Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Architect's Wife

Brian and I have been married now for almost nine years and as his wife, I have become immersed in the world of architecture.  Here are some lay person's architectural observations, or if you are like me, how you know you are married to an architect:

-There is a profound difference between flashing and streaking... If you do one, your building is water-repellent.  If you do the other one, you get arrested and your video ends up on you-tube.

-Architects don't do math contrary to public opinion.  That is why there are structural engineers.

-Some days, architects do nothing but color.

-Architects all have stories about themselves or someone else they knew in school who suffered some egregious injury with some cutting tool that happened because they were sleep deprived.  Like the guy who tried to cut a small two inch chunk of wood with a huge power saw.  Let's just say that didn't end well.  In Brian's case, cut his finger with an x-acto blade down to the bone and went around showing all his friends his bone before realizing he probably shouldn't see his bone and promptly passed out.

-Architects always look up when walking into a new building, or as they say, space.  It is really funny to see when there is a large group gathered for some event.

-It is perfectly okay in architectural circles to call up a mechanical engineer and as how big his "unit" is. 

-A required uniform in architecture is the ubiquitous turtleneck with sport coat.  If you ever see anyone wearing this, they are almost certainly an architect.

-Architects don't get paid nearly what you think they do.  I did some sociological research on high school students once and those that wanted to become architects expected to be making in the $100,00 to $200,000 range right out of school.  Brian and his coworkers laughed for a week. 

-If there is a deadline coinciding with an incoming snowstorm, the majority of people on the project will opt to be snowed in at the office rather than their homes even going so far as bringing sleeping bags and camping gear.  Hence the term architecture widows.

-There is a right way to put on shutters.  This is not it:

-Concrete and cement are not synonymous. 

-People assume we live in some amazing architectural spectacle of a home.  No, our house looks just like the other ones in the tract.  This is typical.  And yes, living in tract homes does annoy them.

-Architects laugh when they see commercials with architects in them with actual blue drawings.  Blue prints have not been widely used for 15 years.  In fact, paper sets of drawings are starting to be phased out on big projects.   Our kids love the printouts, though, since they make really fun and huge coloring sheets!

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