Monday, November 28, 2011

What is architecture?, or, if I didn't laugh I'd cry

Someone recently sent me a page from, in which one of their writers defined architecture in a variety of ways, all of them a little cynical and to me quite funny.  A few of the comments on the post/article tried to take on author Jody Brown for his snark, but those comments appear to have been overwhelmed by those who truly find the article funny.  While I can see where the "You're being negative about this profession and you're not as funny as you think with your cynicism" comments are coming from, I think they're missing the point.

Architecture as a profession is a long-ass trail ride.  Projects go on for years, not weeks like they did in school, and when you experience all the steps it takes to get something built in the real world, it can be downright frustrating.  Funding, construction loans, value engineering, bond initiatives, zoning laws, code review/enforcement entities, more value engineering, neighborhood associations...these are just a few of the tings that can make taking a building from paper to bricks-and-mortar reality so painful that you'd rather pull your own arm off, freeze it, and then beat yourself to death with it rather than deal with all this nonsense.  However, the process isn't completely sucky.  I've had user group meetings where we're all laughing so hard that we can barely sit upright, I've been on teams that managed to salvage a great design through two rounds of VE, and I've watched people's faces as they walked through a building I designed and helped bring to life.  There's a lot of reward to go with that pain.

So when I'm in the middle of that pain, I think of things like Jody Brown's article.  And I laugh my ass off.  Then I go design and tweak and work some more to get to the good part of a project.

1 comment:

  1. Check this award winning video on "What is Architecture?"