Monday, November 05, 2007

Getting closer

Finally made a decision on the competition this evening, as the culmination of a three-hour meeting. Could have been worse: we have had six-hour meetings that did not reach a decision. We won't be doing the long, thin version that I blogged about some time back: it remains the best proposal in terms of spaces in the city and use of the park, but is a very weak building internally. We (I) just couldn't resolve the constraints that the shape imposed.

I am amused by the way that (certain, possibly most) architects work, by the astonishing quantity of optimism and wishfulness that they bring to the task. G sees my drawings, on which a particular set of rooms is 3 centimetres long and two centimetres wide, and sets about to re-plan the building. He draws a rectangle two centimetres long and one centimetre wide, and says with a straight face "We'll put [that same set of rooms] in here." I am just staggered—but it's rather the rule than the exception. B2 would sketch so-called double beds that were 150 by 110 centimetres and plan a room layout around them, and then be angry with me when the room no longer worked with realistic furniture.

They are equally amused by the way that I work: with calculator, scratch pad and measuring tape, constantly rising from my desk to check the size of things against my own body and real-world examples. It would never occur to me to draw a hallway of an unusual width X, without having marked out on the floor how big that is and walked back and forth along it a few times. "How quaint."

Five down, twenty-five to go.

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Blogger JoeinVegas said...

It might come from being a programmer in the real world rather than creating a concept, but I find it much better in the end to measure and test and try first, rather than design and build only to find people don't fit.

November 6, 2007 at 2:13:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous ann marie said...

That How quaint struck me as the true measuring tape of our times. Do it well and you're a geek, a freak, well appreciated but, ahem, how would we put it nicely, having a different corporate vision. How on Second Earth can you do things properly without measuring them first? Increasingly so when it's your profession?

It's not mine, I know. But I am versed in that, too, by a dear friend and by way more than few publications and yet more meetings of several hours that ended up in nothing. By the way, I am known as l'emmerdeuse who brings the loop to any meeting whatsoever to determine the paper and the printing process that was used, versus the one that was charged. Often ending up by doing it myself. Probably better, certainly cheaper.

My empathies, and a sigh. Managing to smile anyway.

November 6, 2007 at 3:31:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger zhoen said...

Quaint, like "oh, you're so smart" in a way that is mildly insulting. Feh. You are smart, they wouldn't have thought to consider real people.

November 6, 2007 at 4:06:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Architects view the real, physical world much as politicians view the voting public: as an indispensable nuisance best ignored.

November 6, 2007 at 9:40:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Diana said...

I think one part of the group is going about things backward and I don't think it's you.

November 6, 2007 at 2:41:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

But there's the rule. Measure twice, cut once! Not that I actually do this but still, I know there is a rule. If the people don't fit, why would they pay for it? Eek.

This reminds me of Life as a House - when he was being fired by his boss for not using the computer modules. I really liked his models of the homes so much better. They were more real.

November 6, 2007 at 11:49:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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