Approaching the Architect


With the Holidays upon us, many of us gather together, drinks in hands, and celebrate together. Except the architects.  We tend to be the sullen looking ones at the party, clustered together, over in the corner. Granted, architects aren’t the easiest group to approach, but it is possible, IF you know a few simple conversation starters:

So you’ve seen them standing over there in the corner. Morose and bi-speckled, sipping a cosmo and looking out the window towards a distance church steeple. They seem pensive and dapper at the same time. They’re an architect, but no one’s talking to them? It’s too much pressure? I mean, what do you say to the most interesting person in the room?

Well, here are some possible conversation starters for approaching the Architect, each one sure to start a fascinating and intellectual chat. Go ahead, give it a try:

“I know you already know this, of course you know this, but I just heard, because I’ve been under a rock or something, but the Talking Heads were in Architecture school together before the band. I know it’s old news, but it’s still freaking cool isn’t it?”

“Did you go to Parsons or Cooper Union?”

“So, I was just thinking, if you edit the “Devil in the White City” and take out all the murder and Olmstead crap, you’d be left with a tight little novel”

“Hey, is that a control joint or an expansion joint… or are you just glad to see me?”

“Did anyone ever tell you, you look like Gerard Depardieu, only thinner and less French?”

“Did you hear that Bob Villa just got hit by an ice cream truck? Seriously, beard hair and mint chocolate chip everywhere. I bet they’ll cancel HGTV now.  I saw him on a plane once. It’s sad, really”

“Is it Oak? What am I saying?, of course it’s oak…But, I mean is it plain sawn or quarter sawn? I can never tell, and DO NOT tell me that’s chestnut!”

“Stainless or Brushed Nickel. Those are your choices, and that jerk over there just asked for bronze”

“Who do you think was a better draftsman – Wright or Sullivan. Or better yet, which would win in a fist fight?”

“no.2 pencil or HB – I mean who cares? Am I right?”

“Don’t look, but, that guy over there – the one next to the elevators. I think he’s an engineer. They’ll let anyone in here.”

“Let me ask you something, do those windows NEED to open. Not like, for a code reason?”

“Have you seen the artichoke dip yet? It’s the purest shade of pale green. It’s calming.”

“It’s a good proportion don’t you think, … for a foyer.”

“I swear if I hear the word moulding one more time, I’ll cut someone.”

 “Did you see the sconce in the dining room? Reminds me of Prague, but not in the good way.”

“I get that it’s balanced, restrained even, understated simplicity and all, I get it. But, it’s not there yet is it? I mean it just moves towards the thing. Doesn’t it? But it’s just not there yet.”

“Hey, I just saw Quentin Tarantino in a food court.”

“So, I just came right out and told them – Symmetry, and balance-not the same thing, get a dictionary.”


“B.I.G. is kinda bad-ass, don’t you think?”

So that should get you started. Don’t be shy. They’re probably just as scared of you, as you are of them. Maybe they’re not aloof…

Maybe they’re just lonely.


Stay Thirsty,

Jody (coffee with an architect )


All photos are used under the Creative Commons License – image of glasses from Sukanto Debnath’s photostream on Flickr -“Cigar 101 IV” photo from  shutupyourface’s photostream on Flickr (that’s right…shutupyourface)