RANT: Architects Don't READ.


Time to RANT. Here is the RANT: Architects don't read. I've been around these guys long enough to know & have a big sample size. They don't really read. Unless you count the 'Hunger Games' trilogy or 'Harry Potter'  or  'The Girl Who Kicked the Beehive' or some other such CRITE or Young Adult Fiction. Or they might read that damn Steve Jobs biography or some dumb bestseller inspirational bio shit. They read THAT stuff, sure, but when it comes to good literature, they don't read it. Which is both surprising & amazing to me because I used to think they were a pretty smart crowd. Smarter than the general population. Mostly, they're smart about other stuff, real practical beaver type stuff, but there isn't a whole lot of intellectual curiosity there. Now, I'm saying IN GENERAL. Please don't jump down my throat, it's just an observation. If I try to talk to those guys about anything other than shit TV shows or sports or some damn thing, it's a total bust. What they're really into, IN GENERAL, is doing sports or exercise stuff on the side. CrossFit, soccer, going to the gym, different leagues of all kinds. Nothing wrong with that. They do that and then they come back to architecting & yell at some contractors and then make a big deal about f'ing happy hour. It's a real isolating profession if you're not really into any of that crap. Also I've found they don't really tend to do anything creative outside of architecture, like play music or draw or anything. They THINK they draw but it's just that lame kind of architecture drawing which is just like symbols & fonts & diagrams & shitty little perspective sketches. They can't draw from observation or draw figures worth a crap. Which is also surprising but that a whole separate RANT. Anyway, they don't really read, that's the gist of this RANT. There was this book I recently flipped through called something like, 'Architects Bookshelves' or something stupid with all of these prominent architects and what they read. A bunch of them list Proust. That's bullshit. They never read Proust. They just think of a big book that they heard about that makes them sound smart but they never really read it. They might have a cover of Swann's Way that they put over their damn hunger games book. Such bullshit. So just to warn any of you that are thinking of going into architecture because you think it's filled with creative, intellectually curious people, it's NOT. It might have a few scattered in here and there, but on the whole, it's filled with slightly smarter than normal mainstreamers.

Jun 3, 14 2:28 pm

too long. 

didn't read

Jun 3, 14 3:02 pm

The world is filled with a bunch of real normal people, doing the things that society smiles on and rewards, the fun things that result in social interaction. That you think architects would be any different just shows you a) have/ had unrealistic expectations about the world b) think that you are special, and by extension, architects are (or should be) special.


Your propensity for reading books is no more valid than other's propensity for playing sports or going to bars. Just because it doesn't fit your lifestyle, does not mean it is wrong.

If you really can't stand to be around these people, you should change professions, or just try being less of an uptight ass.

Jun 3, 14 3:05 pm

picture's still worth 1000 words. 

Jun 3, 14 3:11 pm

Personally I prefer the movies.  

Jun 3, 14 3:29 pm


Jun 3, 14 3:34 pm

you really have no idea what goes on in the heads of others and you sound very egotistical to me. Go read a book about narcissism.   

Jun 3, 14 3:35 pm


Jun 3, 14 3:40 pm


Jun 3, 14 3:43 pm


Jun 3, 14 3:44 pm


Jun 3, 14 3:45 pm

Does A Song of Ice and Fire count as a legitimate series, or is that on par with Hunger Games?

Jun 3, 14 3:46 pm

Sorry, A Song of Ice and Fire has 7,830 rating and 3,729 reviews on Amazon; it's not esoteric enough.

Jun 3, 14 3:50 pm

David Foster Wallace

Jun 3, 14 4:07 pm

what if those reviews were from 3,729 esoteric reviewers?

Jun 3, 14 4:18 pm

But.... But.... Game of Thrones

Jun 3, 14 5:14 pm

If there's 3,729 of them, they're not esoteric, are they.

Jun 3, 14 5:27 pm

You call that a rant? Amateur.

Jun 3, 14 6:15 pm


Jun 3, 14 6:34 pm

Sounds like someone did not get accepted into architecture school.

Jun 3, 14 6:52 pm
Once again, Miles w the win
Jun 3, 14 6:53 pm
Non Sequitur

The OP must be real fun at parties.

Jun 3, 14 7:18 pm

"Architecture...  filled with slightly smarter than normal mainstreamers."

That's going onto my new letterhead.

Jun 3, 14 7:22 pm


Jun 3, 14 7:31 pm

citizen, that made me spit bourbon on my keyboard.  Excellent.

jdparnell also gets a ++.

The bourbon, by the way, is what I sip whilst smoking a cigar in my black turtleneck seated on my LC2 Gran Confort while reading Proust. I mean Bachelard. But actually I mean Kobo Abe. But really Thomas Pynchon.

Jun 3, 14 9:59 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

"Architecture...  filled with slightly smarter than normal mainstreamers."

Your rant nailed it actually.  Barista's with pencils and little black sketch books.


Proust is beneath me, if it ain't Deleuze, Derrida, Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, Agamben, Virillo, Baudrilliard, and most importantly Peter Eisenman - I ain't wasting my time. simulate this simulacra vector blob paremtrico good times bret michaels poison spam.



The prequel to The Hunger Games

Jun 3, 14 10:20 pm

I understand the impulse to rant against pompous morons.

I have to watch myself when I sit in on reviews and there's one or two douche-nozzle types practically sneering at the work on the wall, making snide comments, only criticizing and making no effort to help the students.  (My term for this is "smugfuckery," as in "activity perpetrated by someone who is a smug fuck.")   I want to punch them.

Though that behavior seems annoyingly frequent, it's not (thank God) everyone in our field.  So to broadbrush like the OP is just wrong, though I get the emotion.

Jun 4, 14 12:11 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

the prequel to Hunger Games, again...

smugfuckers are slightly smarter than normal mainstreamers.

Jun 4, 14 10:21 pm
boy in a well

something something too and fro

something something michelangelo

Hurry up, please, its time . . .

hegel was fun, kant was useful, deleuze on kant was worthwhile; would recommend a good skim of grammatology.

only three books into proust; swear by bolano; William carlos Williams on a pedestal;

auto da fe all the way

mmmmmm, musil....

are we still including burroughs? ( I mean, cats and love and all...blech)

tristram slim shandy?

letters not about love?

young boys deserve it special?

transcripts of hollis Frampton drunk with carl andre

I guess I don't know any architects.

Jun 5, 14 2:02 am

"there is no there" is from a book, I borrowed it.

Jun 5, 14 9:59 am


Jun 5, 14 11:20 am

have you ever gotten through Being and Time by Heidegger you fucking fuck? I didn't think so. maybe the reason why there aren't many architects that read and do things outside of their creative bubble is because they fucking suck too, just like you. Performance art, sculpture, film, industrial design, robotics, computation, architecture and fashion are all interwoven and any great designer should be able to reference these to their ideas. If not, you're just a fucking shmuck architect.

And while you were busy reading and theorizing like a pussy-bitch, we were out making ideas in the real world. GOML motherfucker. 

//architecture or revolution//

Jun 5, 14 11:47 am

you sound angry courvo

Jun 5, 14 11:52 am

Hey, did y'all know that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a kid?  I swear I read that somewhere....

Jun 5, 14 2:28 pm


Jun 6, 14 10:43 am

I thought it was PHILOSPHATE.

Jun 6, 14 11:31 am
Olaf Design Ninja_

In archispeak its philo[texture] - striated mediation of diagrams of ontological vectors in space......deleuze eisenman lynn kwinter kafka futurism.....thats heavy reading mofo! Can you do that in a sentence?

Jun 6, 14 6:41 pm

So, I could taunt you like everyone else here but that is what you are looking for, isn't it?  Actually I am very interested in what books you think are the best since you seem to be an expert on "good books".  Can you share 5 you think are excellent??


Ken Nesland Landscaping

Jun 6, 14 7:49 pm

@Donna Sink

You got me into Pynchon right here on this forum.  I've made the call to re-read Gravity's Rainbow before getting into his other stuff tho.

Thanks, LB, you're the shit.

Jun 6, 14 7:52 pm

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