There is an amazingly addictive YouTube Series entitled: Teens React. Basically, people perusing the internet, watch people on the internet, react to other people on the internet.
One episode of Teens React, produced by the dynamic Fine Brothers,|1| features 32 year-old Jeremiah McDonald interviewing his, former, 12 year-old self.
The teens watch, and react, to the YouTube clips. Then, the prescient teens reveal their perceptive grasp of real-world problems after introspection within their own circumstances – this section is called Question Time.
I began the video, during Question Time, when 16 year-old Victor self-reflects upon where he imagined himself at age 12.|2| Victor wanted to be an architect. He “wanted to be an architect! But then he found out he was bad at math.” (insert frowny face emoticon)
I am somehow still classified within the same Millennial Generation as Victor, but how do students – with more resources and broader cultural outlooks than ever before – still have no comprehension of what architecture is, or architects do?
I am miffed as to who propagates the theorem that the “M” in STEM fields incorporates architecture; but regardless, having poor comprehension of calculus should not be a hindrance to becoming an architect.
- Thus, the following is an open letter to all the 16-year old Victor’s:|3|
- If you truly were ardent in your pursuit of becoming an architect, then finding out you “were bad at math” should be a minor cobblestone on your journey to realizing your goals. You might stumble and fall repetitively upon the same stone, but through passion and dedication, you eventually would know enough math to overcome the insignificance of one little stone on your entire journey of the built environment.
Besides, if somehow being good at math had any correlation to being a good architect – Rem Koolhaas would have already solved Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.
Whereas, the critical thinking subjects (with “no right answer”) are essential within one’s life – they are mostly learned through the Humanities (Literature, English, Art, and Architecture). Architecture is often associated with engineering; while it incorporates engineering practices – it responds more to the Humanities. Literature has a structure and a cadence – as does architecture. Dancing emphasizes movement, rhythm, and human interaction – as does architecture.
Currently there is not enough appreciation for architecture within society, but an emphasis within early education on the value of architectural design and the built environment should be occurring in tandem to the benefits of STEM fields. Perhaps STEM should boil over into a broadened multi-disciplinary scope, and produce STEAM.|4|
STEM fields are the basis of testing within the No Child Left Behind policy, and the subsequent Blueprint for Reform.|5| These STEM fields progress society, but STEAM fields (specifically the Arts) progress culture.
However, I kind of like the falsified impression that architecture requires a lot of Math. Somehow, classifying it within the beloved STEM fields makes it seem more prestigious within society. It may further perpetuate the opaqueness of the architectural profession, but there is still a reason why 16 year-old Victor was once inspired to become an architect.