Igor Vasilevski

Architect Skopje / Republic of Macedonia

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Igor Vasilevski 4
Igor Vasilevski
My story...

Daily, I deal with the schism between public perception of architectural practice and the ideals we have within our profession. Working at a school of architecture, I constantly field phone calls from individuals seeking “someone to draw up this design I have”, with the additional “and I was hoping to accomplish this inexpensively.” And while I try and politely explain the services we, at the school of architecture, feel architects can provide, I often feel entrenched in a hopeless battle to convince these callers that architects do more than draw plans.

As a profession, we have failed to position ourselves and what we, as architects, contribute to the general public. And though high profile events have brought the debate of architecture to the forefront of the public realm, we have failed to capitalize on the publicity. To most, “Architecture” is still a high-priced, large-ticket expense – an amenity to be considered for civic building projects, multi-million dollar development deals, and individuals with the very large wallets. These are the “Architecture” headlines in popular newspapers and magazines; these are the ideas portrayed to the public as the current potentials of our profession.
We, as a profession, need to accept responsibility for this lack of public awareness. We need to take a firm position on the meaning of “Architecture”; an extension of the debates from our design studio days, we need to address “Architecture vs. Building”. We need to define clearly what we, as a profession, are responsible for, and why we provide an essential service to the public.
Young professionals have the opportunity to shape this debate, and ultimately, the future perception of the profession. If we wish to practice in a world receptive to – demanding of – our skills and talents, then we must do our part to define the value of our profession. We are, by default, educators; we have to be. We have spent a significant about of time in preparation for practice, gaining specific knowledge and skills. We should not feel arrogant in the belief our experience and expertise will benefit those we serve.

Inroads have been made; competitions can re-educate the public on what architecture can accomplish: Friends of the Highline’s “Designing the Highline” competition provided a forum for architects and designer to show the general public rich, visionary possibilities of an underutilized space; the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art’s Home House Project challenged architects and designers to create a inexpensive housing solution that made the benefits of thoughtful, innovative design tangible to an underserved population. This is a beginning; we have to now imagine the end.

Education, outreach, public service, publicity; these are our opportunities. We now need an objective – a goal – a clear message – that defines the potential of our profession. With that, we can show the public, at various social, cultural, and economic levels, what our profession can provide.

-Igor Vasilevski-
Igor Vasilevski
Igor Vasilevski
  • Address Boulevard Ilinden 83/1-15, 1000 Skopje | Republic of Macedonia

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My story... Daily, I deal with the schism between public perception of architectural practice and the ideals we have within our profession. Working at a school of architecture, I constantly field phone calls from individuals seeking “someone to draw up this design I have”, with the additional “and I was hoping to accomplish this inexpensively.” And while I try and politely explain the services we, at the school of architecture, feel architects can provide, I often feel entrenched in a hopeless battle to convince these callers that architects do more than draw plans. As a profession, we have failed to position ourselves and what we, as architects, contribute to the general public. And though high profile events have brought the debate of architecture to the forefront of the public realm, we have failed to capitalize on the publicity. To most, “Architecture” is still a high-priced, large-ticket expense – an amenity to be considered for civic building projects, multi-million dollar development deals, and individuals with the very large wallets. These are the “Architecture” headlines in popular newspapers and magazines; these are the ideas portrayed to the public as the current potentials of our profession. We, as a profession, need to accept responsibility for this lack of public awareness. We need to take a firm position on the meaning of “Architecture”; an extension of the debates from our design studio days, we need to address “Architecture vs. Building”. We need to define clearly what we, as a profession, are responsible for, and why we provide an essential service to the public. Young professionals have the opportunity to shape this debate, and ultimately, the future perception of the profession. If we wish to practice in a world receptive to – demanding of – our skills and talents, then we must do our part to define the value of our profession. We are, by default, educators; we have to be. We have spent a significant about of time in preparation for practice, gaining specific knowledge and skills. We should not feel arrogant in the belief our experience and expertise will benefit those we serve. Inroads have been made; competitions can re-educate the public on what architecture can accomplish: Friends of the Highline’s “Designing the Highline” competition provided a forum for architects and designer to show the general public rich, visionary possibilities of an underutilized space; the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art’s Home House Project challenged architects and designers to create a inexpensive housing solution that made the benefits of thoughtful, innovative design tangible to an underserved population. This is a beginning; we have to now imagine the end. Education, outreach, public service, publicity; these are our opportunities. We now need an objective – a goal – a clear message – that defines the potential of our profession. With that, we can show the public, at various social, cultural, and economic levels, what our profession can provide. -Igor Vasilevski-