Architects call for greater public recognition


Architects are the unsung heroes of the urban landscape according to a leading American designer.

Elise Woodward, president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) was writing in the Boston Globe newspaper following a campaign by her group for greater public awareness of the profession.

Titled “Look Up” the AIA has staged multi-million-dollar campaign with a 30-second advertisment that has been airing on TV since last month.


“We want to ask people to pause for a moment, take in their surroundings, and connect that with their daily lives,” explains the institute’s vice president, Phil Simon. “Hey — the built world around us, this was all designed by architects.”

In her letter Woodward, principal of US firm Shepley Bulfinch, wrote: “Architects are responsible for the buildings and the spaces between buildings that create the public realm and influence our lives. Although we each experience architecture every day, we may not realize who is responsible for the design of our neighborhoods, courthouses, schools, hospitals, residences, churches, public parks, the State House — the buildings we inhabit.

“Architects, as practitioners of public art, are trained to think creatively, blending form and function to effectively serve the public. We create the built environment and provide real, tactile spaces to experience the activities of daily life. Architecture is sometimes ethereal, sometimes mundane, sometimes magical, sometimes pragmatic. It provides shelter and inspiration, and is often a laboratory for daily interactions.”

He concluded by stating: “We support our common wealth: a sustainable future that will be beautiful, functional, and equitable.”


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