critical of being critical

ferris bueller art gallery.jpg

I was told years ago that our weaknesses are our strengths taken to an extreme. Perhaps this falls into a category of life where objectivity cannot be first in line, yet this seems plausible to me. At least I hope this is true or I am in trouble because as an architect, critical thinking, the ability to critique and being part of a crit are woven into our essence. We are able to make this word an adjective, verb, and noun, a good sign of one who can judge, discern and decide.

I hope, no I think it makes me a good architect. It’s also the reason we wear black – one less choice.

One of the skills common to architects is the ability to sort through multiple concepts, ideas or varied elements and narrow down choices based on a defined set of criteria. This not only works in choosing building materials but comes in handy in selecting menu items for your kid’s birthday party or where to go on vacation. It’s a skill that isn’t confined to our daily routine of practicing architecture.


Go ahead, ask an architect their opinion on something, I dare you. I bet you a roll of trace that not only will they tell you their opinion, they tell you WHY they believe or feel that. It’s a gift.

It’s a curse.

There’s no off switch, there’s no volume dial, there is no shutting it down. Our ability to discern, critique, and distill complex concepts or to explain clearly to others comes at a price. In our everyday life, it becomes difficult not to review daily routines, social activities or other’s decision making processes without appearing or sounding judgmental or critical. That might not sound like a positive American cultural value, but what is more crucial is apprehending that we are far more concerned with aspects other than results as architects. We savor the process to arrive as well as understand the mechanisms that lead people to their choices, and that leads us to our designs.


What on Earth would possibly lead to you do/think/choose that?

This is a good start but…

Can you believe they would choose…?


I value kindness, empathy, patience, and love. Yet I am this – which means my nature or essence is synonymous with being an architect as opposed to only my day job. I’ve written several times before, I am an architect – it’s these same traits that guided my path to studying architecture that also governs how I contribute to family decisions or even how I react to a restaurant choice.


Now I’m questioning my decision to post this. I’m also wondering if I needed four more iterations. Did I select the right photos? Will people feel I am being too judgmental. No wonder no one likes us.

Please turn it off, I need to get some sleep.

critical of being critical

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