I am not bilingual.  I always suspected this about myself.  I think perhaps there was a time I could fake it, but now I know the truth.  I really don’t speak fluent architect!  On a recent field trip to Rice University with co-workers from Dallas and College Station, as well as some of their architecturally trained spouses, there was no trickery or smooth talking from me…I was outed.  As they discussed the metal this, and the exterior that, the lines of the so and so, and the spatial alignment of this and such….I knew, in this group, I couldn’t hold my own.  I was a featherweight in the heavyweight class.

Let me state the facts, in the world according to Architecture I have what you might call a “Past”. What I mean precisely is that at one time I had a life that did not revolve around architecture.  Even so, I have now been somewhat accepted, especially by my peers here at BRW.  In fact, some even educate me on the finer points of architecture.  But still, I struggle.

So on that recent field trip to Rice; did I appreciate the grand design style of the buildings?  YES.  As much as you did?  NO.  But what I did get to see that you, Mr. or Ms. Architect missed, was my coworkers and friends delighting in the things they are most passionate about—ARCHITECTURE.  I admired watching you touch the pillars.  Respected how you understood the language of what the architect was trying to accomplish.  How each of you walked like a toddler at Disney World pointing, oohing, and aahhhing at the magic of a building.  How you carefully described that the metal exterior panel was handcrafted and tirelessly put together, all with non architectural vocabulary words that I could understand.

The thing many architects don’t realize is that often, when they don’t know and they least expect it, they are inspiring us in the “outside world”. My friends, it happens to me all the time.

POSTED BY: Malia Nix

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