27 January 2009

Like Barack Obama Said, 'Now it's Time for a Change'

Like many out there, the last few months have been a whirlwind for me. I have fallen into a bit of a slump you may say. Having finally having secured a coveted job in these tough times, I was ecstatic and motivated to push forward with my career and dare I say....have a little hope. I found myself doing quite well, while the world around me floundered and seemed set on a never ending downward spiral.

By the time January 20th rolled around, I like the rest, hm perhaps a majority, of America was salivating for some sign of this a fore promised change. When Barack took the podium, my mind was racing. What reforms will end up on top? How quickly will they start to happen? How will they affect America? and perhaps most importantly... What does this mean for the future of architecture?

Many things have been promised to the American people. Green jobs, new infrastructure, increased sustainability are all high on the new government's priority list. Many of the positions Obama supports have been issues I, as well as many of my collegues, have been pushing for quite some time. Now America will have a chance to see that without government on our side, change is nearly impossible. With the new administration comes a renewed hope in the field of design. Finally, we can feel that those with power can hear us, they understand what must be done, and that it must be done now. No one has time to waste in the fight for a more sustainable future, because every day that goes by without change is a step in the wrong direction.

I came across an article over the weekend praising Obama's urban sensibilities and desire to transform America into an efficient and ecological urban centered country. Could this possibly mean a stop, even and end, to my personally dreaded suburban sprawl? One thing this article did point out is that this recession, along with a new and forward thinking administration, means a definite and profound shift in the architectural proffession. Gone, it proclaimed, is the age of the 'starchitect'. It has for some time been my belief that the Gehry's, Calatrava's, Fosters, etc. of the world, while certainly talented, are not the end-all of architectural design.

As we enter a new age, a more urban, infrastructurally driven age, those of use out there with a drive and passion for sustainability, simplicity, and functionality find ourself in a position to take the reigns of design into our own hands. So, the resurrection of this blog comes with more than just the promise that I have found myself with some spare time these days, but also with a renewed sense of hope. I am ready and waiting to get behind this almost life-like vision of change Obama has created. However, I am also here to prove that we are teetering on the edge of a new era, architecture as we know it in America will change, it has to. But it is not up to a new, and reletively inexperienced, president to drive this change. It is up to us in the profession to realize what must be done and take it upon ourselves to make that change. Obama's hope may be an inspiration to us all, but it our actions that will truely speak and drive American cities into a more positive and prosperous time. Welcome back all.