ruminations about architecture and design

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

carpentry and economics

Recent article in the Boston Globe about possible structural unemployment in the carpentry trades. The profile had some anecdotes of carpenters in the Las Vegas area, but what was left out commentary was discussion of the the broad ranging effects of the housing bubble on, all professions in the building industry.
Trends do not look too good in the short term. I tend to take a supply side point of view to many parts of the problem, which is a bit uncharacteristic of my social leaning. Carpenters will suffer due to competition from unskilled laborers who bypass formal training routes. Architecture will suffer and benefit from the continued adoption of new software that renders laborious drafting obsolete. The only possible salvation will be an increase in the density of service and the concurrent expansion of building sophistication to respond to new concerns about architectural performance.
This is a sculpture by Maya Lin--fairly random, but I like to have pictures.

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