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The Essential Architect January 3, 2009

Posted by randydeutsch in essence.
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It has been some time since the architect has felt essential. And by that I mean – felt necessary and not marginalized. Felt critical to the equation – and not just convenient to the process. If only the architect were essential.

Essential to whom? To society? To the client? By essential – there are two meanings I am after. The first: as in indispensible. Not take-or-leave, marginalized, disempowered. If not the team leader – it would be nice to feel central – then at least necessary, required, a must.

The world has given us The Essential John Denver, Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing, The Essentials of Corporate Finance, The 99 Most Essential Beethoven Masterpieces and Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates. And yet I live peaceably, and fulfilled, every day without reliance on these so-called essentials.

A recent post in Icon featured “20 Essential Young Architects.” All were young, yet not all were architects. But essential? To whom? For whom?

A second meaning of essential has to do with essence. With the essence of the architect. What – at essence – is essential to the architect. Without which he would be something else. The architect i am thinking of lacks for nothing essential – of, relating to, or constituting essence. Down to what matters, is cental, at heart. less here is more, not more or less.

The Complete Architect is an essential architect – a basic, fundamental architect of the utmost importance. Complete – but not necessarily exhaustive. Vital and cardinal.

Essential here implies belonging to the very nature of the architect and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying what makes the architect or her character. Fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse. The essence of the architect is the soundness of the foundation upon which, and around which, is built.

This blog is about and for the essential architect, the attributes and skill-sets that are, in essence, part of the architect’s arsenal. Future posts will elucidate the features essential to the Complete Architect.

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