State of the Architectural Umion

The architect walks slowly towards the podium, clad in black, waving, and smiling.

*crowd bursts into applause*

Good evening my fellow architects. I stand here before you all today to say, proudly, that the state of our architectural umion is strong.

*pauses for applause*

The economy has continued to climb, inexplicably, upwards, lifting all boats, and firms, and “ateliers” in its path. We can ride the wave of this random economic success indefinitely. Other waves may crest and crash on beaches of short-sightedness, scattering our rectangular black boats across the vast empty shores of disorder and value engineering, but, not this wave. No! For this economic wave is based on sound principles. This time the foundation is strong. This time the architecture will continue to expand, encompassing all of our hopeful faces, giving each of us a cookie and a stock certificate.

*camera pans towards the president of Gensler*

Because today our values are reflected in our work. Our work is reflected in the dreams of our clients. Today our clients fully appreciate our worth. They value us, and budget for all of our creative ideas, no matter how inefficient. My friends, today, our clients like us. They actually like us.

*camera pans to highlight all the women present in the audience. This does not take long*

Yes, times are good. But, not everyone supports our efforts. Yes, I’m talking of Contractors. My fellow architects, I stand here before you, hand to my heart, to testify, and it gives my no pleasure to do so, but my frieneds, I am here to tell you that Contractors, Contractors are not our friends. No! They are taking our jobs; taking our fees; besmearching our reputation; they are flooding into our markets; crossing into our borders; crossing out our ideas line item by line item; they are “value” “engineering” our very existence. They are criminals and rapist. (And some I assume are good people). But, this encampment within our profession; this illegal occupation of our markets, will not stand. Therfore, today I propose we build a wall. It will be large, HUoouGE!, some sections will be transparent, Yes, obviously, But it will be an overbudget, behind schedule, beautiful wall. Deportation procedures will begin on Monday. Have your government ID’s ready.

*audience squeals and applauds, except for the design-build firms, I assume they will get green cards, possibly*

The health of the profession is good. The health of our practitioners is less so. We need to focus on the well-being of our bodies, as well as our minds. We need more exposure to nature, to light, to air; We need to dissolve the barrier between our efforts and our available time; We need to spend more time with our families; we need a better diet; stronger covfefe. And all of these things we can have. Yes! Just as soon as we meet our deadlines.

*Camera cuts to Frank Gehry, nodding. Frank notices the camera, then flips us all the bird. The camera quickly cuts away to focus on Steven Holl’s black shoes.”

Now, now. This agenda will not happen without some effort; some sacrifice. We must work together. With each other, yes; with our communities, if neccasary; with our competitors, if any. Together we can achieve greatness. Therefore, today I ask all of you to ask not what our architecture can do for you; But what you can do for our architecture. And how much you can charge for the change orders needed for this new architecture. This shining architecture, on a hill, well just over the hill, nestled into the hill, and not really shining, because of the LED lights, and the cutoff shades needed to preserve the bird flight migration patterns, wildlife habitats, and to minimize light pollution, but you get the idea. It’s shining. Metaphorically shining, much like my optimism. Friends, tomorrow will be a better day than today. Everything is going to be ok.

More or Less is more.

In Mies we trust, Goodnight.

*standing ovation… well, slightly hunched over ovation*


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