The Architect’s Voice

When you think of what an architect does every day, what comes to mind? We draw? We create? We use our extensive math skills to design beautiful buildings, functional buildings, and -with our current volatile market- expensive buildings?

My desk has a pile of beautiful pens, a construction calculator, and a computer with the newest version of Revit ready for me when I get to the office. But this job, this lifestyle, is more than the desk, the sketchbook, and the number crunching – it affects our communities each and every day.

The author of the article below describes thirteen reasons why architects need to value their voice as the most essential tool required to be an architect. His idea of typical architects tools portrayed as tangible, visible “things” was altered after he read an article featuring Chris Downey, an architect with a visual impairment. Instead of limiting the architectural toolbox to visual tools as communication devices, Downey has created ways to communicate his designs to continue to fulfill his role as an architect and influencer in the industry. Downey is even affecting the built environment in our own state as a design consultant for the South Dakota School of the Blind and Visually Impaired, currently under construction in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Chris Downey, FAIA
Image by TSP, Inc.

We can use our voices, informed by our training and developed skill sets, to benefit the communities of South Dakota through our oath to the Health, Safety, and Welfare of the public, our professionalism, our creative ideas, and more…all while creating new spaces to tell our client’s story within the cultural context of the current environment of our home state.

Do you know an architect that uses their voice for their community?

Check it out!

Feature photo (L-R): Tamara Eagle Bull, FAIA, 2018 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award recipient, Sandy Dickenson AIA Emeritus, Patri Acevedo, AIA SD President, William Bates, FAIA, 2019 AIA National President.  Image by Cipher Imaging.

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