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If you are looking for inspiration to reproduce this type of language, we recommend the el Manual de Discurso Automático para Arquitectos by José Ramón Hernández Correa in his blog.

Architects are from Venus and their Clients are from Mars

los arquitectos son de venus y los clientes son de marte

Cover of the book “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” modified by the authors.

“What the architects want from their clients is what their clients expect of them!”

Authors: Raquel Martínez & Alberto Ruiz

Scene 1

X., architecture student in his first year of ‘Designs’ prepares to present her proposal to Y, an experienced professor in the area who gazes at him disinterestedly.

He begins his explanation by presenting the entrance to the building, the size of the entrance hall and how the rooms are to be laid out. Y interrupts him. He alleges that the design is dull, lacking soul and creativity. He asks him where the poetry is and what his intentions are.

X., confused and somewhat humiliated, picks up his blueprints in silence. He doesn’t believe it is the time or place to insult him.

Scene 2.

  1. after some hard years in her studies and with her brand new degree under her arm, receives her first client, Z, a local builder looking for a young architect for a modest housing development.
  2. begins to speak of her proposal to develop atmospheres for living, of the morphological fusion enabling one to dream of new, blanketing urban spaces. Z. interrupts X, looks at her, puffs, stands up and leaves her office.

X., confused and humiliated, picks up her blueprints in silence. She doesn’t think believe it is the time or place to insult him.

In an article in Stepienybarno, El lenguaje de los arquitectos, published in La ciudad viva, the authors press the difference between speech and jabbering, so frequently found in our profession which routinely complains about society’s distorted view of its work. We do not understand how we can be identified with the stereotype of a whimsical, self-serving professional that is more of a nuisance than a helpful building partner.

The blame, as usual, is laid elsewhere. Society is not prepared for our well-meaning designs. The opinions of the “uninitiated” are of little importance to us, and all too often, we choose deliberately cryptic language learnt and assimilated in the classroom. It may be poetic and evocative, but not only is it ungraspable, generally speaking, it is devoid of any real content.

The recent appearance on the digital scene of a well-known chef asking in his Twitter account about intrinsic knowledge associated with ravioli made for hours of fun over the summer. So often, our quest to be transcendent leads us to make utter fools of ourselves. But because it’s easy to see fault in others, we invite our readers to open any page of an architectural review at random. We did:

“The future resulting cloister, (…) shall consist of a flowing, panoptical space that will turn what was a simple courtyard into an extended and inverted homothetic transformation of the dual countenance home.”

True that one can argue this type of writing is found in specialised publications and that all groups have their own special jargon, a sort of insider’s code only for members of the sect. But is that what we really want? Does it make any sense for us to insist on closing ourselves off into our own endogamic microcosm as we drift increasingly farther and farther off from the society we aim to serve? Is it our architecture that we are interested in, or should we rethink how we should be communicating it?

On another count, we have the feeling that many members of the sect do not understand or like this type of language but remain silent so as not to make themselves feel out of place. After all, there is nothing easier than to imitate the meaningless, pseudo-sophisticated chatter.1 Go take a look at the lower house of Parliament if you don’t believe us…

In short: Fewer designs for living in non places and more homes on empty lots!

Text translated by Beth Gelb
Notas de página

If you are looking for inspiration to reproduce this type of language, we recommend the el Manual de Discurso Automático para Arquitectos by José Ramón Hernández Correa in his blog.

Raquel Martínez, Arquitecto por la ETSAM (2000), y Alberto Ruiz, arquitecto por la ETSAM (2001) y Máster en Teoría, Historia y Análisis de la Arquitectura (2014); son amigos y residentes en Madrid. Desde el año 2009 están involucrados en el Grado en Fundamentos de la Arquitectura de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) en el que son profesores. Comparten interés por la arquitectura de mediados del siglo XX y el dibujo a mano, algunos proyectos profesionales y un espacio de reflexión en el blog arquitectura con minúsculas.

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