The Architect as Artist or Scientist?: A Modest Proposal for the Architect-as-Cultivator
This chapter presents an alternative model of the architect and its implications for architectural education. Whereas the architect-as-technician responds to the power and autonomy of social and physical forces, the cultivator possesses a "personal perspective," animated by transpersonal interaction and motivated to "express and embody in living acts and artifacts a humanized, cosmically rooted intelligence". Amos Rapoport's critique of architectural education is multi-faceted and defies any simplistic characterization; no thumbnail sketch will do it justice. The argument that architecture needs to have a more secure foundation in a cumulative body of knowledge is one that a number of other researchers—both before and after Amos' Op Ed piece—have argued. In architecture, the empiricist perspective has tended to conceive of architecture as an instrumental consequence of powerful physical, social or economic forces. Schools of architecture, in other words, should educate students for both competence and caring—in service to the nation.