To Be or Not to Be, That is the Question

To be or not to be… That is the question.

That little word, “not”, that thin line that separates BEING an architect from NOT BEING an architect is so subtle that it’s easy to get confused – as we’ve seen recently.

Did I leave the gas turned on? Did I lock the car? Did I finish my degree in Architecture? In the frenetic whirlpool of modern life, we ask ourselves these kinds of questions almost every day.

So, for those of you who sometimes forget whether you’re an architect or not, or who were left a bit groggy by so many hours of study at university, or are now a politician and can’t remember whether or not you were an architect before that … here are some foolproof tricks to jog your memory:

If you stayed at home making models out of matchsticks or finishing projects to meet deadlines while your friends were out on the town, you’re probably an architect (unless you dropped out mid-course).

If you can’t sew but often use needles and thread to make concept models, you’re probably an architect.

If you’ve had bags under your eyes since you were 18, you’re probably an architect – or something else. But if you haven’t got them, the probability that you’re an architect is almost zero.

If you usually wear black, but sometimes let your hair down and wear brighter colours like grey or navy blue, you’re probably an architect.

If your grandparents feel as proud about what you studied as your friends feel sorry for you about it, you’re probably an architect.

If your family are always asking you to draw an elephant or a unicorn for your little nephew because they all take it for granted that you’re good at drawing, you’re probably an architect.

If you’ve got more programmes on your computer than on your cable TV, you’re probably an architect.

If words like AutoCAD, 3dsMax, Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Presto, CYPE and Illustrator aren’t Greek to you, you’re probably an architect.

If the people you’re with look at you waiting for an explanation every time you visit an old building, you’re either a tourist guide or an architect.

If the people you’re with stare at you in surprise because you seem to see things they can’t see every time you visit a contemporary building, you’re either a medium or an architect.

If you talk about “transition” when you’re at work and you’re not a historian, you’re probably an architect.

If you talk about “corridors” when you’re at work and you’re not an air traffic controller, you’re probably an architect.

If you talk about “volume” and you’re not a sound technician, you’re probably an architect.

If you talk about “overhangs” and you’re not a mountaineer, you’re probably an architect.

If you talk about “textures” and you’re not a clothes designer, you’re probably an architect.

If you’ve got a degree in Architecture and you’re not a forger, you’re probably an architect.

And if you can’t remember whether you’re an architect and you’re not an amnesiac, you’re very probably not one.

To be or not to be… That is a question-of professional encroachment.


Text translated by Andrew V. Taylor
Autor:
Arquitecto formado en la U. Europea de Madrid y la New School of Architecture and Design de San Diego (California, USA). | MArch bajo la docencia de Álvaro Siza, E. Souto de Moura, Aires Mateus, Carlos Ferrater o Fran Silvestre (con quien ha colaborado) entre otros. | Actualmente desarrolla su Tesis Doctoral sobre la materialidad de la luz natural y su carácter cinético en la obra de Siza, lo cual compagina con el trabajo del estudio (www.raulgarcia-studio.com)

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