How did architects get to be architects in any given period in history? How were they trained? How did they find their clients and communicate with them? What did society think of them?
Spiro Kostof’s The Architect, a collection of essays by historians and architects, explores these and other intriguing questions about the profession of architecture. The first book in more than fifty years to survey the profession from its beginnings in ancient Egypt to the modern day, it is the most complete synthesis to date of our knowledge of how the architect’s profession developed. Included are a major study of the Beaux-Arts, a vivid memoir by the distinguished architect Josephy Esherick, and an excellent chapter on women which demostrates how the ethic of professionalism has contributed to the exploitation of women in this as in many other professions.
The Architect places the current dilemma about the architect’s role in society in historical perspective and offers a good overview of the development of one of the world’s oldest professions.