The American Institute of Architects have released their quarterly report on the profession; it is always interesting reading because it is the earliest data, before building or construction reports. Square footage of houses on the drawing boards are shinking, and volumes, like hard-to-heat double height spaces, are shrinking as well.
The AIA claims it is due "in part because of a dramatic slowdown in the housing industry, in part because emerging weakness in the national economy, in part because of demographic changes in our population, and in part because of the growing awareness of sustainable design principles." I suspect it has more to do to the cost of heating and cooling, that the McMansion is following the Hummer to the dustbin of history. Just like the Hummer, it wasn't environmentalists complaining that led to their demise.
As usual it is the younger and the poorer who get whacked the hardest; affordable housing and first-time buyer designs are off a whopping 59%. But then they can't get a mortgage anymore even if they still have a job.
The old "what do you say to an architect with a job?" joke will be doing the rounds again. (answer: "Big Mac and fries, please".) ::American Institute of Architects