Vonier, FAIA, 2017 AIA President

Photography: Carl Bower; Thomas Vonier, FAIA, 2017 AIA President

Architects around the world seem to face the same issues. They certainly voice the same complaints: Fees aren’t adequate; clients expect too much, don’t value design, and don’t understand what we do; it takes too long to become an architect; other professions are taking over our territory; and, of course, nobody’s doing enough about any of it.

Well, what can we do?

We can design.

Architects tend to underestimate—or underuse—their power to influence. We overlook our ability to give physical form to concepts. Most people can’t easily shape images of how tomorrow might differ from today—they can’t “see” what something could become.