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Reading 6 "The Redesign of Practice" by Thomas R. Fisher


expand, reconnect

Tom Fisher's writings make me proud to say that he is the dean of my college! Seriously, his forward-looking analytical breakdown of architecture gives me confidence in the kind of progressive design education I am receiving at the U of M. In "The Redesign of Practice," Fisher comments on the necessity for architects to redesign the practice of architecture---drastically. In fact, he goes so far as to say that architectural practice is a vital design problem facing every firm. Architectural practice has seen a reduction in control, especially over front-end decision making (budgets, schedules, site planning, etc...) and subsequently a reduction in value (i.e. smaller profits, less demand, etc...). Fisher argues that architects need to expand their range of services beyond the traditional/conventional, to redefine the geography of practice to an international scale, and to become more efficient in time management. In addition, he points to the need for architectural education and practice to reconnect. Expanding work-study programs, putting students in real-world practice situations during the academic years is necessary, in Fisher's mind.


1) Fisher notes that one solution to the architecture profession's current dilemma is to expand the profession's traditional boundaries, expanding the discipline itself. How has the profession expanded beyond traditional boundaries? How should the profession expand in ways that it is yet to?

2) Fisher comments on the fact that many firms have redesigned themselves by expanding offered services to include such things as strategic planning, facility analysis, and real estate development. To me, this could pose the threat of "perverting" the purity of a firm's prime focus of creative design. Does this expansion of services distract from a firm's central focus and lessen its value or does it enhance its value by creating multiple foci?