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    Monday, August 30, 2010

    The Google'd Architect..

    You know what i hate much about these days? is the overgrown Google-supplied, Google-dependent culture that we're becoming (if not already are).. These days, any half-minded homosapien with a 3G connection and 3.7" screen is a scholar, a scientist, a philosopher, a religious debater (the internet is flooded with these copy&paste zombies) and, of course, my personal favorite: Designer Architects..

    Now that today's blogging intention is becoming obvious (assuming the title didn't give you a hint), make the jump..

    In a healthy dialogue between the architect and his client(s) where a design is discussed, you usually see an almost unified course of events:

    • the Client supplies the architect with the documents needed to get the creative juices to start flowing.. Usually, a brief about the project, the client's idea about how visualizes the spaces/exterior-aesthetics, and maybe some pictures of what the client found similar to his taste..
    • the Architect at this stage might come up with a quick draft of what he thinks the project should be like (great as a head start) and the client gives feedback accordingly.. This draft usually comes in a form of a quick sketch, a smart organization of masses, interesting folds of paper to represent a structure scheme, and the classic "sketch on a cocktail napkin"..
    • Talking business..

     And if that is, on any level, a true measure of how healthy an office environment is, then most our design offices are probably in a vegetative state waiting for the plug to be pulled..

    Citing personal experiences, i failed to keep track of the number of times where the design process is mostly composed of some/all of the following:

    1. an internet connection (preferably wireless)..
    2. a table with chairs..
    3. a generic Laptop (or any Mac OS (or iOS) to start a "We're cool designers, therefore, we use Superior Apple products" discussion that can take about an hour of chit-chatter)

    So, the session usually starts with the client showing the architect pictures from those keywords he memoried off of google the other night, and the Architect showing off his bookmarks of design websites/blogs (easily copied off any discussion topic in an hour's worth of facebooking).. It's not the client asking for this building and that building that annoys me, he's a client for god's sake, he's supposed to point and ask.. What annoys me is the architect (if i even dare to call him that) who takes the scenario:

    For your windows, am going to use this *click* and i really liked the feeling of this space, so am using this *click* and this *click*.. As for the (insert fancy architectural term here) treatment for the tiles, am more going into this *click* and this *click* and this *click*.. 
    Note: Incase the architect above has an iPad, replace the "Clicks" with "Taps" and "swipe"..

    So, apparently, designing architecture is nothing more but a multi-click shopping experience through the already existing ideas (or JPG's), trying to be a Picasso in adding them all in one strange building that seems oh-so familiar.. Why "familiar"? probably because every single corner is an edition of Arch. Record/Digest built in a 1:1 scale..

    If you take the internet connection from scenario above, you'll either end up with two guys starting at each other.. Or the usual pretentious crap allot of architects in this country seem familiar with, which is basically spewing piles and piles of sophisticated terminology and hope the client nods in acceptance..

    The need to reinvent the wheel applies only in the ways we "invent", by over-glorifying our presentations with fancy graphics and animated GIF's (or a Lord of the Rings soundtrack to a 3D walkthrough of the building) only to sell an already existing idea..

    The client doesn't know, the Architects (plural) generally don't give a damn.. Down with the professionalism, if you may..

    Want to start your own designing office? According to the trend mentioned, all you need is a couple of computers, some fancy clothes, chairs (tables are optional) and your main source of income: a steady internet connection.. Oh, and maybe one credit-card limit's worth of Amazon books (just type Architecture and buy the first 30 results, no need to unwrap them when they arrive)..

    In any professional practice book, there are 6 main archetypes of professional architects.. Now, allow me to introduce lucky number 7, the visual Google leech..



    1. Damn Wi-Fi leeches! And yet somehow, with even this most ridiculous/bare-bone office with barely any overheads, the client still thinks that the "at cost" proposal of cut&paste works is *still* ridiculously over priced. I wonder how any startup with an interest in quality design is ever to survive in such a lovely market.

    2. Terminology Correction please..

      If there's room for competition, and professional integrity (to exist, and not be naive and say to completely over rule), then you can call it: a lovely "market"..

      When there's none of the above, and we're only left with "survival skills", it's just a jungle..

      Replace the Professional Practice book with the Jungle Book, and things should settle in more logically lol :D

    3. I feel slightly enlightened! 8)