Don Draper can suck it


Remind me, when did Architects become advertising agents? During the first week at my last job I heard the word “product” used to describe the project I was working on. I should have dropped my t-square and walked slowly towards the door. When the hell did we become Mad Men?

Are we selling something?

Are we designing buildings or just putting a “spin” on them? Are we helping people and society, or are we “pitching” them something they don’t really need? Are we creating vital contributions to the built environment or are we exploiting a “niche” market for someone elses financial gain? Are we solving necessary problems, or are we selling a “product”?

Is there a reason I keep putting parts of these “sentences” in quotation marks?

I think there’s a little too much similarity between Don Draper and the image Architect’s keep projecting;  That cool, detached, and slightly elite persona, that air of sophistication and aloof worldliness, that stlylish tailor. And, we’re just sitting alone in our rooms designed by Edward Hopper, waiting on a tobacco company to throw us a bone.

Come on, just give us a chance to show em’ what we’ve got, show em’ our chops, just give us a shot kid. Come on’ Sterling, take em’ to a 3 martini lunch while “creative” finishes the “pitch”.

George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Jens Risom Playboy Magazine, July 1961.

And the buildings we’re working on? Are those our ideas or are we just helping others realize their goals? and maybe sell more of their stuff? Did we come up with the concept, or are we just figuring out how to get it out there for more people to consume? Is it really creativity when the client doesn’t think it fits with their corporate mission? Is there any scotch left in that bottle?

I might need a drink….

And Don Draper can suck it.

Jody { coffee with an architect }