More Information about Capturing the Architect’s Voice

Who is the Audience?

The proposed audience is a cross-section of Virginians, including school-age children seeking information about what architects do, students in architecture programs looking for a more in-depth sense of what their future professional lives might be like, and researchers interested in new insights into the lives and careers of Virginia architects. The history could also inform exhibits, archives, and other research projects.

What are the products?

The oral history files themselves would be collected in .wav format and be stored as electronic files. Transcriptions of these interviews would be stored both electronically and as archival paper copies. In addition, if interview subjects agree, documentary photographs may be taken during the interviews and stored electronically as .tiff files for archival stability. These items combined create a vibrant archival record capturing the experiences of the individual. The flexibility of an interview makes it possible to capture this experience more vibrantly than a biographical description, a resume, or a project list

The objective is to create an archive that may be expanded over time. The intent is that the project may evolve both in items collected (such as the inclusion of video recordation), and in the products produced (such as various publications and/or podcasts). To that end, the immediate goal is to collect information in a high-resolution capacity, so that it can be adapted to future uses. Judicious and transparent editing will be undertaken as appropriate for the particular output,  The base archival audio files and transcripts, however, will remain complete and unedited, unless certain passages are redacted at the request of the interviewee. The Heritage Conservation Foundation will serve as depository. Although the archive itself is the primary goal, multiple products may be created from it, including:

1.          The interviews, or portions of them, could be mounted to a website, either as digital recordings or transcriptions, and used for other educational purposes.

2.          A series of podcasts will be developed, as individual profiles of architects interviewed or as thematic episodes.

3.          Publications, such as a book of interviews, may also result, allowing this material to reach a larger audience.

Detailed interview guidelines, releases to be signed before interviews, and instructions for use of the archive have been developed with input from all interested and involved parties.

Who are we interviewing?

Potential interviewees are divided into five classes, defined by length and type of practice, each with distinct qualities to be captured in the interviews. The overall intent is to blend the voices of those with the most experience with those at earlier stages in their career, so that a diversity of individuals and approaches are reached. A list of potential interviewees, arranged into classes, is attached to this document.  The five classes are:

Class 1: Leaders of the profession, including those involved with AIA Virginia, with particular emphasis on AIA Fellows in Virginia (see below);

Class 2: Registered architects, with particular emphasis on mid-career architects;

Class 3: Intern architects at the beginning of their careers, including architectural designers pursuing registration, with particular emphasis on participants in the AIA Virginia Emerging Leaders in Architecture Program;

Class 4: Current architecture students;

Class 5: Individuals involved with the practice of architecture, but who are not necessarily architects (preservationists, architectural historians, and others allied with the profession of architecture).

This project promises to capture the voice of the Virginia architect.  The project will record each architect’s individual perspective, capturing architects of a variety of ages, practice types, and goals, to address such questions as why the profession of architecture was chosen, how their practice has changed over time, what do they hope to accomplish, and what advice would they give to architecture students and architects just beginning their careers. By capturing these diverse voices, Capturing the Architect’s Voice seeks to record what is it like to be an architect in Virginia.

Are you interested in sitting for an interview? Would you like to suggest someone who you think we should interview? Interested in supporting the project? If so, we would like to talk with you.