Success in architecture is not easy to measure.

In banking it is simple. Make as much money as you can, and if you make lots of it you are successful. In architecture the picture is a quite different.

Not only is architecture one of the hardest professions in which to make money, it also affects almost every human in the world on a 24/7 basis and the product we create has a long-lasting effect on society. To measure success as an architect, our product must have a positive effect; this challenge also makes our work more interesting. For example, right now we are working on a pro-bono project in Africa, retrofitting schools with roofs made out of recycled vinyl billboards. So far, we have spent 65 hours on the project and might spend another 100 – but when the first prototype is finished, 60 Malawian children will have a roof over their heads and able to study in comfort. All this (excluding our fee) will cost $10,000 for shipping and the manufacture of the first prototype – but once this initial cost is paid, it can be repeated multiple times for the fraction of the cost, giving hundreds of children new opportunities in their lives. Successful architecture made this possible.

Now, if Goldman Sachs would be willing to put down the $10,000 for the prototype, which is approximately 0.000001% of Goldman’s daily earnings, then I might give you some slack and acknowledge that some of the work you do has some good benefit too…:-). Go to Goods4good.org to learn more about how you can help to create human success.

About The Author

Matthias Hollwich is principal of HOLLWICHKUSHNER, LLC, a New York City based architecture and concept design firm. He is also co-founder of ARCHITIZER, a social networking platform connecting architects via their designs. Matthias is driven by the aim to upgrade man-made environments on a human and engaging scale with an ECONIC twist and can be best reached at www.hwkn.com. (mh@hwkn.com)

Send this to friend