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Guest post: The Children of Architecture

This guest post was written by my daughter, who really needed a good use of all her post-college free time.

I used the title to make this blog post seem deceivingly deep, as if I’m ruminating on the status of architecture in the twenty-first century or if the progeny masters programs produce are really up to snuff.

No, no. I’m talking about the children of architects. Really, I’m talking about myself and the ways which my mother’s career choice has made my life unpleasant.

1. Dinner conversations are boring

Look, yes, architects have friends who aren’t also architects. My mother’s social circles include interior designers, landscapers, furniture designers, contractors, engineers and artists! But architects like to hang out with each other and when you get architects together, all they can ever do is talk about architecture. Sometimes, I just want to interrupt conversations with  “WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ISRAEL”  so I can stop hearing the word “urbanization.”

2. I can’t afford anything I like!

My mother has plagued me with nice taste. I like modern, crisp and clean. Sometimes, I veer a little “youthful” as my mother dubs it (she means ugly/gaudy) but mostly, I am in the shadow of her aesthetic. But she’s a 50-something architect with income and savings and I am an unemployed 20-something. I may cling to her aesthetic but she cut the cords to her wallet years ago.

3. I am tired of buildings.

I like architecture. I like looking at buildings and talking about how they were built and why they were built in that way. But when one of your parents is an architect, no trip is complete without a “little tour” of what the city’s great buildings look like.

I wouldn’t mind just, you know, walking into a building rather than stopping at a doorway to examine the architecture.

I’ve been to New York and never made it to Times Square but I’ve been to the Guggenheim and the Whitney six times and it is not for the art!

And despite the amazing trips my mother’s interest in architecture has given me, don’t get me started on our trip to Turkey. Most days we ended up driving hours out of our way to see an old caravansary or bazaar where barely two walls were left standing. “Please can we just go to the beach?”

4. I hate 90% of existing structures.

Thanks to my mother, I also have ample knowledge of architecture which includes a discerning and critical eye. It’s not just that the building is ugly (as my friends say) but that its “1970s brutalism is suffocating in proportions but flat in design.” And I can pinpoint art deco from blocks away (regardless of the size of the buildings)! But you know, I have my own interests, my own obsessions.

And I have my own critiques of products of my interests! Of my obsessions! But there’s no time for that when you’re surrounded by terrible modernist architecture. It’s all consuming and I fear there is no hope of escape for me.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Thanks for your openness and honesty. There are many topics that can air over the table. During WW2 the topics were dim and dark eg loss of life, destruction, etc.We would have loved to hear about reclaiming , beautification, minimalist and modern architecture. Yes I know I’m showing my age but most grateful to your folks and others like them for making spaces safe, sound and inviting as well as echoing their positive experiences in the process.
    Regards and all the best with your future endeavors.

    August 20, 2012

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