#architalks 40 "Words"

Mermaid with Robot, Patrick McGilligan
"What are Words for?" Missing Persons, US Festival 1983

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What are words for?

We as architects, are very verbal about architecture, unless you want us to talk to the client about architecture...
After we sign the contract, which should have a lot of big important words in it!!!
then we we are more visual, as in , "

Let me draw it for you..."

and then we are more patient and try to explain it and then it just becomes,

"we can talk about that later..."

because it is interfering with what our plan is for the moment, to explain the design and it's not like we don't have an idea of how all of the pieces are going to fit, it it's more like we have a picture in our head of what it's going to look like, we have all of the puzzle pieces and as we move along, we can show you the picture that will end up on the box as we start finding the pieces and filling them in to the openings.

Then as we finish the puzzle, the client may say,

"But i didn't want the whole Space scene, I just wanted a big-ass picture of a Mermaid and a Robot. and two million bucks sounds like an awful lot to pay for a puzzle, I can get one for $9.95 at Target.

"No, the puzzle was just a metaphor...."

"Metaphor?  All I wanted was someone to draw up some plans for a building."

So you can see how our words or lack of them can be fairly humorous or consequential.
(This was a purely fictional account of any conversation I have ever had with a client.)

And when we are talking, people who aren't architects, they don't know what the hell we are talking about

Space???  Like in Star Trek, the final frontier?

Meaning? Meaning what?

Juxtaposition? Just what position do you want to put me in?

Concept?  Huh?

we even make fun of it ourselves, we call it "archispeak" and we even have numerous podcasts and blogs and conversations on it, architects sitting around and talking about architecture, and we all enjoy it...

Years ago, as young architects, my boyfriend now husband had these friends who weren't in architecture, in fact they weren't in college at all, but they would come and visit him at Cal Poly Pomona and they would go to these different architecture student parties and then when he started working at an architecture firm, they would even show up at these office parties and openings, probably for the food and alcohol I am thinking, but they would manage to get through conversations with other architects by just saying,

"What a concept..."


"Have you seen that new building by  (insert architect's name that appeared on a project sign on the way to the party here)


And no lie, they managed to get away with it so well, that people ask what architecture office they work for even today, in spite of the fact that I am pretty sure that they were not helping my boyfriend with his projects because he already had an architecture student girlfriend for that .  But no, one is an airplane mechanic for a major airline that I frequently fly on, and the other is an artist, lethargic arts instagram (which I am pretty sure we helped pick the name, "lethargic artist" while he was hanging around our house in Venice Beach after we had two kids...)

But the important thing is that we use our words to promote architecture to the public, who are our clients and without clients, we really can't create the architecture we want.

So, while you are out there enjoying your summer, talk to people, and tell them that you are an architect, invite them to read your blog, listen to the great podcasts that are out there,
specifically the ones by these people:

Bob Borson's "Life of an Architect" Blog and now Podcast
Life of an Architect Podcast

Mark Le Page's EntreArchitect
EntreArchitect Podcast

Archispeak Podcast

Cherise Lakeside and Eric D. Lussier, Let's Fix Cosntruction
Let's Fix Construction Podcast

And if you haven't had time to listen to the Interviews that I did with these great people (and more to come). as they answer Five Questions. They are around 15 minutes each.

Vishaan Chakrabarti
#aiacon18 Day 1: Interview with Vishaan Chakrabarti

Lora Teagarden
 #aiacon18 Day 2: Interview with Lora Teagarden

Wendy Rogers
 @aiacon18 Day 3: Interview with Wendy Rogers

Mark LePage
#aiacon18 Day3.1: Interview with Mark LePage

Bob Borson

#aiacon18 Day 3.2: Interview with Bob Borson

and make your kids and others listen to them in the car, even if they say,

"Do we all have to listen to that?"

"Well, it's this or 80's music..."

And in case anyone was wondering, yes, I was at that concert....

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This was my take on "Words", #ArchiTalks 40, 40???  I thought it was 25 ;),
please follow these links to listen to other architects take on "Words"

-->Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Visual Words

-->Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Words are Simple -- Too Simple

-->Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)

-->Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 40: Words

-->Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A pictures worth

-->Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Use Your Words (Even When You Can't)

-->Mark Stephens - Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)

-->Leah Alissa Bayer - The Stoytelling LAB (@leahalissa)
Architects Are Storytellers

-->Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Does anyone hear your words?

-->Drew Paul Bell - Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Mindset for Endless Motivation and Discipline #Architalks

-->Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Words Are Important

Anne Lebo - The Treehouse (@anneaganlebo)
Storytelling for Architects