I address neither of your two manifestations, the academy or the profession – I address you, that which they both try to emulate. Change yourself. If you do not, I promise you that we will do it for you. I cannot tell you what you should be. But I want you to know what you are, so that you may decide what to become. Because you are not enough – for your clients, the public, or those who wish to pursue your ideals.
Your practices are not incorrect; at their best they generate works that inspire, and at their worst they convince others of your irrelevance. Yet the former is today a scarcity, and the latter the standard. Your influence in the realms of design and building is gone. You have forfeited all political, economic, and social responsibility. You measure success by celebrity, and your primary task has devolved to the selling of objects. Though you carry on in the production of change, you have forgotten the end to which it is your means.
Your role is that of envisioning how people may better live. The built world that we every day inhabit is not a given - you shape it. Through the knowledge of various fields of study, through the understanding of diverse cultures, through technical, conceptual, and formal thinking, you see how truly exceptional the world can be.
But the world that you are responsible for has changed without your seeing it. You design for one that no longer exists. The public forgot your identity, so you closed your eyes and ears from it. In place of providing them a service, you play with yourself.
Be naïve enough in deciding what you should be. Be idealistic enough in imagining what you can do. You try only to survive, but the world does not need someone who seeks to escape it. If you want to survive, then face it. If you want to progress, surpass it.
I want you to return to your purpose – to any purpose. What you do is not a frivolous task. You design and create change. Every decision you make determines whether that change will be negative or positive. Useless or meaningful. Harmful or beneficial. If you cannot live up to that responsibility, then we will manifest you in a way that can, to ensure that the world we construct for ourselves is as good as it can be. For now, you get to decide how good that is.