In the drive to reduce the cost of construction, the building industry is simplifying building methods and employing machine made components. In the hands of good designers, the results can be striking and novel, but without warmth and a human connection. How many houses, schools and offices seem little more than an assemblage of sterile materials and expensive gadgets?
Buildings that gain their expressive power from the contributions of craftspeople, on the other hand, have a complexity and depth that pleases the owners and users for decades, long after the gadgets have become obsolete and the slick materials have become dated.
Investing in the energy and skill of local carpenters, masons, ironworkers, decorative painters and cabinetmakers is an investment in one’s local economy and community and imbue a building with the enduring qualities of its time and location.
Investing in craftsmanship has lasting returns.