Design Dean on the Future of Architecture

October 13, 2009
By Chris Richter

malecha-headshotCollege of Design dean Marvin Malecha, who’s also president of the American Institute of Architects, spoke last Friday at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Calif., where he talked about the future of architecture, the dearth of art and design classes in some high schools and his own experience in a downturn:

“In the early 1970s, we went through a down cycle, and I was not able to get a job as an architect,” said Malecha, 60, who received his architectural degree at Harvard.

Instead, he worked for a company that supplied buildings with devices to protect against lightning strikes.

“It was a valuable skill, and I learned something about a component that goes into a building you have to think about,” he said. “My advice is to stay focused on your dreams, be persistent and find a job like lightning protection that keeps you close to the profession. We need housing, hospitals, schools, research labs; cities are going to need attention. All that comes from people trained in design — architects.”

(Photograph courtesy of NC State News Services)

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