We propose that artisan architects are a distinctive group of practitioners of the art and craft of building. The significance of the contribution of an architect and recognition by academics, the media and the profession is too often tied to the vagaries of “current” style.  Artisan architects often tend to be eclectic in style and to “fit in” rather than stand out.

They may be included in other regional, historic, or defined styles of architecture besides “arts and crafts”.  Yet their work satisfies a sufficient number of criteria that establishes the architect as an artisan architect. More importantly artisan architects are those practitioners of the art and craft of building that have most consistently and comprehensively advanced the art of architecture.

Following is a partial list of those criteria we find distinguish an artisan architect from the “outstanding crowd” who in the end vanish in the dust of history – having added very little to the great book of architecture other than a few slick techniques or currently “hip” details. It is our supposition that it is the true artisans that inform and advance most significantly the art of architecture.

  • An Artisan Architect has a talent or gift for the manipulation and design of the following elements that make up architecture. The level of mastery of these elements defines the stature of the Architect in any realm of the design and the creation of Architecture.
  1. Form
  2. Volume or Space
  3. Use, manipulation or control of light.
  4. Use, manipulation and control of materials and their particular.
    1. textures
    2. nature
    3. structural effectiveness
    4. interaction with other materials
  5. Effective assembly of materials considering.
    1. connections
    2. interactions
    3. composition
    4. interdependencies
  6. The effective and creative use of a structure in the support the building.
  7. The effective integration of form and the function of the building.
  8. Effective manipulation of space to satisfy the needs and requirements of the users.
  • An Artisan Architect is first an artist. One who expresses a particular vision or priority for the creation of architecture.
  • Artisan Architects create building that speaks to the heart or soul of the one who uses, experiences and commissions the building.
  • Artisan Architects express themselves in their work but the work is subordinate to a personal expression. Artisan architects are not  Artist architects in that their work is not wholly a personal expression or form of art. It is part of the greater sphere of architecture. Artisan architects do not design wholly self referencing works for the sake of creation. They are part of the stream of the development of the art and craft of architecture
  • Artisan Architects create with a sense of craft and materialism that is not subordinate to the material itself. That is the material is expressed and honored but does not dominate the composition.
  • Artisan Architects master the material they do not let the material be a master them. They speak with materials.
  • Artisan Architects use technology but subordinate the technology to the overall composition and purpose of the work. They do not let technology master them.
  • Artisan Architects create buildings that serve a function or purpose effectively and creatively. They do not create buildings for the sake of creation but for a purpose.


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