Do you think architects are uptight?


Uptight.  Let's see.  Stiff, rigid, aloof, concerned with their image on a subjective level, overly concerned with being cool, packaged in that you can almost guess their positions on things in checklist form.  Well, are they?

Mostly, I'd say yes.  I'd say engineers and scientists are more uptight, except for the coolness part.  By and large, I'd say lawyers and businesspeople are less uptight.  Since they don't have to deal with the artistic and egotistical aspects of architecture and the more black & white and exacting aspects of engineering and science, lawyers and businesspeople seem to live in the big picture, especially the further up they go.  Others who are less uptight might be teachers, social workers, and others who work with the public at almost all times.

Different occupations have different collective personalities and norms.  How often do you see people cut up in either architectural school or practice?  Not often.  The discerning finger is up by the chin as they strike a pose ... and they turn into concrete statues.  Just kidding.  Your thoughts?

May 10, 13 5:28 pm

I know many fun architects outside academia.  But some of the architecture faculty I run across act uptight and unpleasant for some unknown reason.  Of these, their demeanors seem to range from "I smell something bad" to "I have a Louisville Slugger rammed up my ass."

May 10, 13 6:43 pm

UP TIGHT.....every time I go to one of the AIA Seminars....and I walk in wearing blue jeans and a polo shirt and cowboy boots   I feel the tension in the room build.  Then when I stand up and ask the keynote speaker if he really believes the shit he is saying. I feel the tension in the room build.  Then when I  inflate my blow up doll girlfriend at the sit down dinner meeting I feel the tension in the room build.  Then when i prick her with a pin and she deflates and I say....ah it was only a one night stand....people ease up and realize I was there to have a good time.

May 10, 13 6:56 pm

I find design architects to be generally uptight and pretentious.  Basically, the less the person knows about construction and building science, the farther in the stick goes.  (Based on my observation.)

I generally find engineers to be pretty down to earth people.

May 10, 13 7:20 pm

I find design architects to be generally uptight and pretentious. 

Yes.  I agree.  Architectural faculty can be another pill, especially design faculty.  It's faux intellectualism.  I mean, if you're a social psychologist, and you conduct a statistical study, you've got something to hang your pyscho-babble on. The generalist architects can be cool, and those are the ones I count as friends, outside of the workplace.  And, they have a keen eye on life, and can call things accurately, though sometimes it's done in a very low key and subtle way.

Actually, let me back up on business types.  Most of my friends were in  marketing.  Again, more fun and less tech ... usually outgoing and "water off a duck's back" types, too.  Accountants can be an anal retentive and overly conservative.  Finance types can be haughty, with investment bankers sometimes bordering on venomous.  Did I miss anybody?

So, yes, it depends on the architect, or should I say, the strata of architect.

May 10, 13 8:32 pm

totally but you can't deny after going through school with architects, most people seem hella boring xD

May 10, 13 10:40 pm

Pretentiousness is the only thing most architects have to cling to.  God knows it aint the money.

May 13, 13 10:09 am

I don't know if there is a profession that can be generalized anymore.  My office has the comedian, the know it all, the pessimist, the social butterfly, the family man, the divorcee, the shoe polisher, the untucked shirt wearer, the prius driver, the 70's chevelle enthusiast, the backstage rocker, the coach... and that's the architect next to me.  I don't think it's possible to be one personality.

I've met some real stick in the muds, but then I've also met some wild socialites...  I think it just comes down to how willing someone is to throw themselves on the hot coals.  I will say that liquor seems to be a common denominator.

May 13, 13 10:40 am

The only thing worse than a poor and pretentious architect is a rich and pretentious one.

May 13, 13 10:40 am


Interesting.  Personally, I prefer the comedians, the walking encyclopedias, and the "it is what it is"/no bullshit types.  They make it palatable.  The prima donnas and those who get a rise out of stirring the pot do not.

I will disagree on the alcohol transforming people part.  I am myself, sans alcohol, and so are most of the other interesting personalities.  One drink ... and I'm asleep.  That's why I don't drink.  Unless it's an open bar at a wedding or something ... and it's FREE.

We had one really short guy who liked to go to the strip shows during lunch.  When he resigned, that's where we took him for his going away party.

May 13, 13 11:40 am

I don't think I fit that description, but observant might.

May 13, 13 11:55 am


Nothing is better than an office that clicks and is very open about things... I can ask just about any dumb question I can think of, and there is typically a very honest answer (mostly positive)

We as a group go out a few times a year, both luncheons or off the clock (luckily in part because we have some very outgoing co-workers who host) and really get a sense of what we are about and do. 

It also helps that we do a few restaurant projects and the owners are typically pleased with our hard work, so we try them out as a group... never been a better guarantee for great food and service!

May 13, 13 12:09 pm

I don't think I fit that description, but observant might.

Well, to those on here who are in the "way cool" / "let's keep it bohemian" set, I probably would be considered uptight ... and a douche bag to boot.  So, you're preaching to the choir.  But have a nice day, anyway.

May 13, 13 12:16 pm


Actually, "inside jokes," invented acronyms, and nicknames are the social lubricants, from what I've seen.

May 13, 13 12:17 pm
Ahahahaha snooker I can't stop laughing at that image!!!!
May 14, 13 10:00 am
won and done williams

snooker wins post of the year.

Actually I just left the design-side of the profession for the client-side and since the move, I've gained a whole new respect for architects. I appreciate how anal architects are - the need to always get things right. Owners and contractors drive me crazy always wanting to come up with the "solution" over a 5 minute conversation. Yes, sometimes (usually) architects can be painfully slow, but generally, I will take stiff, rigid, and anal as long as it translates to careful, thoughtful, and meticulous in design.

May 14, 13 10:41 am

The personalities of two virtual personae I'd created here--Rita Novel and Wolfhilde von Schlittenfahrt--were based on what one might consider to be the exact opposite of "the up-tight architect." No wonder their sense of humor remained unmatched, and thier criticism operated like a voodoo pin. God how they used to make me laugh.

And speaking of brown paper packages tied up with string...


Rita Novel 2005.04.03:

face the fax

Mies van der Rohe architecture is so gay!
"less is more" -- how gay can you get?
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture is so gay!
and the hat and cape he wore -- how gay can you get?
Le Corbusier architecture is so gay!
promenade architecturale -- how gay can you get?
Trumbauer and Abele architecture is so gay!
gosh is that stuff gay!!!
Koolhaas architecture -- gay! gay! gay!
Koolhaas architecture -- gay! gay! gay!
Libeskind architecture, that's gay with a beard!
Lebbeus Woods architecture, that crazy mixed-up gay!
Paul Rudolph architecture, well there's a sado-masochist in every crowd.
Look around, you're all gay!


Wolfhilde von Schlittenfahrt five days from now seven years ago:

Schlittenfahrt: "Hallo."

Koolhaas: "Wolfhilde, it's me, Rem."

Schlittenfahrt: "Are you calling for some metro-sex again?"

Koolhaas: "No, no. I'm calling if Josh and I can come over?"

Schlittenfahrt: "You mean like a metro-menage or something?"

Koolhaas: "No, no. Josh and I just split up and we now need your advise as to what we should do next."

Schlittenfahrt: "Oh, that's a shame, you and Josh made such a nice couple. Let me guess, it turned out you both snore, right? Anyway, come on over. I'm just in the mood to give you guys my new Baroque Pregnancy test. The test results will let each of you know what to do next."

Koolhaas: "Thanks Wolfhilde. We'll be right over. Oh, before I forget, did Rita Novel change her cell number or something? I tried calling her several times and nothing happens."

Schlittenfahrt: "Oh, she's just taking a vacation on Uranus. Apparently everybody's doing that these days."

May 14, 13 10:52 am

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