Old Fart Architects?

Chad Miller

Random question.  When are you considered to be an old fart architect?  Asking for a friend.  

Oct 3, 19 10:54 am
( o Y o )

when you cant figure out which kind of architect glasses to get

Oct 3, 19 11:02 am

When you ask one of the kids for help with your email.

Oct 3, 19 11:18 am

Young architect to age 39. Old fart anytime afterwards that you say or do something stupid like complain about Revit.

My hand is firmly raised and has been since about age 45.

Oct 3, 19 11:19 am



Ah, fuck.

atelier nobody

But, but, but, what if my complaints about Revit are all well-founded?

atelier, ALL complaints about Revit are well-founded. It's awful. But if you're above 39 and say them you'e an old fart.

If you don't do Revit you're an old fart. If you don't do CAD you're a mummified fart.

What if you do Revit, but so poorly that your BIM manager panics a little everytime you offer to pick up some redlines?

(looks up from roll of canary trace)- revit?


Don't offer to pick up redlines.


I've been 40 for a month now and I have to say, it's true. Like the last month has been me being confused about everything. And somehow getting rewarded for it by other old farts.


Our office switched from normal phones to a headset that plugs into your computer. Like years ago. This is the ultimate old fart litmus test. It has nothing to do with age, but it still correlates closely. 

Old farts went from normal phone conversations to screaming like donkeys as soon as headsets were given to them. No sign of this changing any time soon. Office often feels like call center in India. Outyell the customer!

Some of these are senior experts at Revit implantation. Still, this is my old fart test. Losing that self awareness aspect with introduction of something surprisingly minor. 

Oct 3, 19 12:45 pm

I noticed the same when an office I was working at did the same. Now I'm back to old-fashioned regular phones and I actually miss the headsets. Mostly because of the integration with Outlook for receiving messages, etc. Nothing better than just forwarding a voicemail to someone else in an email and telling them to take care of it. It also meant I didn't have to set up call forwarding to my cell when I work from home or am out of the office.

Oh god I yell into my phone frequently. I think of it as a courtesy to the listeners on the other end, since phone connections are so shitty these days, but the courtesy to the phone person is hellish for my coworkers.


i leave my desk phone unplugged and tell everyone just to use my cell so i can 1. screen calls 2. use my airpods 3. avoid the obnoxious blare of the deskphone's incoming call alarm 4. never have to hurry back to my desk. does this make me antioldfart, or just cranky?

I don’t answer the phone. Fuck ‘em. If it’s important they will leave a message.

One day, the fact that we once used phones for two-way vocal communication will make us all old farts


It's all relative.  I'd always heard that architects don't even reach full competence until their mid-fifties, and now that I'm there I feel more or less competent, but far from old.  For me it's the ones who spend a lot of time talking about the days of pin registration drafting, ammonia fumes,  and the horror of getting ink spots on their white dress shirts. But I do notice their ranks are rapidly thinning...

Oct 3, 19 1:35 pm
atelier nobody

I know the young kids in the office think of me as an old fart, but I'm only 52 - that's mid-career for an architect.

Oct 3, 19 1:36 pm

I'm almost Old Fart...... and if licensed, some day, I'd be Old Fart from get go. That actually depends on if I actually age which it hasn't seemed like it in the last 15 years.

Oct 3, 19 4:48 pm

Being an old fart has little to do with age, and more to do with attitude. That's why you only become an old fart when you complain about technology or reminisce about out-dated techniques and processes (even if they were state-of-the-art at the time you learned them). You can delay inevitable old-fartdom (TM) for quite some time by embracing the newer technologies and techniques.

Oct 3, 19 5:22 pm
atelier nobody

They can have my Koh-I-Noor leadholder when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Even so, this is how I know you aren't an old fart architect ... yet

atelier nobody 

I'm having to edit specs in Word, with MasterWorks - what is it, 1940 or some shit?!?!

OCT 3, 19 6:09 PM

The old fart architects I know think MasterWorks is cutting edge


(what is cutting edge in spec writing these days?)

Hiring someone else to write them of course! 

... or using more efficient and (semi-automated) software packages like e-Specs, VisiSpecs, or Speclink that allow for better accuracy, collaboration, and coordination between you and your spec writer.


I think the term is old farthood.  (Uh oh.  Is grammatical detail another symptom?)

I’d rather be fart dumb than wear a fart hood.


If you are still using AutoCAD on an old 8086 PC, you just might be an Old Fart Architect.


If you are still making cyanotype blueprints for your client, you just might be an Old Fart Architect.


If you think Frank Lloyd Wright is some whipper snapper kid, you just might be a Dead Architect.


Apparently you're an old fart if you think that the destination (an actual built building) is more important than the journey (showing your hipness with the latest gizmo).  Funny thing is, more clients seem to agree.  Does that make them all old farts too?

Oct 3, 19 6:38 pm

A 72 year old architect asked me teach him CAD.

Oct 3, 19 6:46 pm

He’s just chatting you up ...


Are you saying I have nothing but chatter to offer?


Best think about that.

No, I'm saying he's a guy looking for some female companionship.

Chad Miller

Office romances are fraught with danger. Also, 72 year old genitals, ewwwww!


Teaching CAD. That's all boys. Calm down.

atelier nobody

I'd happily teach a 72-year-old architect CAD. You know who I hate teaching CAD to? Kids who have never learned to draft.

Revit sucks (to work on). Fuck Revit and fuck the youngsters.
Oct 4, 19 2:01 am
Chad Miller

We have found an OFA.


Revit's the worst thing ever until you compare it to the other worst things ever that Architects have used.


What's Revit?

Oct 4, 19 12:56 pm

I'm an Old Fart so I don't know how to embed a Tweet, but this is relevant.

Oct 4, 19 2:34 pm

Very relevant. 

BTW, I don't think archinect supports embedding tweets. BGH, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ugh still can't get it to work. Here's a screen shot.

Oct 4, 19 2:36 pm

That young punk can't even spell or capitalize properly.


lol. we tried this. the people who make it were very responsive and worked with us, but ultimately it wouldn't run on my computer or that of one other person would actually end up using it. it is pretty neat software, but i have an excel sheet and revit process that does the same thing almost as fast.


When was the last time you tried it? We ironed out some bugs in windows and recently shipped a mac build.


For me it came down to looking at new interns, plans examiners, zoning officials, etc. and feeling like they are children.  Followed by that self-awareness that I’ve adopt a personality  shift to mentor/parent instead of peer.  Sort of that “oh you poor naïve child…  I’ll let you sit with the grown ups if you behave and we’ll all pretend and note how mature you are because I remember when I was your age…” and then it hits you that you are reminiscing and humoring youthful ideas and concepts are a defining trait of being an old fart…..  Might as well jump in the meeting and scream “Get off my lawn!”

Oh, and another tell;  How many pens (and pencils) of different colors and tips do you have at your desk?  If you have more than 4; like a official cup completely filled with a variety of felt tips, different widths, rainbow of colors, as well as mech pencils and ball points, red pencils, etc.... you are an old fart.

Same could be said of rolls of trace paper and a couple triangles.

You are for sure an old fart if you have a magnifying glass you need to read that half-size sheet.

Oct 4, 19 3:32 pm
atelier nobody


Non Sequitur

I have hundreds or different pens and mech pencils, 2 scales, 1 drafting triangle AND a loop. Is 35y old considered old fart?

Can a millennial even be considered an old fart at this point in time?


It's all relative. If the occupation is naturally about the young like some tech jobs tends to be, then maybe. I don't think architecture fits that mold but maybe if you are old enough to have an 18 year old to 19 year old child, you might be thought as an old fart to them. That's another story altogether.

Happy Anarchy

You all be talking about technology and architectural employee (underlings/lemings) interaction, but the real sign is how you talk about your clients.

Young vs. Old:

Young: They are famous, like been in movies with a million instagram followers. Really excited to be working for them.   I got really drunk and told my girlfriend everything...wondering why they didn't call back this morning (after your girlfriend tells the world via Facebook what kind of toilet paper Brad Pitt uses).

Old Fart: Never seen that movie, that director was an intern of some sh*t B side porn producer...was it Ken? yeah we did his house, a B side porn producer, had a weird thing for shag...Is this Brad any good at acting? Insta what? like coffee? Those insta 5 gallon tanks are great.  So does this Bradley Pitt know anything about architecture?

Young:  Like rich, like sheik rich, like banker rich, like gazillionaires.  I'm like working overtime to get their attention man and I think I'm almost in.  They had me meet their daughter in midtown at her $3 million apartment to design the kitchen layout.  She's going to NYU or something, real cool, like all into the environment and vegan, which is cool considering her dad is a major Oil player.

Old Fart: I'm not seeing any of that money, broke ass rich f*cks.  Hey look at me, I have all this money, work for free for me. Whatever, here's my bill for caring, pay me.  That dumb girl daughter had her way paid into NYU, she'll just find some investment banker schmuck who will take care of her...or worse the English professor will be like a parasite on her inheritance.  That English prof will probably publish her shit poems and sell millions.... You know her father basically funded the Gulf War and he golfs with the Coke brothers!  This is why I drive Diesel produced by Willie Nelson, none of my money goes to that girl's NYU endowment tuition! and the English professor bums lifestyle. 

Young: She's a real ball busting woman.  She's like feminism in action, she's practically god.  Men don't mess with her.

Old Fart: __________________ (censored, too sexist to reproduce for this PC millenial crowd)

Young: I was up all night working through their design selections, working the Revit to the extreme making 1000 parametric versions and man was I prepared for the meeting, but was so surprised when the wife said -

Old: Oh! when she said she hates him and they are not even building that house and her dad whose worth like 10x more money than her husband would ever be approves... Yeah, I whipped out some trace in the meeting and sketched the solution:  Much to her husband's and young architect's dismay.

Frank Lloyd Wright would put blankets on the seats of cars picking up clients.  Nothing else matters.

Oct 4, 19 11:02 pm

Youngster: Oh boy, a client!

Old Fart: Oh shit, another client.

Young: Oh boy, a client!

Auntie Mame...


An old farts has the most knowledge to spread and use from  their experience. 

Oct 5, 19 12:50 am

It's true. The older the fart, the farther it has spread.


I’m old and fat does that count ?

Oct 5, 19 9:59 am
Chad Miller

It could. I'm middle aged and fat.

Do you know why farts smell?

So deaf people can enjoy them too.

[George Carlin]

Oct 7, 19 12:27 pm

"Old Fart" has nothing to do with age.   You can become one when you willfully stop learning.

Oct 8, 19 8:18 pm

Architects really don't do anything decent until they're 50, anyway.  It takes that long to get any good at it. 

Oct 8, 19 8:37 pm
Chad Miller

I think sometimes we just tell ourselves that to we have more time . . .


This is why I took a couple of years away, so I can age.

Chad Miller

Like a fine wine?

Safdie did Habitat when he was in his 20’s. Just sayin’

Just something else we say to keep the young in check and willing to work for pennies.

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