Seeing as it’s the 4th of July, we thought we would take a moment to reflect on the state of Architecture in our country today. Where are we? What’s important to us now, July 4th, 2012? And what does the future look like? Undoubtedly, the Architecture profession is still hurting from the Recession. Thousands remain unemployed and, as Andrew Maynard pointed out in his popular Work/Life/Work Balance, those who are employed are overworked and undervalued. However, there are some glimmers of hope: in After the Meltdown, we discussed the inevitable rise of Public-Interest Design and the opportunities it will offer; in a guest post, Steve Sanderson of CASE championed the diversification & expansion of the architecture profession, which will better prepare architects for the realities of our Post-Meltdown economy. As for Architecture today, there has been a rise in community-oriented projects that seek to better the quality of life in our fast-growing cities – from Productive Landscapes (which we explored at length in our Urban Agriculture Series) to Reclaimed Parks, a la the High Line and Low Line. While Green Design is of course on the rise, we discussed the boons & pitfalls of following LEED to the letter. We also took a look at the role technology will play in guiding urban design, wondering “Can you Crowdsource a City?” and “Can you replicate the magic of Silicon Valley?” Despite the economic struggle, Architects are expanding their definition of architecture and coming up with innovative solutions for a more sustainable, responsible future.