Clueless Educated People

This is probably going to be the first in a series, since there are many, many, many clueless educated people out there. Some days, I probably qualify. Today's subjects are those fine professionals known as architects. The profession requires a fair amount of education, last time I checked. (2000, when I was browsing the graduate programs at UT, if you're really all that curious as to when I checked.) The profession seems to require a certain amount of brains for effectiveness. So why is it that architects, as a class, have such crappy websites?

I'll freely admit that the only way to truly appreciate a building is to go see it, walk through it, stand around and look at it, and in short, experience the building from both inside and out. Now having said that, what's the second best way to get an idea of how a building looks and might function? If you said pictures, give yourself a cookie or a scooby snack or something and clap your hands in childish glee.

Now, if pictures are the next best thing, what medium out there is relatively cheap, inherently visual, and widely accessible to the kinds of people that might be in the market for an architect? If you said the Web, repeat the previous exercise with cookies and glee. You're batting a thousand so far.

So why do so many architects include either no pictures or tiny thumbnails of their projects? I want to see nice big photos of buildings you have designed. Lots of photos, lots of angles. Digital photography is cheap nowadays. The incremental cost of a few more pixels approaches zero. Two thumbnails ain't what I'm hoping to see. Yeah, that's definitely a building. A 100 x 100 pixel image doesn't tell me much more than that. One spectacularly clueless fellow was kind enough to give me the addresses of his projects. No pictures, mind you, just the addresses. Great! Like I've got the time to drive around looking at houses to figure out if you have the slightest shred of talent. Figure the odds on that one, architect boy. I want to see your building on my monitor to get some idea if you're even worth checking out further.

I get the impression that some of these people have a website because it's the thing to do these days. Not much thought went into what the site is trying to accomplish. A valuable promotional tool, wasted on the clueless.


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