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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Barney Rubble

Barney Rubble, who I suspect is using a fake name, posted an interesting response to my post today:

"Hey Revit Kid -

A counter-point to the article posted...

To assume that an architect with a Master's degree and a family physician have arguably the same amount of schooling and experience, and therefore should be treated with the same amount of respect (financially or otherwise), is laughable.

I know many practicing architects with Master's degrees and most all of them feel the same way you do. It's the arrogance you present that blows away most non-architects when it comes to discussing the importance of what architects do.

The healing of the human body takes far more skill than designing an attractive, functional building (which resides more in an engineer's expertise than an architect, a subject for another time) - and therefore takes more knowledge, training, and experience to become a licensed, practicing physician than it is to become a licensed architect with a Master's degree.

The thrust of your argument is based on the architect as a integral member of any given society, as compared to a doctor. Let's say for argument's sake they are of equal importance: the issue here is not architects vs. doctors, it's architects vs. architects. Many architects concern themselves with performing services as cheaply as possible to guarantee they'll continue to remain in business. They will undercut the competition in order to work, often operating at a loss for extended periods of time just to remain self-employed. This suggests an ignorance of business principles to which most every other industry adheres and survives.

Most doctors with family practices do not concern themselves with these types of constraints, as many fees are derived from federal regulations (Social Security), insurance company guidelines, and the basic knowledge that most everyone will continue to require regular healthcare, thereby guaranteeing repeat business. An architect does not have these luxuries built into his/her practice.

Bottom line, there are too many architects who are in business for themselves that should not be, as this over-abundance of self-important "partners" drives prices down (Supply/Demand). These people, who ignore the time-tested laws of economics because they feel they're more important than they really are, continue to hurt the industry as a whole with their arrogance and selfishness. This is why architects do not make as much as doctors -- not because they can't negotiate."

Thank you Barney Rubble, you are quite a nice write for someone in the stone age. I really enjoyed the entire portion that I bolded. It is something that very few Architects would admit or tell me if I asked them the same questions.

I understand how it could sound arrogant to compare the role of a physician as compared to the role of an architect in society to someone who I suspect is not an architect. Personally, I believe an argument could be posed for both sides. Architects provide a necessity of life; shelter. An architect designed the office and hospital the physician is practicing in. Argue the experience and education if you will but arguing the importance of each will not get anywhere.

The article I posted sparked the argument I presented. It was not the basis of the argument. The dialogue I posted was more of a conversation started and it worked well. I enjoy posting numerous questions like the previous post to start these conversations.

Thanks again Barney and I hope the rest of the Rubbles are doing good!