what architects do for fun


write blogs

visit a specific restaurant for lunch so you can sketch the interior details

tour construction sites of buildings they didn’t design

write witty lists about architects

take over the design when their kid is building with legos, tinkertoys or k’nex

buy their own lego collection sets

collect rare books of early modern architecture

buy an expensive pen simply because it looked cool

rearrange their vast collection of books from alphabetic order to topical and then back again

enter design competitions that they have do at night once everyone else has gone to bed

read ArchDaily and wonder why they haven’t picked up their latest project

travel to France to create existing conditions drawings of Ronchamp Cathedral

go to a baseball game and wonder how many sheets of drawings it took to document the stadium design

share stories about architecture school and debate who had the harder professor and who stayed up the most

debate which shade of white the local modern museum wing is painted

ponder whether to use Arial Narrow or Helvetica Narrow font

sit in their favorite coffee shop and work on their laptop because the décor is cooler than their office

create custom made Christmas package boxes with foam core and Christmas cards with Strathmore

visit the local Home and Garden Fair on purpose, then complain about how many products are made of vinyl

custom design birdhouses, doghouses and gingerbread houses

build a complete 3D model when their brother/sister asks for design help on their kitchen

photograph buildings (what else?)

organize their closets with the black clothes on the left…and right…and in the middle

travel to see their favorite work of architecture only to have their child announce upon arrival “ok, can we go get ice cream now?”

what architects do for fun

27 thoughts on “what architects do for fun

      1. jane says:

        My kids – on The Cape (Cod, of course) this week – are sending me pictures of old houses and townscapes with commentary. They did not know they were interested until they grew up. I expect yours will be the same.

      1. Ted Rusnak says:

        Actually there is an old mill town near me that in which I’ve had the pleasure of working and in the center of town is an ice cream stand (built over a part of the waterfall/spilway, can you say cantilever?). Get your orange sherbert, sugar cone, take your camera or sketchbook, and walk….any direction, any street….there’s always an interesting home or store or bridge or water element. Large, small, any style. A wonderful opportunity to just decompress and admire.
        Oh, my release? Driving my race car at some ridiculous speed with a few other like minded crazy people. Really can’t think about much of anything else but the immediate moment.
        {{I do like the idea of birdhouses though}}

  1. jane says:

    Decide no books from my library can be sent to the library book sale
    Walk through second-hand/antique shops looking for old design. magazines to share with clients – ie: “Here’s what your house owners were seeing”.
    Drive past a particular building again, and again – invite myself in. Also visit real estate open houses if the house is pre-WWI.
    Redesign a friend’s house in my head while sharing coffee.

    Take the ‘long cut’ in order to see a building or village. And after a life time with me, my kids do too

    ps: Ronchamp is a pilgrimage chapel

  2. Do the birdhouse thing. Don’t have to worry about wind loading or egress or 7.75″ risers or parking requirements or clients or budgets or permits.

    But the users don’t pay anything and they leave the place trashed!


  3. Ted Rusnak says:

    Do a google of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. And if you’re doing a roadtrip make sure I’m aware of it. I’m done a couple of nice restaurants in the Village and we can do lunch…..

    1. David says:

      At first, I didn’t know what town you were describing in your first post, but in my mind Chagrin Falls memories were playing. Lots of great memories going there as a child and teenager, especially getting popcorn or ice cream at the Popcorn Shop perched right over the falls. I have a brother that lives near there and I get back there once in a while from my home in Maine. I’ll be making a pilgrimage for ice cream, camera and sketchbook in hand, on my next trip.

  4. I know it’s cliche, but I actually do where all black. Mostly as a way to save time in the morning and it hides stains well. Not to mention trying to keep up with modern fashion is an exercise in futility. The only “color” in my wardrobe currently is dark navy blue, a random green button down and a white polo that I bought to satisfy my wife who keeps saying “why don’t you buy something other than black?” All my pants are black, black pinstripe and black. Black socks, black belt, black shoes and black glasses. My hair is a darker shade of brown. No body is perfect. 😛
    Everything else was completely spot on as well. I laughed out loud more than once. Now everyone is starring. Oops. :-\

  5. Love the comment about complaining “how many products are made of vinyl” . . . surely the day is near when there will be so many vinyl products that one could nearly build an entire house from vinyl. That will be a sad day 😦

    1. I am coming to the conclusion that people really don’t care what it is made of today. If it “looks” like what they want from ten to twenty feet away, then they’re perfectly fine with that. I doubt they understand why we care so much about authenticity. I don’t know how to make the argument anymore.

      1. Nice, I’ll check it out. I’d rather take all the vinyl lovers and make them live in a world of only vinyl. The humanity in them would kick in and they’d hate that even the trees were fake.

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