Who’s an Architect? Doctor Who


I’m going to step right out on a limb and just go ahead and say what we’ve all been thinking. Doctor Who… is TOTALLY an Architect.

Don’t believe me? Well, I’ve been reviewing the evidence (mostly on Netflix, but somewhat on BBC America) and I think I’m on pretty solid ground with this theory. Although I’m still on season 7, so…maybe things will change in season 8. Maybe they’ll replace the current Doctor with a gruff melancholy overly thin and haggard white guy with an accent and visions of grandeur and a chip on his shoulder, which, actually, would also be a very Architect-y thing to do. Does Peter Capaldi have male pattern baldness? No… well… maybe he’ll ditch the bowtie for black-rimmed round glasses. *fingers-crossed*

Either way,


Well, I can come up with at least 9 examples of the similarities:

ARCHITECTS (and Doctor Who) DO TRAVEL IN SPACE AND TIME: Travelling in space and time? Isn’t that what architecture is really? Marking a point in space and time? Designing, imagining, and building something that joins the continuously flowing stream of space and time? Aren’t we architects simply visiting this point in time? Bringing our own personality and talents and passions to play for a brief moment and then throwing the results into the vortex of time itself? Of course we are. Dropping into society with our fancy blue boxes, willy-nilly, and darting away without a trace. Except for that crack that we may or may not have caused in the space time continuum with that whole “Bauhaus movement”. But still… err, I mean DeStijl.

ARCHITECTS (and Doctor Who) NEED COMPANIONS: Architecture is team sport. You are not going to create this rift in space and time by yourself. Well, you could actually do it alone, but Time Lords don’t do very well on their own. They can get all judgmental and egomaniacal and it’s really not as good when Architects go it alone either, mostly for the same reasons. Things tend to get esoteric and self-referential and all cold and pointy and glassy and distant and I’m looking at you Daniel Libeskind. Architects need to work together to pull this off, because it’s complicated. Maybe overly complicated, granted, but if we work as a tight-knit group of ragtag adventurers along this grand endeavor, we may be able to achieve something amazing. Plus, if the Architects team/”companions” happen to have the right mix of compassion and humanity and creative thinking, “We” may just be able to create something that truly represent our humanity. Architects are not going to do this all alone. Basically, what I’m saying is: Architects need interns.

BOWTIES ARE COOL:  As are scarfs, long coats, and anything tweed, and hats… oh, wait. I’m pretty sure Frank Lloyd Wright is Doctor Who. Maybe he was the 4th Doctor, and, Mies Van Der Rohe was probably the 5th, because I think Philip Johnson was his “companion”. And obviously Robert Venturi was a Doctor. I mean, with all that tweed coat and vest wearing English museum addition building he did while his “wife” Denise “River-Song” Scott Brown called him “Sweetie” and told him how to drive the Tardis/post-modern-steam-punk-design machine. And, obviously, Robert “Rory” A.M. Stern is a plastic Roman. This is really all just science.


ARCHITECTS (and Doctor Who) WILL ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN: Well, not a plan really. Actually, we are totally making this up as we go. We’re waving our arms around, spouting out technical mumbo-jumbo that nobody else understands, while we pull on these odd looking levers and push buttons on our fancy Revit machines while shaking our weird looking sonic/pen/eraser/screw-driver thingy over the onion skin papers in front of the client. We just drew that upside-down. Impressive wasn’t it? Yes. We just totally made that up.

I THINK CLIENTS ARE WEEPING ANGELS: The entire time we present to the client, we’re looking right at them. We’re telling them about the benefits of the design and the intricacies of our brilliant disruption of space and time, that the client is going to be able to pay for, and we we’re pretty sure they were loving the design concept. They were just standing there, looking angelic and solid, so we assumed that they were impressed, so, we left to go back the office feeling optimistic, but, just when we stopped looking at them, they moved, really fast, and talked amongst themselves and decided to go a completely different way. When we get back to the office there’s a message on the machine. They want to make some changes, and then we’re stuck designing something that looks like it belongs in a 1960s strip mall or a Roman Forum (maybe both), while our client stands over our shoulders, covering their eyes with their hands. Please remember this Architects, whatever you do, keep looking at the client. Don’t Blink.

ARCHITECTS ARE NOT GOING TO BE HELD BACK BY SOMETHING AS TRIVIAL AS THE RULES OF PHYSICS: Architecture, and time-travel, requires a willful suspension of disbelief. Can we cantilever this office wing over that crevasse? Of course we can. Gravity is more of a guideline really. If the “story” requires that we ignore a few details like science, so be it.

ARCHITECTS (and Doctor Who) WILL BE WORKING ON CHRISTMAS. Always, holidays mean nothing to Time Lords, or Architects. Nothing. Someone has to take care of these waterproofing details, I mean, Daleks…. Same thing.

ARCHITECTURE IS LARGER THAN IT APPEARS ON THE OUTSIDE. It is so spacious in there. It’s all open and flowing space, plus, it has a swimming pool. It’s next to the library. My thesis project in school was a redesign of the Tardis. I removed most of the detailing on the exterior and painted it white. I plan to go back and finish it someday. Maybe next season. It will also have more glass.


Plus, I’m pretty sure this guy was in my design studio in architecture school:


Oh, Hi, David.


So, remember this the next time you and your companions start to work on a project, the very fate of the universe could depend on your actions. Or, maybe this is just an office renovation. Although, it is an office renovation that is due tomorrow, and at this point your only chance of meeting the deadline may involve time travel..


Maybe, it is just an office renovation,




In space and time.



The tardis photo is from timhoggarth’s photostream on Flickr and has been used under the creative commons license.

The Frank Lloyd photo was found HERE

I found the David Tennant waving GIF HERE

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