Human Obsolescenceby Daniel R. Hirtler on 03/24/11
During the past two years of economic collapse, I found myself trapped in a little open spot under alot of economic debris. I had no architectural work as a sole proprietor, and no real potential to get architectural work in someone else's architectural office having been self-employed for so long at a higher level of competence than was wanted for employee positions.
I occupied myself with developing the parts of my profession which I had not spent enough time while employed. I launched a web site with a portfolio and blog. I developed an exhibition addressing the issues of sustainable architecture. I pushed my library project, the icon of my architectural career, forward a great deal. Of course, since these activities did nothing to add to my support; it was salvation that I am partnered to a man with a successful career.
I am recently recovering from that long period of no professional work, and it is interesting to note the feeling of inadequacy that comes from a long break in any activity. There is a sense in the prospect of being asked to practice my profession, that the things I know, and the ways I have worked in the past are not useful in the present - that times have changed and I am obsolete.
In the actual activities, it is revealed, that my skills are at least as good and useful as they were before, and it is a thrill to ply them as a sole proprietor again.
I identify that using my skills as a sole proprietor is the key to my usefulness. I have projects to work on, and I am useful to them as long as I define the scope and the competence of the work that will resolve them. All my career, it has been indicated to me that the issues I take on are really not that important to spend time on. Of course, after those issues are resolved well, the outcome is lauded, but that doesn't make those issues any more important to spend time on in the future, in the eyes of those who would manage time.
I think I am obsolete, in that quality is not ordinarily valued in our society. It is more important to get alot done in a short period of time than it is to consider what should be done, and how it should be done to serve us and our society best.