...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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November 09, 2004 || 3:40 am

I never thought I would ever be such an architect. Remembering that I adamantly told my interviewer at Cambridge that I had not intention of becoming an architect...remembering that I was told I might fail my first year...remembering the first time I tried to draw a construction detail...and how a former colleague of mine asked me curiously 'Did you ever like making models at school?" when I patched another bodged cut in a presentation model...

But here I am, finger-wagging at my poor teammates who forget to think about the wall thickness in a model, who don't consider how a window-sill works...where did I get all this from? I thought I still couldn't do this architecture stuff!

Architecture, as my interviewer at Cambridge warned, sucks you in. It creeps up on you and before you know it, well you're well and truly nerdish on the matter of window details, paving slabs and concrete finishes. One of my fellow outreach students remarked, coming back from New Orleans this weekend, how two months of architectural education had made him look at buildings completely differently. Already, he's lost that naivety of experience that we architects try desperately to recreate, to see the world through the eyes of our clients. How can we ever know, really, what value our clients place on a beautifully detailed window? And especially here, where not having a leaking roof is the major goal, what should we really be prioritising?

Already I'm abandoning my architectural instincts - I'm specifying vinyl windows, for god's sake, because hey, they are cheap, they don't need to be painted, they last OK. Never mind the fact that I desperately want to replace the UPVC window frames in my flat in London because I find them so ugly. But still, I argue desperately for the windows to be arranged to bring light in just so, for their framing details to be perhaps not the most basic, to remediate their vinyl-ness with some 'architecture'. I cling to the belief that normal non-architects do sub-consciously notice these things and that they make them happier. But none of us look at all this with the eyes of a lay person - like losing your virginity, you can't imagine how things were before.



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