Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The architect thing

I can’t quite understand the interest in the subject, but as I have promised Jim Smith over at Unfreezing, I will now undertake to talk about what I went to school to learn to do (besides ordering pizza), namely, architecture.

This is a complex sort of topic, I think primarily because everyone thinks they know what an architect does. I know this, because whenever I tell someone I’m an architect, they always say, “OOOooooo!” If you really knew, your reaction would be much closer to, “That’s nice. I think I hear someone calling me—I really must go now.” Obviously, that’s not a bad thing, and I think a lot of it is the result of the somewhat skewed image architects have in peoples’ minds, based, of course, on what they see on television.

Ask the average group of folks to name an architect, and after they name the first one that pops to mind, you can usually count on everyone to remember groovy Mike Brady, then Elyse Keaton if they a bit younger, or Wilbur Post if they are a bit older. (There are some others out there of the buildy-type as well, but they’re a bit more obscure.)

That’s not necessarily bad, but it just points out how little folks know about the profession, even though you experience its products every time you go into your office, or your doctor’s office, or your place of worship, or maybe even your house. Add to that the fact that the building profession is a big wide field, and some of it is insanely specialized, and that some of the highest profile practitioners of the artistic side are complete jackasses, and that it comes with its very own pedantic institutionalized orthodoxy, and you find that you have a big honking mess to try to explain.

Sometimes it’s just easier to let everyone say “oooo” than it is to explain it all.

But easy don’t write a blog, my friend, so let’s wade through this swamp together. While I cobble together the next installment (in which I will attempt to define what architecture is while diving into a tiny pool of water from a 100 foot high tower), it might be helpful for you to read what inspired me to follow this calling.

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