Thursday, May 1, 2008

49. Young Architects Now Means "Young"

This was just too good to pass up. We have been talking about this stuff all along and then came this. We have said don't wait. The age of "The Lone Genius" architect is gone we are now in the era of the united team , go out and work for a famous architect and most importantly Rem Koolhaas has wings. Well this just confirms it. If you can't take if from us take it from Icon:

Is it just us or is the young architect a very different beast these days? For the first time, "young" actually means young, but "architect" may no longer mean architect. This is our list of the most significant rising practices. Like all list stories, you'll disagree with some of it, but that's half the fun.

The first thing to mention is that the "young architect" is definitely younger than he or she used to be. We borrowed the convention of using 40 as our cut-off point, but at least half of the people on this list are 35 or under - and one of them is a 33-year-old overseeing a practice with 75 staff. Have we moved from the architect of promise to the upstart with power?

Secondly, the school of thought that architects need to build things to make their presence felt is losing currency. There are a few on the list who reflect that - these are the strategists and networkers who challenge legislation and foment debate.

Interestingly, of those who do build, by far the most successful in business terms are the practices who were nurtured by Rem Koolhaas at OMA. Theirs is a world of seismic competition wins and huge staff counts.

But where's all the rebellion? There's little sense here of a generation reacting against the ideology of its elders - Perhaps that's simply because we live in apolitical times. In fact, there are few signs of a coherent generation at all, although there are definite camps: the Children of Rem, the quiet but extremely sophisticated disciples of Zumthor and SANAA, the tower builders and the open network activists.

This is a global list in more ways than one. You'll find three Americans, two Japanese, two Chinese, a Chilean, and Indian and a bunch of Europeans. But increasingly these practices are international anyway, undermining notions of national architecture - more important (a crucible these days) are the practices they meet at. Having said that, you'd think a British magazine might put more British architects on the list. But then, the key thing that is giving all these youngsters their big break is the culture of open architecture competitions - and that's something this country desperately needs.

from Icon Magazine
original title - 20 Essential Young Architects -


Architectural Design Laboratory said...

"the key thing that is giving all these youngsters their big break is the culture of open architecture competitions - and that's something this country desperately needs."

as a young architect myself, amen!

Eric said...

We desperately need to work for free? Why should we give away our services on the off off off chance that we might get our "big break"? If we weren't perpetually chasing that big break, we'd all be making more money, famous or not...

Marian said...

That can be a good thing because we can see more and more creations that are free from old theories and concepts not that they are bad .

Unknown said...

Is it also the case that some of these countries don't require the rigorous internship followed by exam that exists in the US. It is my understanding that in Italy and the Netherlands graduates from Arch. schools are allowed to practice.

tropicalismo360 said...

Great post, and great tongue in cheek blog (of course I'm assuming that you tongue actually is in your cheek)
I'm having a look at prospects for young architects as well

Anonymous said...

bjarke is 36 or 37 now, sou is 39 years old... your information about age is about 3 years old i would say

Don said...

@ anonymous
...and next year it will be about 4 years old, the following year about 5 years old, and so on. What's your point?