May 17, 2007

Architectural Entrepreneurship.


Most architectural magazines impress with great imaginary: It's the beautiful world of masterpieces - like a shopping catalog for future clients and investors. Wonderland - an Austrian based magazine - is different:

"WONDERLAND is a magazine that does not show a single building, but focuses on the “how” of day-to-day architectural practice, on the architects themselves. A kind of serialized manual, it directs attention to issues and problems of the architectural profession."

The magazine is like a guide of how to go into business for oneself, thus, the magazine might not have many readers: only a few really dare to open their own practice. WONDERLAND magazine deals with a topic architectural education usually ignores - opening architectural practices - or the new buzzword: how to become an (architectural) entrepreneur.

the latest Wonderland issues:

Issue #1: "Getting Started",

Issue #2: "Making Mistakes",

Issue #3: "Going Public" will be out in June 2007.

But should a fresh start-up office really handle tasks like tendering, construction documentation, project management and building supervision? Maybe we have to be aware of the difference between architecture and building? Currently you will find almost no "design-only practices" in Austria - maybe a reason for the somehow "anti-intellectual" Austrian architecture (see citation of Wolf Prix - Coop Himmelblau - in exhibition catalog "Rock over Barock" about Young Austrian Architecture. Aedes gallery): Maybe Austrian architects suffer from the obligation to build?

Again a citation of Rem Koolhaas raises hope (wonderland, #1, "Getting Started", page 30):

"Maybe, architecture doesn’t have to be stupid after all. Liberated from the obligation to construct, it can become a way of thinking about anything – a discipline that represents relationships, proportions, connections, effects, the diagram of everything."