Architects are a romantic bunch. But, we tend to be busy. We know we should stop working on this design for a while and go buy some flowers or chocolate or something. We know that. But, we have a deadline. Maybe we can pick up a card from the internet on the way home.
Here you go.
Yesterday, a good friend of mine wrote “It doesn’t count, unless it’s built.”
I read this, and thought. “I completely agree with this”. And, then my head began to hurt. More.
Because, what does that say about my work? (I don’t mean the obvious reference to my lack of built work the last few years). No, I mean in general, my work isn’t about a built project. It’s about a vision of an unbuilt project. Or more specifically, my work is about visualizing an as yet realized building. My work isn’t a physical thing that you can order from Amazon. My work is not a thing at all. It’s a path to a thing.
I meet with a client. I listen to them describe their idea of this thing that doesn’t exist yet, and then I begin to work. I slowly use the tools of my trade to bring into focus an image of what that idea can become. It’s a poetic endeavor really; making these images of forms and light that point towards someone else’s hopes for their future. It’s a translucent profession, not an opaque craft.
more after the break
I know It’s only been 2 weeks since my Architectural world tour, but, I was still emptying my suitcases this morning. Sorry, I got caught up in the pressure at the office and just had not gotten around to unpacking. Mainly, because I’m awesome. And,wouldn’t you know it?, right in the bottom of the suitcase, were 6 more postcards that I totally forgot to mail. No wonder Herzog was so pissed at me…
Anyway, I’ve scanned them here for you to enjoy… (here’s the one’s I did mail, in case you missed those - HERE )
But, in his youth, he achieved fame by removing elements, simplifying, and arranging order. We were infatuated with his purity. With Modern, we stood in front of a blank canvas that seemed to clear away our past regressions, and promised a future of precision and clarity. Modern was singular and lovely, like silence.
At his height, he traveled extensively, leaving simple white calling cards as far aboard as Switzerland and Barcelona.
And, over the last few days, Architects across the world have stepped up and tweeted their affection. You can peer into their angsty souls by searching for the hashtag Twitter (which was started a few days ago by Bryant Turnage aka- @turnageb). Obviously, nothing says romance more than sleep deprivation and illusions of grandeur. So, this Valentines Day, we Architects are getting in touch with our sensitive side. Check out some of the softer sides of the profession HERE.
To commemorate the love-fest, I’ve assembled a few of mine and Bryant Turnage’s quotes here. Feel free to print them out and give them to that special someone. And, please add your own in the comment section below, or tweet them with the hashtag #architectvalentines.
And, If you still need proof of the romantic inclinations of Architects, just ask “Architecture Ryan Gosling” (HERE).
Much love, & Happy Valentines, from the Architects.
With the Holidays upon us, many of us gather together, drinks in hands, and celebrate together. Except the architects. We tend to be the sullen looking ones at the party, clustered together, over in the corner. Granted, architects aren’t the easiest group to approach, but it is possible, IF you know a few simple conversation starters:
So you’ve seen them standing over there in the corner. Morose and bi-speckled, sipping a cosmo and looking out the window towards a distance church steeple. They seem pensive and dapper at the same time. They’re an architect, but no one’s talking to them? It’s too much pressure? I mean, what do you say to the most interesting person in the room?
Well, here are some possible conversation starters for approaching the Architect, each one sure to start a fascinating and intellectual chat. Go ahead, give it a try:
Am I bothering you with my petty contract? Is this job just not your “ideal” project? Doesn’t it fit into your “body of work”? your “oeuvre”? Is this project not going to win you any awards?
I know you’re talented. I know you know more about building and design than I EVER will. In fact that’s why I hired you. I need your help. I need you to help me realize this project. I need your skill. I need your experience. And yes, I need your passion.
But, I don’t need any more of your bullshit.
I don’t want you to show me what to build. I want you to include me in the process. I’m not paying you for the privilege of your “vision”. I’m paying you to help me solve this. I assumed I would be a part of that process.
First of all, they probably don’t know what they’re talking about anyway. And, I think they asked for some kind of pastel. So, just nod often, eventually, they’ll go away.
Say things like:
“Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”
“No, that’s not going to work.”
“No, because it doesn’t fit with the “vocabulary” of the building”.
(Put “vocabulary” in “air-quotes” and raise your eyebrows.)
Try to look aloof. (well, of course)
When the client opens their copy of “Home and Garden” magazine to show you the kitchen that is “not exactly what they want, but it kind of gives you the overall idea”… try not to appear as if you want to stab them in the eye. Mention that Martha Stewart came up with a line of pottery while she was in prison. It was a custom line of nativity figurines. This might shift their attention. Then, spill your coffee on the magazine.
What are the important places, the places that define who you are?
In 1969, when my father was at war overseas, my mother and I were on the front porch of our 1910 Bungalow in Kansas. The wind pushed my toys over the edge and into the grass. My mother was leaning on the railing, talking quietly to our neighbor. I crawled across the painted wood and reached through the rail and felt the soft tops of the wheat-colored grass.
In 1970, I walked into a dark bedroom and stood at the foot of my Grandfather’s bed. I reached through the rail to touch the top of the quilt my Great Grandmother had made. I watched the quilt rise and fall with his breathing.
In 1971, I placed my hands and feet on opposite sides of the door casing at my Grandmother’s house. As soon as the “grown-ups” were paying attention, I climbed to the top of the frame and reached up to touch the ceiling.