What I encountered were 'artists'. Whilst your day-to-day architect may grapple with the odd bungalow or extension, those who aspire to greatness inhabit an ethereal world where they sketch awe-inspiring doodles like this which are then given to engineers - real, practical hands-on, dirty types - to make them work. That is not to say architects are useless, far from it, but they rarely tackle the practical and sometimes (especially with small domestic projects) their solutions make no sense.
The very term 'architect' is imbued with reverence and appropriated by other fields to indicate a deeper knowledge and expertise than might really be there. Jean Monnet is frequently referred to as the architect of the European Union and William Henry Beveridge as the architect of the welfare state. But never forget that an architect is usually a professional dreamer, relying on others to fashion his dreams from the fabric of the real world.
Thus 'architect designed' while sounding lofty, usually means over time, over budget and of dubious usefulness, yet still revered by those who can see the Emperor's new clothes. The architect of Sydney Opera House, Jørn Utzon, is universally lauded but never forget that the building as drawn was unconstructable with available techniques and when it was finally completed it cost not the original $7million estimate but $102million; almost fifteen times over budget. And it was not opened in 1963 as intended, but 1973; ten years late.
Of course, it's a lovely building and rightly revered for its appearance but it sorts of makes my point about architects They often work largely independently of the bricks and mortar brigade and have little accountability. If you want an example closer to home consider that the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood was completed three years late and ten times over budget... and it won the Stirling Prize. Some would say that's like rewarding failure.
I have no doubt that the EU energy policy has an 'architect' at the control of the dream machine. From the heady heights of Tour D'Ivoire I'm sure the gigantic bird choppers, farm land given over to solar traps and the de-de-delayed smart meter intrusion into our personal usage habits all sound like wonderful ways of building for the future, but try telling the people of this estate of 'eco homes' that a doubling of their energy costs is actually saving the planet.