I read this list religously. Love the discussion even
if I almost never post.
The practice of Architecture seems to be popular model
to try and use to distinguish the emerging disciplines
in interaction design/ia/ucd etc.
There are some things to note when using architectural
practice as a model.
First it is mush more complex then most people
characterize. Most architects can produce structural
calcualtions at some level. Do they? Not often but
they know it well eneough to be able to lead the
Many Architects are multidiciplinary, They design the
"building program" , organize the spatial
relationships, create an aesthetic design, lighting,
interior design, determine the means of construction
and sometimes building it as well. It takes along
time to become an architect (school and
practice)because there are so many diferent aspects to
master and understand.
Some Architects specialize in an aspect of the overall
field. Some are cost leaders, some are
customer/service driven, some are driven by aethetic
discovery and theoretical interests.
In large firms there are people who are good at
design, others good in detailing building systems and
construction technologies, yet others good at
producing construction documents. They are all
architects,they just have different strengths, skills
What I am getting at is in the quest to find
distinction between the various fields we loose sight
of the fact that are some who practice all in their
work to some level and others who do only one aspect
of the effort.
Where Architectural Practice benefits is there is a
shared "description of the process" that is known by
all even if it is practiced very differently by
I would love to talk more about process then titles.
The public has a good notion of what architects do.
But they do not understand the process or sub
specialities. The proffesional org for Architecture
(AIA) spends alot of time describing the basic
methodology of professional practice to help
architects explain the value of their services to
clients and to help clients understand what it means
to do it well for different types of projects.
We would benefit from describing the
activities(process) that make for good work and
describe how some practioners are generalists who
provide services across the board and how others
specialize into the sub disciplines.
Greg Petroff, AIA ,(yes I am an architect and no I do
not practice any more) user interface design
generalist, interaction design newbee and my favorite