[excerpt] Architectural issues can vary considerably from society to society, across the globe. The nexus of topics you raise are particularly relevant to the U.S., but are very easily the outcome of a "superabundance of knowledge" - whatever that phrase might mean? It seems to me far more likely that they are the fall-out of a metamorphosis within the architectural profession itself, which in turn was triggered off by structural changes in your educational policies.
To explain this, I would like to begin by first answering your questions about the nature of Architecture and what distinguishes it from other disciplines. It seems to me that to become an architect is to develop certain specific qualities, intrinsic to our vocation. First of all, the architect tends to be an activist and a compulsive problem-solver - which means that his or she must exercise instincts different from, say, a sociologist or a historian, both of who usually are relatively passive observers of events. These differences start right from our earliest training. What happens to architectural freshmen who do not come up with a design because they "don't have enough data"? They flunk. Of course the opposite is true of the student of history or sociology. Thus, right from Day One, quite contrary sets of instincts are being nurtured. It is these differences that make the working of any multi-disciplinary Planning Team an almost impossible task - since very few schoolgirls (if any) would be willing to suggest how we might, in Bucky Fuller's ineffable phrase, "re-arrange the scenery". Architects on the other hand, are always speculating on how the pieces might fit together in a new, advantageous ways, in short: what well might be.