The Empowered Architect | David Clarke

United States / 2022

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Empowerment is a condition of your mind in which you believe you are someone who has abilities, skills and knowledge enabling you to do or be something that you didn't previously believe you could do or be. Often people point to experiences, conditions, or other people as limiting their empowerment or even disempowering them, but empowerment only comes from within. People allow, or consent to, disempowerment whether or not they realize it. Empowerment is an inner transformation, a change of beliefs, that allows new capabilities and potential.


This brief essay is not intended to pursue an argument about social justice or to deny the existence of historical legal structures that made it difficult or even a crime for women or people of color to do certain things, or that such structures didn’t present an external source of disempowerment. They were disempowering to one group, but empowering to another. The difference is how we think about ourselves in the context of society. Those who create a culture of empowerment vs. disempowerment are themselves tangled in a cycle of fear and dependency on the others they wish to control or be controlled by. The only escape for both is a transformation of the beliefs in the systems of disempowerment.


Why is it that some people—here I am specifically writing about Architects—seem to possess a sense of empowerment from birth—their confidence level though school, work experiences, and the examinations always seems high. They just know—believe—that they can achieve what they want. Many others seem to struggle at each stage and experience several unique inner transformations that lead them to the feeling of empowerment at each step in their development as an Architect. However, each new step in front of them is viewed with trepidation as this huge task that seems impossible to achieve.


Those who fear change, even beneficial advancement, in their life do so because of their beliefs. Someone at some point in their life told them they were not worthy, would not amount to anything, were not creative, were not… keep adding “not”s. The hegemony that came from every cultural angle, whether targeting family, gender, faith, or race and ethnicity differentials, becomes layered like the skin of an onion. Even if you peal away layer after layer, there are even more layers. The problem is not the layers, but what was created by the layers—beliefs.


Beliefs we hold only exist with our consent. Therefore, to make meaningful change toward empowerment when beliefs hold us back, we have to remove that consent. Removing consent starts first with denying the validity of the belief within ourselves. That may require replacing that unwanted belief with its opposite belief, or another empowering belief that may be even stronger than the opposite of the disempowering belief. But you can’t just remove an existing belief without displacement.


To be empowered as an Architect, you believe in yourself as an Architect. So then what does that mean? What is an Architect? Look for role models. Who is being an Architect that fits your values and meaning for what is an Architect. Study them. Meet them. Look deeply into their life and role. Your empowerment can be inspired by the empowered. Your empowerment can also be inspired from within. Look to your core values and beliefs as to what an Architect should be in society. Become the empowered Architect who reflects your values.

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    Empowerment is a condition of your mind in which you believe you are someone who has abilities, skills and knowledge enabling you to do or be something that you didn't previously believe you could do or be. Often people point to experiences, conditions, or other people as limiting their empowerment or even disempowering them, but empowerment only comes from within. People allow, or consent to, disempowerment whether or not they realize it. Empowerment is an inner...

    Project details
    • Year 2022
    • Work started in 2022
    • Status Research/Thesis
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