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Editorial: Ian Chodikoff, Signing Off

In Transit is an installation for a transit terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Acre Collaborative, one of the many promising architecture firms that will undoubtedly shape the future of architectural practice in Canada, completed the project. Mark Hemmings
In Transit is an installation for a transit terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Acre Collaborative, one of the many promising architecture firms that will undoubtedly shape the future of architectural practice in Canada, completed the project. Mark Hemmings

The only certainty in life is change. The time has come for me to leave my position as the Editor of Canadian Architect magazine and begin a new chapter in my career. During my tenure at this publication, I have been exposed to practically every aspect of the architectural profession and fortunate to have been given the opportunity to interact with a broad range of individuals dedicated to improving our built environment. The diversity of personalities is staggering. The breadth and depth of intellectual capital associated with those who work in the fields of architecture and design in Canada is humbling. We should consider ourselves blessed to have so much talent, dedication and innovation amongst us. Assuredly, there remains an endless supply of projects and firms that have yet to be published as this magazine continues to facilitate invaluable discussions relating to Canadian architecture and design.

I end my involvement at Canadian Architect with a greater appreciation for my profession than when I began my journey as Editor nine years ago. Admittedly, it is sometimes difficult to circumvent the toxicity of cynicism expressed by those who feel as though they have not received their fair share of accolades. It is often asked why some firms receive so much attention when others barely get a mention? And why do some architects appear to garner a disproportionate amount of credit for a project involving the efforts of so many? It is difficult to explain questions like these but I will attempt to summarize with a simple anecdote. I have often remarked that my job has necessitated the ability to lend a shoulder to cry on for a recently laid-off architect only to find myself lending the other shoulder to support the woes of a saddened partner of a major firm who was forced to lay off several architects due to a cancelled project. In architecture, just as in life, there are several sides to any story. A junior architect is often quick to disparage the boss’s leadership while the boss is convinced that his staff–unfortunately there are still too few female bosses–will never appreciate the inherent risks associated with managing a firm. It is difficult to satisfy every architect’s desires, especially given the fact that inflated egos can be found at every level of the profession. Far too often, the cult of architect as individual is lauded over the strengths of architects as collaborators. Mediating amongst these disparate paradigms is a big part of architecture, and a significant part of producing our monthly publication.

Every issue of Canadian Architect demands coordinating the efforts of countless individuals who inevitably include architects, freelancers, and photographers who have each helped influence our editorial content in some shape or form. Developing relationships with the many practitioners, academics, researchers, professional associations, allied professionals, and students over the years has provided this magazine with remarkable insight into emerging trends and broader issues pertaining to the future of architecture. Most importantly, Canadian Architect would be nothing without the commitment and professionalism of both Associate Editor Leslie Jen and graphic designer Sue Williamson who have been integral to the success of this publication and with whom I have laboured on over 100 issues of the magazine. And let’s not forget our publishers who ensure that this magazine continues as a viable business concern.

The motivations for becoming an architect are diverse. It is widely understood that a career in architecture is going to be challenging. The passion and desire required to become an architect are largely driven by an ideology to make a positive impact on the world–an ambition that often overshadows more rational considerations such as projected income and job security. For these reasons alone, I believe that hard work, collaboration and patience is what ultimately defines a life in architecture.

As I exit the world of publishing, I look forward to collaborating with the many wonderful individuals that I have met over the years. I have enjoyed watching their dreams and ambitions develop as they continue to influence our profession in positive ways. Happily, many stories are yet to be told as Canadian Architect magazine begins a new chapter in its long history.

Ian Chodikoff [email protected]

 
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