The Fictional and The Real
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The impetus of this thesis arose from an unfound text and the unsatisfied questions regarding the profession of architecture when I first entered the school. What exactly is an architect? What exactly does an architect do? These are questions that the young have when they consider pursuing an education in architecture - questions that are not always well answered by the media, which they are most familiar with - film. The characterization of architects in cinema continues to provide lay people with a skewed caricature of the architect - this is misleading and not the correct basis for considering a career in this field. This thesis seeks to reconcile the fictional/cinema architect with the real life practitioner. Throughout the past half-century the characteristics of fictional architect Howard Roark have been perpetuated in cinema architects creating an erroneous impression of the practitioner. Through a series of interviews with Toronto architects, a documentary film was created. Analysis of the interviews provided the basis for a comparison between the actual practice of architecture and the fictional impression provided by film architects. The thesis is constructed in two parts. The documentary film relates interwoven stories of seven architects. Twelve hours of interviews has been distilled down to a fifty-minute narrative revealing key common characteristics and views held by the architects. The text reviews the key content of the discourse with real life practitioners, their common characteristics and views, relating to the fictional cases. It is the intention of the author that the documentary film created at the centre of this thesis could provide potential architects and the layperson with a more accurate understanding of the actuality of the profession of architecture.