The idea of architects as special thinkers is still going round in my mind. What is a special thinker? Are we all special thinkers in our own way? Or does that de-value the notion of being a special thinker.

Referring to my constant companion, I Googled “special thinkers” and found that The Economic Club of Chicago was holding a Special Thinkers Forum to “address the questions and principles of complex adaptive systems and their lessons for business”. Other “special thinkers” are portrayed as visionaries such as Will Marre, who, Google tells me, is founder of the “American Dream Project” purportedly a special thinker with “… a new vision for improving life at personal, local and national levels”.

Architects, it seems, are a combination of many things – business man, mathematician, artist, philosopher,  visionary and more. Alan Powers mentioned in his talk yesterday the Victorian architect A W Pugin, who believed that architects had a moral and social remit to change the world, a responsibility which continues to be taken seriously in the light of our changing planet and the challenge to re-think the way we live and use our planet’s resources.


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