The lie of privilege.

Ok. I’m tired of this. I’m going to say it in public and out loud:

Dear famous/wealthy/privileged designers and architects.:

Stop perpetuating the following lie:

“It’s not about the money.”

Stop. Just stop. Now. Instanter.

Before my head explodes. Let me explain something to you- when you say this at any time, it’s obnoxious. When you say it when there is a rate of unemployment of near 40% in the arch/design industry? It’s completely unconscionable. It’s not about the money for YOU, because you ALREADY HAVE THE MONEY. This is not a difficult concept. If you’re a famous and wealthy person in the industry, you get to make these ridiculous pronouncements, because the reality of what you just said doesn’t touch you.

Here, let me remind you of a few things. Design/Arch is not a “job”. It’s a career, and it’s very often more than that. It’s what you are, not what you do(not unlike being a writer, so I’m told.) The difference is that there are no legal requirements for being a writer (though I’m not sure some writers think that’s a good idea.) You are not required to go into massive amounts of educational DEBT to become a writer. But the point is this- that arch/design is something we love to do. We do it because it’s who we are. But do not, for one single shining moment discount the fact that it is a JOB and that YES in fact, the money is important. Sure! Everyone LOVES to see happy clients. Everyone LOVES to see a happy project manager. However the pat on the head and the “nice job” only goes so far. YES IT’S ALSO ABOUT THE MONEY.

See, you lose sight of this when “not enough money” is the difference between buying an ipod this week or next week rather than “how am I going to scramble together enough work so that I still have power” or whatever. And when upwards of 40% of the profession is currently out of work, “it’s not about the money” is RIDICULOUS. It’s only not about the money when it’s not YOUR money it’s not about.



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