The April issue of A&B is dedicated to the architectural profession. On our portal, as part of a new series under the title "Profession of an architect", we continue the conversation started on the pages of moodboard - we ask what it means today to be an architect and what are the conditions for practicing this profession, and we illustrate the statements with unrealised office projects. Read what Piotr Lewicki and Kazimierz Łat ak of the Lewicki Łatak Design Office think on the subject.
Kazimierz Łatak and Piotr Lewicki
Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz
1 What does it mean to be an architect today?
Being an architect - as "today" as "yesterday" and "tomorrow" means the same thing. To be an architect is to be engaged in a field that we used to call art and the ability to shape space. Momentary fads and trends pass, but the essence remains the same. Architects respond to the questions asked (orders received), giving their own answers (with their designs) - to the best of their ability, under the conditions found.
To quote the words of the eminent Italian architect Renato Rizzi: "whoever betrays [Architecture] today hides in bureaucracy, market, consociationalism, participation, sustainability, social, power...".
2 What are the conditions for practicing architecture?
Not easy as almost always in history. One has to contend with a lack of commissions, administrative barriers, careless workmanship, underestimated budgets, unreliable subcontractors, often rude clients, painful criticism from fellow professionals and other ailments inherent in the profession.
In addition to many bitternesses, this work brings moments of joy: awards and prizes in competitions, words of appreciation from people we care about, moments of payment for a project or, finally, the simple pleasure of experiencing one's own ideas realized - those big and small.
For me, however, the main reason for joy," adds Kazimierz Łatak, "(although I fully share those - sincerely presented by my partner) is the joy of understanding by the audience of the need for architecture, realized in this way, for this place.
Piotr LEWICKI, Kazimierz LATAK
Lewicki Łatak Design Office