13. Making up Words

Many architects fancy themselves writers and orators.  It is because of this that they often decide to make up words.  Some may think making up words is a silly idea relegated to children and uneducated adults.  Others think it is appropriate in some situations, such as when a profession has specific lingo uncommon to the native language.  Architects, however, think it is appropriate in all forms and situations.

Making up words helps make the profession more exclusive and feel hip.  Though one may think it to be a daunting task to make up words, it is actually quite simple.  All one must do is insert any form or portion of the word “architect” or “architecture” into another word.  Voila, your jargon is complete.

We have made up words to describe our sentiments and attitudes as they relate to architecture: Snarkitecture.  We have described our daily need for stimulation from architectural images as a medical directive: archidose.  We scold fellow workers for driving and “architexting” plan revisions to us at the same time.  (It’s dangerous, you know.)  We’ve renamed places and spaces to be vaguely reminiscent of newly discovered jungle creatures: archipod.  We even go so far as to include those with speech impediments: architwibe.  We have mutliated websites, firm names, clubs, and verbs (though we can never quite be on par with terms such as “lawyered”):

We’re architecting it up ‘til 3 a.m.!

Architize this image!

Would you like to archinect with me?

I’d help you with your drawing layout if I wasn’t so busy archi-typing this punch list.

There goes that Frank Gehry again, always the starchitect!

Feel free to make up some of your own words and test them out on your architect friends.  They probably won’t even notice that an outsider has infiltrated their group.  The possibilities are endless!

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  • John Bear Rambo

    I’m an unlicensed “architect” (dropped out of a dual Architecture, and Urban & Regional Planning master’s program); currently not practicing but in the process of entrepreneurship within the field.

    I refer to myself by a few titles; “environmental designer”, “principal placemaker” and “lead bioneer” (to be determined). My goal is to develop a small Eco-Community and Eco-Retreat; “Biodiver.City: A Project in Placemaking”

    A small, self-sustaining community; more of a neighborhood, a “contrada”, if you will. Ecologically-friendly, low-impact, carbon-neutral, and off-grid. It will employ renewable sources of energy harnessing and production, as well as eco-friendly waste management, and water treatment and reuse systems.

    It will utilize locally sourced, naturally-occurring resources as well as reclaimed historic construction materials. Architecturally, it will be influenced in design by various historic (Old World) styles,

    It will be green in every sense of the word; with vegetation engulfed, walkable streets, much of it wild edibles. And it will rely upon personal and community horticulture and small-scale agriculture.

    It will be traditional in character; aesthetically pleasing, skillfully-crafted, academically-oriented and culture-rich. It will be happy and healthy.

    Imagine small townhomes and cottage-like homes; a small hostel/bed & breakfast; possibly a micro-winery and restaurant to serve guests and residents (supplied by the local agriculture). I would also construct small cottages and cabins, as well as yurts and tipis, and even bare tent sites as part of the Nature-Camping Retreat.

    I’ve considered, as a personal endeavor such as this, that the titles and licensing I initially planned to achieve would not be necessary. I’ve also considered hosting workshops pertaining to various green building techniques and other areas of sustainable development and agriculture.


    • Sounds like an interesting venture. Architectural licenses are not always necessary to pursue or ‘practice’ architecture. As you detail, there are many ways to be involved in the field of architecture without using a license. It sounds like you’re able to pursue your passions and make an impact on the profession – keep up the great work!