This heart was found scrawled on the walls of both our decrepit elevators last week. They've since been painted over, leaving only a penciled inscription, “Where did the love go?”
It got me to thinking. Why are there so many architect couples? Many are very famous;
does working with your lover lend itself to professional success? Or is the couple/partner phenomenon a side effect of social neglect, that is, neglecting to socialize with people outside of the architectural community?
Regardless of the cause, the fact there are so many professional couples would suggest that many of them met in graduate school. As far as I can tell, however, grad school is a lousy place to meet people. Yes, there are couples among my classmates, but there's nowhere near
the level of scandal, intrigue and in-breeding that I experienced in the College of Environmental Design at Berkeley.
Could it be the weather? I thought is was the scruffy factor””staying up late, dressing “functionally,” as one friend likes to say, looking tired, etc., but that was the case in college too. Or is it maturity? Those who've seen the wreckage up-close avoid the obvious and inevitable fall-out from failed relationships with peers. Maybe Yale isn't a sexy place. But no, that's not the case. People are happy here, they're enthusiastic and ambitious, not to mention talented; that's sexy. And there are plenty of handsome and beautiful faces. Let's just be honest: architecture seems to attract good-looking people. So are we just not interested? Not focused on being romantically involved? Dividing one's time is tricky, to be sure; many students would rather devote all their energy to school while they're here and just let their other needs be ignored. Funny thing is, some of the most intensely serious people here are in and out of more relationships than anyone else””probably because they end up choosing school over the relationship.
Others arrive at school married (sometimes with children), or engaged, or practically so. These are the lucky ones, I think, because maybe 70% of my classmates who showed up “taken” on the first day of school are now not so. There's a high attrition rate for outside relationships. If you've been working and spending a lot of time with someone they may not understand what's changed no matter how many times you explain the stress of school and the simple conundrum that no project is ever really finished.
This again lends itself to the phenomenon of the architect couple. You just broke up with someone, and so did the girl at the desk next to yours, and you commiserate over how hard it was to make time for them, and presto! an architect couple is formed. The alchemy is flawless.
It's funny how few of the blogs on archinect mention the social life factor. This says VOLUMES about the nature of our lives at school. Of course, no one wants to get that personal””I've said nothing about myself per se in the lines above.
Let me reassure potential architects that there is a lot of socializing going on, if you want to be a part of it, so don't despair. Yale can even boast of its own grad student bar
, which happens to be next door to the architecture school. And there are many other haunts. I'll make this a 2-part series. Next time I'll show you them, alright?
“You take away my pain””
could you be the one to find me safe and sound?
love is how it's lost, not how it's found.”
Lyrics from “Safe and Sound,” by Azure Ray