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May 2017

"It's Tough to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future"
~Yogi Berra

This month we learn about two different perspectives concerning the future of art, architecture and engineering. Graham McKay in his recent article titled "Architecture is in Motion, Again" says "We're getting used to hearing that the role of architect in the future is unlikely to be anything like the role of the architect in the past." Guest author Michael Ellegood, PE, quotes Yogi Berra, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Michael has held positions ranging from Project Engineer through Senior Executive in major consulting engineering firms. He joined the public sector as an agency head ultimately retiring as County Engineer, Public Works Director and Transportation Director for Maricopa County, Arizona. Michael is a Senior Consultant with PSMJ Resources and collaborates with public works agencies across North America to improve their project delivery. While it is tough to foresee future trends and events, Michael offers an important and relevant point of view.

My good friend and colleague, Lexi Selvig, has asked for my comments on a recent article by Graham McKay titled "Architecture is in Motion, Again" in which he predicts that the profession of architecture is destined to change as buildings, the traditional bailiwick of the architect "completely disappear as subjects for architecture."

I respectfully disagree, architecture will change and morph as it always has and indeed as every profession has. But the happy marriage of art, engineering, the respect for the human form and human needs and wants that represents the profession of architecture will continue as long as there is a human race building things for humans to use, see and experience.

As a Civil Engineer charged with building infrastructure to meet the needs of the next five generations, I lament the lack of aesthetic sense in engineering education. I have often lusted for the skill to successfully integrate art into my projects. Think about it, when we build infrastructure, a bridge, a highway, even a lowly drainage channel, we forever change the community in which we place it. A bridge, for example, often becomes a signature for the community in which it is placed. Consider the iconic Golden Gate, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Tampa Bay Bridge or any number of similar structures around the nation (Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, the whole city is defined by its bridges!). Perhaps, sadly, we have gotten away from designing infrastructure with anything but the bottom line as a driving force, but as a former designer and former public works director, for a major urban county, I employed integrated teams of architects, landscape architects and engineers. I see the marriage of art and engineering as essential to build a future.

Now back to Mr. McKay, as the needed multi-trillion dollar infrastructure investment promised by our current administration comes on line, we will need new airport terminals, these are designed by architects. We will need more hospitals, prisons, municipal buildings all designed by architects.

So don't despair, my architect colleagues, we still need you and there will be an important place for you in "Making America Great Again".

Now that you have reviewed the juxtaposition of Graham McKay and Michael Ellegood and their future visions concerning art, architecture and engineering, have you thought about your status quo position of how you manage your professional credentials? Well, the future is now with a state-of-the-art proven successful technology solution for professional credentials management. Visit for more information or call 913-608-7880. We want to answer your questions.

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