Our first post covered The Allstar, The ‘Meeter’, The Academic and The “I’m an Architect” ArchitecTypes. Subsequent to that post we elicited additional ArchitecTypes by playing the following mating call on a continuous loop “No really, if you provide me with design sketches and perhaps a few rendered perspectives suitable for marketing, I promise you will be the architect if the project moves forward.” Shhhhhh… what’s that?… we seem to have attracted some more ArchitecTypes, let’s have a look:
ArchitecTypes part 2:
Key Characteristics: Soft spoken (they’re only concern is speaking to and hearing themselves), calling trace ‘trace’ is blasphemy, it’s bumwad, prefers to hard-line draft on
trace bumwad overlaying a cad drawing of the same drawing they are ‘designing’ employing a non-photo blue or col-erase 1277 carmine red pencil, sharpies are for sketching amateurs, pentel’s are where it’s at, if they know any of the code it doesn’t apply to their particular design, their aesthetic and rendering talents are amazing
Identifiers: Mock turtleneck, eyeglasses that are so un-fashionable they’re fashionable and can make the designer, very rare, but there are accounts of one’s donning capes and canes, amazingly they can pull-off wearing cargo pants and a cargo shirt at the same time, drives a beat up Volvo or Renault Le-Car, has the office’s only electric pencil sharpener (it’s under the french curve that is next to the bow compass right by the leroy lettering tool), still not sure if they’re The Designer… ask them, they’ll tell you if they are
Key Characteristics: Posses a Yoda-like wisdom (the knowledge is strong in this one it is), they’ve ‘been there and done that’- listen to them, a lot can be learned, the dark side to them is all that is curvy and contemporary- but they can be persuaded, posses the ability to sit still and listen to BS without saying a word and then go off and do things the proper way
Identifiers: Quiet, limited sense of clothing fashion, speaks in the IBC dialectic, speed dial #1 is programmed with the International Code Council, they’re the individual everyone consults to review details, can tell you the size of every W shape without looking at the AISC Manual, while not the greatest designers they do know how a building gets constructed and the proper way to document such, clients and contractors can’t say enough good things about this individual- they love that this person understands that it is a ‘real’ project with ‘real’ budget issues
The Project Architect /Manager:
Key Characteristics: The Mario Botta army knife of architects, they know a little about a lot, doesn’t care what layer it’s on or what filter is needed to be applied for it to plot correctly- the drawings damn well better be what they marked up, wrong layer, what? how about put it on one layer- ‘AIA_scoobydoosolvesamystery_new’ for all I care, it doesn’t matter, the drawing will be correct, typically a dry sense of sarcastic humor, knows what they don’t know and knows who to ask to know
Identifiers: Meets deadlines, profitable, plays well with contractors, knows what all the colored lines on the computer screen actually mean, slightly elevated dress attire (key word is slightly, i.e. khakis bought on-sale at Kohls), if you see someone arguing with superiors it’s a good chance they’re a Project Architect/Manager (what’s that Mr. Foxworthy, no this angle is all mine)
The Studio Manager:
Key Characteristics: Excel in managing their non-management skills, clients and interns actually believe the manager knows what they are doing, very good at talking the talk of business, excel in setting unrealistic deadlines, has no involvement with a project until the last two days- then they want to throw a monkey wrench into the scheme (no really, they want to spec a monkey wrench for the FDC), on a positive note- they always sport impeccable attire, if a male they are enrolled in the Perfect Fit rewards program at Men’s Wearhouse (new managers tend to, in err, opt for shoulder pads)
Identifiers: Attends as many Tony Robbins seminars as they can get reimbursed for and then try to regurgitate them to the staff (think Sean Penn in Colors trying to tell the newbie about the bull), consider themselves a wine connoisseur but think a sommelier is a new rain screen system that no one told them about, well dressed, has stacks of magazines in their workspace to make it look as if they are busy, as they burn-out they become ‘Meeters’, they speak in riddles, if someone routinely schedules meetings but then they themselves are absent- it’s a good chance they’re a Studio Manager, adhere to the mantra of “it’s not a lie if you believe it”
Still can’t relate to these sub-species? Stay tuned, the following sub-species shall be presented in subsequent ArchitecTypes ‘installments’:
Part 3: The Poser, The Clueless, The 9 to 5’er, and The Lifer
Part 4: The Gentleman, The All Biz, The Gifted, and The Starchitect
My ultimate goal of ArchitecTypes research has gone unrequited by the History Channel. While Plan B is still plausible, I am currently pursuing Plan C- an animated cartoon featuring an architect who has a contractor for a sidekick. Together they traverse delightful suburbs adhering to the ideals of New Urbanism. When problems are encountered they consult a magical backpack that has plans that are actually buildable! Oh, I forgot the best part, they also teach you a foreign language, problem solving skills, basic math, and physical coordination…this is genius! This has never been done before; it’s my idea, BACK OFF!
(Read this in a Lucky the Leprechaun accent)…….It’s some crazy times out here in architecture land, keep on designing and remember architecture will forever be magically delicious!
** I’ve been careless on properly referencing the images to their source…meaning I haven’t and just used an image search engine. Inform me if I’ve used any copywritten images and I’ll remove the image and send you an apology card.