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Choose your life

Urinal vineta en la Bienal de Venecia de 2014 comisariada por Rem Koolhaas. Foto de Fabio Omero

Urinal at the 2014 Venice Biennale curated by Rem Koolhaas. Photo by Fabio Omero (flicr – CC)

Choose a school. Choose a workshop. Choose a director and a final project. Choose a Master’s degree you haven’t got a clue about and specialise. Choose competitions, workshops, rigged prizes and magazines where they’ll never publish what you’ve written.  Choose a firm and work without getting paid. Choose to be a bogus self-employee and choose unfair competition.  Choose a school. Choose an insurance policy and your partners in the firm. Choose to wear black or to wear prints and a couple of moleskin notebooks and buy a Mac. Choose a posture and say there are too many architects and too many schools. Choose not to emigrate while you cry out that the world is wide and you have to go out and look for work. Choose to be frustrated with something you never wanted but everyone encouraged you to attain. Choose exile, hypocrisy or failure. It doesn’t matter.  Choose to measure up to names that have been famous for fifty years.  Choose to be someone just like anyone else. Choose your future. Choose architecture….But why would we choose something like that? We chose not to choose. And the reason why? There is no reason. Do you really choose when you have no choice?

Ewan McGregor em Trainspotting, 1996

When you study architecture, people think it’s about sleepless nights, stress, caffeine, plotters that don’t print and foam board models. But what they forget about is the satisfaction involved. After all, we’re not imbeciles. Well, at least not too much. Take the greatest victory you’ve ever achieved and elevate it to the nth degree and you’ll still be far from knowing what I’m talking about. Once you’re inside the game, you become single-minded. You have to deliver. And once you do, all of a sudden you have a thousand things going on that you have to pay attention to, like I don’t have money, I need to work, I need to work but I can’t cover my expenses. I have work, I need help. I have help but I can’t pay them back… Schools, insurance, social security payments for the self-employed, registration and subscription fees that definitely won’t pay for themselves. You stop going out, you stop calling, you stop your hobbies and you stop absolutely everything standing in your way of turning in your final project.

The only problem, or at least the biggest problem is that you have to put up with all sorts of people who ask you “why don’t you come to my firm and put in a few hours for free?”, “turn it in just like that. No one is going to look at it anyway”, “my cousin studied I-don’t-know-where and finished in just five years ”, “you needn’t be in any hurry to finish because there’s no work to be found”… Sometimes even I have pronounced those magic words ‘what’s all this for’?

We aspire to a job with fair conditions, designs where we can prove ourselves, an opportunity to prove to ourselves that we haven’t thrown the last 10 years of our lives into the bin, to shutting off the light before we go to bed at night thinking that it was all worth while.

Choose your architecture. Choose your profession. Choose your future… Choose your life.



This blog is a parody paraphrasing the introduction to the film “Trainspotting” directed by Danny Boyle in 1996 (an adaptation of a novel by the same name written by Irvine Welsh), where the story is told of a group of Scottish heroin addicts lacking any ambitions in life.

Text translated by Beth Gelb
(Murcia, 1986) Arquitecto y Arquitecto Técnico por la UCAM. Dirige el blog Pedacicos Arquitectónicos junto a Antonio Navarro y Juan Francisco Martínez además de MetaSpace Blog junto a Manuel Saga, desarrollando paralelamente su labor profesional en el campo de la construcción, el diseño y la docencia.

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