At what point in their life do architects become bitter and mean?


We had our fair share of overly ambitious people at school but they were the exception and not the rule. What surprises me is that I run into former classmates every now and then and it seems that working in the real world has taken its toll on them. Some sound bitter and resentful during what seems to be a good time to be an architect and they definitely didn't sound like that when I met them back in the school years. I think we have all worked with some difficult people but I can't imagine they were always like that. At what stage do you think that architects develop these personality traits?

Have you ever though that working in this profession has altered your personality in a negative way? Don't get me wrong, we all are products of our environment and this is a tough industry with numerous toxic people.

Jul 22, 18 7:16 pm

" like a dog that's been beat too much"

Jul 22, 18 7:39 pm

Beautiful. Love it.

Especially First and the Last of Americans, the American men were murdered for blood sport by the Europeans, followed by the rest of the world; namely French-American wars, Spanish-American wars, Mexican-American wars, Korean-American War, and Japanese-American war [Pearl Harbor]; with exception to The Vietnam war.  Think about dog soldiers beaten around the bush, where were these Gods? For American landscapes whose lands did these soil belong to?  I still exist as one of the last American soldier before the 1776 U.S. Calvary.

Jul 22, 18 7:48 pm
Non Sequitur

Cool story bro, but thanksgiving is not for several more months.


maybe he's just illustrating what made him bitter. he seems to suggest he was a soldier in the cavalry in 1776. posting here 241 years later. i wonder how long his path to licensure is?


It should only be another year, he lost so many hours in that conversion and the 6 month rule, and he lost a couple tests when they went to ARE 5.0.


Is this in comparison to the point when lawyers become bitter and mean?  Or surgeons?  Engineers?  Plumbers?  Waiters?  HR managers?

Jul 22, 18 7:54 pm
Non Sequitur

The only colleagues I've seen turn bitter where those who refused to come to terms with reality aka those expected to be given a red carpet treatment in their first office and those expecting to  cure cancer with their "unique" design chops.  They are the disgruntled and bitter group.  The intelligent and realistic folks are doing just fine.

Jul 22, 18 7:59 pm

Non Sequitur, that is spot on, I was going to simplify it and say when they finally had someone tell them "No" . I guess it depends on the schools people are coming from. Some schools don't prepare folks for the world full of people and clients who are not architects as well as they could.


At what point in their life do architects become bitter and mean?

When they realize that no one wants or likes architects and that they are a regulated evil they have to get to draw up the plans and affix an architect seal so they can get a permit. Therefore, once they got the permit, they try to get away with not paying them. 

After going through that and total disdain and reinforced by asshole builders, architects becomes bitter and mean. Partly, because what we call architects in the licensing system is not really architects. 

We should get rid of the so called general contractor and architects becomes the general contractor and have licensing for each construction trade that are subcontracted by the architect.

Architects needs to learn to build. Architect is derived from Greek: arkhitekton which translated to chief builder or master builder. Architect insurance should be covering design and construction under the roles traditionally covered by architects and general contractor.

Our education system and training should encompass practical construction experience and theory of construction and construction process with the different construction systems as well as project management & construction management. 

Architecture NEEDS to be about construction of the built environment as much as the art of architectural form and basic engineering science of tectonics. Architects needs to take control of construction process and direct the construction of the built environment not just draw pictures. Really, the plans aren't for the bean counter with a business management degree (at best). The plans communicates to the inspectors, building department, and the craft trades what they need to know. Each craft trade like masons would have their 'master' mason (chief mason) who would need to be certified not only to the crafts of masonry but also read plans and interpret to a team of crafts people. Historically, that was how it was like (other than official certification).

We need a system that puts architects back in central place on the construction of the built environment. Architect made the mistake of divorcing their construction past to become an artist with an art degree. 

However, until that changes (I won't hold my breath), there will continue to be architects that will be bitter and mean.

Jul 22, 18 8:49 pm

RB-A: "no one wants or likes architects"

When this is where you start, there's nothing appreciably worthwhile in the remaining part of your post, making it essentially not worth reading. By buying in to the OP's basic premise you support an unsupportable position.

In my experience it simply is not even remotely true that the broad spectrum of architects are "bitter", "mean", "unwanted" or "unliked" (*). I know many architects who are a) in demand; b) well liked by their clients and by contractors; and c) happy as they pursue successful careers.

(*) however, those characteristics may be descriptive of some who post here on Archinect.

Jul 22, 18 9:00 pm


Most of you not true architects. A true architect is a master/chief builder. Architect is anglicized from the Greek word "arkhitekton" (after the Greek word as spoken is romanized into roman alphabet). Arkhitekton means chief/master builder. An arkhitekton is a builder. Are you a builder? Do you build buildings?


… and “doctor” originally meant teacher, “designer” originally meant someone who chalked patterns, in the 1800s "programmer" meant someone who planned events and later someone who planned radio content (you're always calling yourself a programmer, but how many weddings have you planned, and how much radio content are you responsible for?  By your logic you're not a "true programmer" without those on your resume), and barbers originally performed dentistry and minor surgery in addition to cutting hair - would you like to see "true barbers" still doing that?  Language and professions evolve. None of these words mean the same thing now as they did hundreds or thousands of years ago. Maybe you’d be less bitter working in a historic reenactment. Colonial Williamsburg might need a cooper, collier, or chandler.


Hooray! We can turn this into the dumpster fire !!!! You know I'm trying to stoke the fire here.

Anyway, you're right. Terms have been redefined. 


PS: computer programmers were early on called computer coders or coder for short..... largely from the language called 'Speedcode' but partly it stems from cryptology and message encoding & decoding as was among the early use of computers. Early on, we were called computer coders in the computer field.

I would still use the term coder but this term is still used in the 'scene' than it is used as much in modern computing.


...and "coder" originally, in the 1300s when it came into use, was one who stitched together quires of manuscript pages. So if you're a "true coder" let's see those sewing skills Ricky.


eeayeeayo, sure, I'll get the big sewing needle !!!!

Code traces back to Old French 'code' which mean "system of laws, law book". A compiler of laws..... ah.... LAWYER'S BITCH !!!!

from latin: codex and the earlier caudex. 


"Coder" didn't even exist linguistically until significantly later and coder was actually short hand for "computer encoder". Which means put into code. So a Computer Encoder would form a systematic compilation of laws of computer operations. Each command is an instruction that defines the operation and parameters of the operation. The program is the system of laws of computer system operations.


Here is a completely new occupation that needs to be defined in words as understand in the language of the people. Architects was an existing profession that basically give up on their primary role in society to only focus on the glamorous work of making pretty pictures and entertaining clients. That's because a group of snobby rich kids who went to Ecoles Beaux Arts from the U.S. came back to the U.S. and couldn't get why clients didn't want them because they couldn't lift a 2x4 if their life depended on it. They were a bunch of weaklings who never lifted anything heavier than a book or not even that....maybe nothing heaver than their pencil. They new nothing about how buildings are put together. They then formed a club..... the AIA so they can force out real architects (who built what they designed) so they can control the market. Because they were from rich family background with inherited wealth, they took that money and bribed elected politicians in the states to illegally adopt into law the architect licensing laws.


Until the 20th century, architects in general BUILT what they designed or otherwise functioned as what we call GENERAL CONTRACTORS and contracted the craft-trades (tradesmen) to build it and functioned in the role of coordinating the trades. Managing construction WAS your job.


The concept of the GENERAL CONTRACTOR as the coordinator of craft trades didn't come into being until the 20th century. The Architect was the GC/CM. The Architect managed the construction. Building Designers functionally the same in the exempt buildings domain. However, we started seeing the role of GC emerge in the licensing of construction.


There were builders working multiple trades but the role Architects were having over construction was shifting from last half of the 1800s to the mid-1990s when Architects were divorcing their role in construction and taking less and less of a role in the construction.


How's the dumpster fire going?


In the computer software development field, we have the excuse of being a new profession and the challenge to define the occupation in an established language. Your in an old 10,000 year old profession that chose to do less and expect to be paid more. Only with architect does 'less is more' but that logic doesn't equate to money and math that the rest of the world goes by..... doing less does not mean get paid more by the client.


This forum needs a trigger to block someone from replying to themselves more than twice.


I've had him on ignore since last year, and it makes the threads sort of funny - there are all these little lists of "RickB is ignored by you" 8 or 10 times in a row so I can see he's having a grand old time talking to himself, but it never seems to affect the flow or meaning of the rest of the thread - it's like everybody else is talking over him and he's 100% unnecessary. He's like glitter, or tinsel - really aggravating when you can see it all over the place, and it gets everywhere you don't want it - but it serves no practical purpose, and when you don't have it you never miss it.


I guess dumpster fires are the norm here. How about you dumpster dive!

That may mean American Architects by heritage which these buildings were discarded by the new government by these worldly influences.

Jul 22, 18 9:38 pm

Did you ask them when you ran into them? Some of my former classmates are a little mean and bitter and I think it is from working too hard and not taking care of themselves. 

Jul 22, 18 10:35 pm

Clearly I'm not working in the right places. My colleagues have all been rather pleasant folks.

Jul 23, 18 12:03 am

they are mean and bitter because there profession failed them.  Whats sad is that they dont even realize it.

Jul 23, 18 12:25 am

I never worked with bitter or mean people I think.

Jul 23, 18 3:52 am

well good for you Europeans then. americans yell at work. a lot.


we also have lawyers


There are people here too that are mean and bitter but I prefer not to work with them.


I've been told I have a curmudgeon old man soul since around 12-15.  I've got college friends and neighbors who (mostly lovingly) have nicknamed me Grandpa.  Architecture didn't do this to me, but maybe something about architecture attracted my geezer spirit.  It must be all the submittals, I really like reviewing submittals.

Jul 23, 18 9:03 am

When they realize their buddy who dropped out of high school has a construction firm that has an impeccable reputation and who is worth millions.  

Jul 23, 18 9:18 am

A lot of contractors who make money do it by screwing people over. Nothing to be proud of.


Where is it written that architects are more ethical than contractors? When the MIT Center developed massive problems the first thing Gehry did was blame the contractor for his half-assed design. Ethics anyone?


Frank's is a celebrity, not an architect.


Maybe architects are bitter because our 'leaders' aren't leaders at all. People think architects are dopes because of FOG and the like.


It's a lot of work to overcome the architect as artist (who cares about leaks! Not us!) ideal that our leaders propogate.


tintt: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


born this way

Jul 23, 18 10:35 am
Since Nov 8 2016 every thinking person I know, regardless of profession, has seen their bitter-and-meanness levels rise.

Serious jokes aside, architecture *is* a hard profession, and the rewards are not monetary. I still love it. Nothing I’d rather do/be.

Doobie doobie doo.
Jul 23, 18 12:27 pm



Donna - so true. When your so called leader, er Fuher is bitter and mean, then it trickles down to the work places -

Jul 23, 18 12:33 pm

So what that you have a bully for president, that doesn't excuse anyone to be bitter and mean to other people, simply keep calling them out! And by the way, you were already whining and complaining here when Obama was commander in chief.


Many project architects with 30 or more years experience are losing their patience with the younger "BIM WITS" and can get really p'oed at us - there is this unreasonable impatience level that has become worse in the last year - a bitterness? or failed expectations?

Jul 23, 18 12:41 pm
I'm not a robot

Let's see... move an interior partition 6 inches? oops - I just deleted half the associated dimensions on sheets I'm not even working on and my curtain wall disappeared. it'll only take a day to figure it out.


No wonder people get bitter when they are still just a project architect after 30 years on the job, that's the level most people reach within 5 years of graduation.


By the time you are in your middle ages (30-45), you’ll come to understand you can’t live up to your own ideal of your youthful dreams of what your life will be like.  Somewhere, something is going to give, and you’ll have to come to terms with the reality of what your life became.  

Depending on your daily outlook and how well you are dealing with ‘what is’, you’ll be emotional flakey.  So sometimes, I envy the new interns and their starry eyed dreams… Other times it pisses me off because I know they’re gonna get wrecked and I can see it coming.  I know that instead of designing these ‘architectural statements’, they’ll be designing a few gas stations and car washes and also getting pissed off because landscape regulations were written by some other youthful dreamer who envisioned a botanical garden grade urban park should be what society wants (but didn’t account for the realities of pull-in, drive-out, turn radius’s, and all the pavement it takes to simply have building like that function).  

By your middle-ages, you'll see stupid people everywhere and it takes a toll on your outlook and perspectives.  And in our highly regulated, slow as shit (3 years average project length), dealing with hundreds of folks looking at your work, you'll see dumb most everywhere with the occasional unicorns to give you hope again. 

Jul 23, 18 2:48 pm

+++mighty. I turned 30 earlier this year, and I've already been turned into a skeptic. In the years I've been doing this job, I've realized that so much of the job is telling other people how to do their jobs. You need to be skeptical of others in order to make sure others (contractors and consultants both) stay on schedule, on budget, and don't try to pull the wool over your eyes by promising one thing and delivering something else. Of course, there are excellent contractors out there - those are the true unicorns IMO.


mightyaa: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

At what point in their life do architects become bitter and mean?

After reading too many forum posts by whiny bitches complaining about the profession.

Jul 23, 18 7:15 pm

Are there any forums similar to archinect for artists actually, and if so, how's the atmosphere?


drama queens?

I wonder what Ricky posts there. But not enough to go look.


looks like the 5th ring of hell in there


Miles, I'll save you the trouble. The grand number of posts from me on that forum adds up to a GRAND TOTAL of 0.

@random - Art is no worse than architecture. Some overentitled asshole offered 2/3 for a piece today. My response: if you can't afford it you should buy something cheaper.


Miles, tell me it aint so: the ultra-rich in your locale try to do to you what the ultra-rich in our region try to do to artists? It would seem that becoming wealthy would mean a 'lessening' of that sort of thing, or at least, some element of 'habitus' (education, sophistication, culture & societal respectability). I suppose, though, if J. Paul Getty made someone pay for their own typewriter at Standard Oil..........


Overentitled assholes are the worst, and it's not that they can't afford to pay the regular price, they feel they deserve a deal.


Too many of them got rich by screwing everyone in sight. Why would they suddenly change the m.o. that got them where they are?


.....when you are hired in a large firm for wages that bagboys at the supermarket can top, until they pay you what the bagboys make

......when work your heart out for your employer, and at the end of the year they give you a 0.25 cent raise

......when your employer lies about you to the other partners so he can cover himself from pro-bono work that he promised, saying that it was your project to work on after-hours

......when you get on your own, and begin working, and you get a bad client or two who threaten to sue when you truly were not at fault

.......when clients stiff you for payment (delay payment)

.......when clients don't pay you at all (non-payment)

........when contractors take credit for your design as their own

........when the Interior Decorator becomes involved in your project - that's when everyone else loses...........

........when people string you along for free advice, holding out an invisible carrot of a potential project

........when the City lies to you about promised work, and then gives it to a boutique bigbigbucks firm from the sixth borough of New York

........when clients quote HGTV and THIS OLD HOUSE to see if you knew about the latest gizmos and practices......'thought you knew this'?

........and much much more! 

Note to Miles - don't worry, wont go on Ad Nauseum about this..........!  

All - ask me how many T-Shirts I have now! 

Jul 24, 18 9:43 am
Le Courvoisier
I was 6 when I became bitter and mean, so you know...Architecture was the perfect profession for me.

(Not all of us are bitter and mean)
Jul 25, 18 2:11 pm
Never let the bastards get you down.
Jul 31, 18 12:27 am

yup. the trick is, be the bastard.


Why to be a bastard and spread the misery?

( o Y o )

When ARE fees go up?

Jul 31, 18 9:49 am

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