What happens to architects design dreams?

Houses in the UK look like this.

houses in the uk

Those are new houses. Not hundred year old houses.

Hundred year old houses look like this:

victorian homes uk

That’s right. Pretty much exactly the same.

What goes on in housebuilder’s minds? Don’t any of them want to try something new? Maybe there’s been some new materials invented during the last 50/100/200/300 years? Materials like aluminium, steel, glass, wood, plastics, concrete, etc.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed young people must have dreams of bringing new ideas into the world… don’t they? Yet every new housing estate in the UK looks the same. Nobody tries anything new.

What happens to those design dreams in the building firms of the country?

Is a different design too expensive to build?

Are building skills at such a low level that finding people with the ability to build something different is impossible?

Does the pursuit of profit outweigh the pipe-dreams of the young?

Do housing companies fret that nobody will buy their homes?

Do obstructive planning officers and council departments prevent departures from the norm?

Or does the architect industry self-police? If you step out of line do you find yourself in front of the firing squad?

RIAS cardboard display houseFrom today’s news, here’s the RIAS (The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) display for its industry.

It’s a cardboard house designed in familiar style. Similar to something a 3 year old might draw.

If the industry body can’t promote and push the forefront of design, what hope is there for the average architect hoping to change the way people live and see housing design?

Don’t ever forget that everything you do shows how much (or how little) you care. In this case the lack of imagination, badly detailed construction and tiny ambition of this ‘installation’ tells people that the RIAS doesn’t care. And if they don’t care, why should anyone else?

You can’t ask your customers to value you if you don’t show any willingness to ensure your products and services are presented in the best way possible.

These people are cross about it.

P.S. Raging about architecture has been going on for centuries. Watch The Fountainhead, staring Gary Cooper for an entertaining yarn about one young architect attempting to change the world.