Dear Architects, I am sick of your shit.

Updated on January 11, 2022 in Architecture Humour

dear architects 01

PartIV has this really really interesting post – “Dear Architects, I am sick of your shit!”. Basically it is an open letter by Annie Choi, a really long letter, honestly there is some truth to it – especially on the sleeping part. Without further ado, here is the letter:

Once, a long time ago in the days of yore, I had a friend who was studying architecture to become, presumably, an architect.

This friend introduced me to other friends, who were also studying architecture. Then these friends had other friends who were architects – real architects doing real architecture like designing luxury condos that look a lot like glass dildos. And these real architects knew other real architects and now the only people I know are architects. And they all design glass dildos that I will never work or live in and serve only to obstruct my view of New Jersey.

Do not get me wrong, architects. I like you as a person. I think you are nice, smell good most of the time, and I like your glasses. You have crazy hair, and if you are lucky, most of it is on your head. But I do not care about architecture. It is true. This is what I do care about:

  • burritos
  • hedgehogs
  • coffee

As you can see, architecture is not on the list. I believe that architecture falls somewhere between toenail fungus and invasive colonoscopy in the list of things that interest me.

Perhaps if you didn’t talk about it so much, I would be more interested. When you point to a glass cylinder and say proudly, hey my office designed that, I giggle and say it looks like a bong. You turn your head in disgust and shame. You think, obviously she does not understand. What does she know? She is just a writer. She is no architect. She respects vowels, not glass cocks. And then you say now I am designing a lifestyle center, and I ask what is that, and you say it is a place that offers goods and services and retail opportunities and I say you mean like a mall and you say no. It is a lifestyle center. I say it sounds like a mall. I am from the Valley, bitch. I know malls.

Architects, I will not lie, you confuse me. You work sixty, eighty hours a week and yet you are always poor. Why aren’t you buying me a drink? Where is your bounty of riches? Maybe you spent it on merlot. Maybe you spent it on hookers and blow. I cannot be sure. It is a mystery. I will leave that to the scientists to figure out.

Architects love to discuss how much sleep they have gotten. One will say how he was at the studio until five in the morning, only to return again two hours later. Then another will say, oh that is nothing. I haven’t slept in a week. And then another will say, guess what, I have never slept ever. My dear architects, the measure of how hard you’ve worked and how much you’ve accomplished is not related to the number of hours you have not slept. Have you heard of Rem Koolhaas? He is a famous architect. I know this because you tell me he is a famous architect. I hear that Rem Koolhaas is always sleeping. He is, I presume, sleeping right now. And I hear he gets shit done. And I also hear that in a stunning move, he is making a building that looks not like a glass cock, but like a concrete vagina. When you sleep more, you get vagina. You can all take a lesson from Rem Koolhaas.

Life is hard for me, please understand. Architects are an important part of my existence. They call me at eleven at night and say they just got off work, am I hungry? Listen, it is practically midnight. I ate hours ago. So long ago that, in fact, I am hungry again. So yes, I will go. Then I will go and there will be other architects talking about AutoCAD shortcuts and something about electric panels and can you believe that is all I did today, what a drag. I look around the table at the poor, tired, and hungry, and think to myself, I have but only one bullet left in the gun. Who will I choose?

I have a friend who is a doctor. He gives me drugs. I enjoy them. I have a friend who is a lawyer. He helped me sue my landlord. My architect friends have given me nothing. No drugs, no medical advice, and they don’t know how to spell subpoena. One architect friend figured out that my apartment was one hundred and eighty seven square feet. That was nice. Thanks for that.

I suppose one could ask what someone like me brings to architects like yourselves. I bring cheer. I yell at architects when they start talking about architecture. I force them to discuss far more interesting topics, like turkey eggs. Why do we eat chicken eggs, but not turkey eggs? They are bigger. And people really like turkey. See? I am not afraid to ask the tough questions.

So, dear architects, I will stick around, for only a little while. I hope that one day some of you will become doctors and lawyers or will figure out my taxes. And we will laugh at the days when you spent the entire evening talking about some European you’ve never met who designed a building you will never see because you are too busy working on something that will never get built. But even if that day doesn’t arrive, give me a call anyway, I am free.

Yours truly,
Annie Choi

The author is not a CAD expert nor a web genius. Just another guy spending too much time online. The tutorials featured here are meant for basic level understanding.


  1. Annie,

    Have your friend “the doctor” prescribe you a heavy dose of valium…you are way to neurotic.

    • Architects, I will not lie, you confuse me. You work sixty, eighty hours a week and yet you are always poor. Why aren’t you buying me a drink?

      Neglected woman, angry at a man who did not give her enough.
      Ignorant as well.

      • Loved this article but let me say that If Rem Koolhaas manage to sleep alot and get shit done it’s only because he has an entire office of people who dont sleep to get all that shit done!

    • Lol, someone who can’t take a joke calling someone clearly joking neurotic. So quickly, apparently, that they cannot even spell “too”.

  2. i was funny, i mean the letter, according to Annie herself in PartIV’s blog, she receive quite a number of hate mails… poor annie.

  3. What can I say? Almost ALL successful architects I know have rich family or rich spouse who supports their practices. Two successul ex-boss of mine have rich developer wives. 3 companies I work for started by rich guys who are related to the Rockerfeller dynasty. MOST architects that work longest hours for low wages have trustfunds thus they don’t care about pay or raises, working for ELITE companies that make slave labor in Indoniea look like a light weight. And THAT is the ultimate form of elitism.

    This profession has alienate itself from society by it’s own arrogance and esotericsim and elitism.

    The amazing thing is, every architect I know thinks they are better, smarter, more environmentally, socially responsible than everyone else.

    Social transformation, leading the stupid masses into a better environment, all these are preached by every architect as their noble self-sacrificial goals, what a joke.

    • Don’t just stop their, everybody I meet think they are better than everyone or have the answer or knows how to solve the governments problems or are a better coach for their favourite sports team. Not just architects.

  4. i think architects simply overdo it,
    all the real great architects (non is still alive) have nothing to say of rest…they just go on working. and truly, the architect is much smarter and socially responsible than everyone else. in truth, you understand life until you become an architect. this is not obtained by training in schools however. the original author has a point. truly, architects are lousy, escapist blabbers. ok they dont sleep, but what do they have to show for it? the engineer does all the work, and leads a fairly normal life. this only goes to say that architecture as we know it proffessionally is at its point of death, and that this proffessional should evolve to become what he truly should be in this century. if architects bother more of this, they’d have less time to bicker of sleep. does any of you feel the need for more hours in the day? one hardly gets any sleep these days. this architecture business….

  5. i am an architect and run my own firm,i woke up 11:30 noon, came to ma office at 12:40.. im working now on a project.and am coming up with great ideas, love ma work..clients are satisfied… will leave office at 5 pm. will hit the sack at 12 pm!!…. got ma poiint!!.?

  6. by the way, i think rem koolhaas drives a bright and shiny new bentley or something like that….
    now….i have to go. i need my beauty sleep.

    young architect.

  7. Man I HATE You stupida insipid ARCHITECTS. I have workin Engineering for 20 years now and it is SO apparent that you guys / gals cannot use AUtocad to save your LIFE!

    Learn What NORTH is. Learn that Not all lines are 90 degrees. (Like Streets) they look 90 but they are NOT. Offsets from these lines affect the project. When an Engineer gives you a Base Drawing.. DOn’t Scale it. Don’t ROtate it. ANd PLEASE PLEASE Learn how to use more than 1 layer. Not all lines go on the SITE layer.

    I wish Architectural schools would teach some of these basic principles and learn how to get along with Other Disciplines.

    Out !

    • I have no idea which architect you’ve worked with. They must be draughtsmen. You’ve worked for 20 years and can’t find an architect that knows AutoCAD. That’s nearly impossible to believe.

    • You could as well start your own school of architecture of “Autocard” so we could learn in a fashioned way how to layer our drawings. You seems to have worked with most draughtsmen turned architect and that’s why you are shearing clueless view sir! So sorry for your experience but the fact that there are fakes proves there are originals somewhere. So, my engineer turned Autocard instructor, stop the hate and spread the LOVE!!!

  8. Hmmmm. Do any of you really know an actual architect? I assume goober squidly does (some of his points are more or less correct – regarding SOME architects). Some of them really are a horse’s ass. No lie. However, Engineers are …not perfect. Lazy? not wanting to take ownwership? Let the the “stupid insipid architect” bring the “big picture together” and sweat the details – I’m too good to worry about all that “unskilled” coordination work that the dumb-ass architect has to do. The architect is where all the consultant “input” comes together and is coordinated. This is the sad part – instead of making any really creative contributions to human “built environment” architects are relegated to keeping all the crap together that leads up to a successful design-bid-build process. (Or more and more – design-build – which is far worse – no time for any “design” – you’ll eat up any bottom line you MIGHT have had). If you want to make a difference – become a city planner, (after working in architecture a few years to find out how bad it is).

    • Only an architect knows how much people need architects. I see houses being built without a proper floor plan and I feel sorry for the family that is going to live in it.
      You would only know the worth of an architect when you don’t take his advice.

  9. …at some points annie choi is right about us, but much of the time, she overreacted…

    saifullah….LUV YA!

    goober squidly…get a F#%^)^#@! life..

  10. Goober Squidly is right, but he doesn’t expand on it enough. Their ACAD skills are worse than those of a boiled turnip.

    Architects always assume they never make a mistake and the rest of the dumb masses can’t tie shoes w/o help…Yet if you ask a question, they cannot answer it: Specs, Plan View, and Elevation View do not agree. What should I do?
    Answer: Bid and build according to plans and specs!

    And how is it we have to send in RFIs and allow two weeks for a response, if we EVER get one, but we have to respond to requests from them in 7 nano-seconds?

    Why do they play “Where’s Waldo?” with info and details on the prints? Can’t put all the info in the dwg pkg? and then tell you it’s your fault that you didn’t know thus and such, but you never got an answer to your RFI ‘cuz you sent it in too close to the cut-off date.

    Not to mention that they never have details that actually look like how it is really built. They hang stuff in the air w/o support (sky hooks?) They spec stuff via some boiler plate crap that was written in 1947 or before and want you to stick to it even if it doesn’t work…Sorry, I’m getting crazed.

    Architects and their shoddy work cost their clients money. They should be avoided like a rash.

  11. Hey Goober and Ronco! Of course Architects cannot use CAD. They spent all their time learning theory and how to draw off the board. I am the one that they hire for the Cad work. You see, I am, What is known as a “Specialist”. If your drawings are not at a 1 to 1 scale in model space, guess what I do! I scale it to 1 to 1. North is always north, even if it points slightly to the left. And, what is up with the 256 pen assignments that engineers use? Can you not find comfort in the basic 9 so called “Logical Colors” and maybe a couple of extra gray scales and a nice shade of red to use when I want to visibly cloud your error for revision? Also, why do you have to draw two thirds of your stuff at fifty seven feet eleven and seventeen one
    millionths of an inch above the z coordinate? All that dose is make me cuss. We all know that cussing is just not lady like. Oh, and one more thing. Learn to spell! “Engineer” is not spelled “Injuneeear”.

  12. Goober Squidly has some serious issues. I saw your exact same reply on yahoo answers. Why so much hate?

    I feel that every profession feels superior to another. And architects aren’t all elitists.
    Half my studio is on financial aid and scholarships plus working part time. Don’t make such vast generalizations.

  13. I’m sorry but, I think everyone’s lost with what architects really do. Architect literally means “master builder”. Where I’m from we study structures, construction, geodesy, lighting, plumbing, history, theory, and design. I think most of us talk about how much sleep we got coz we cherish the rest we get, not to brag which one of us is the last one standing. We need a little bit of respect for juggling everything altogether. I found some parts of the article humorous but some parts were just over the top. I really enjoy what we do, it may be hard to believe but yes, we actually waste our time to go about our work with social transformation, sustainability, and all that other so-called “crap” in mind. We try. With talking about European works, and late great architects, well, that’s like our Entertainment Tonight, or American Idol. We’re all the same.

    My feelings. :> Peace.

    • you are so right, most people don’t understand what we are doing, and why … and yes if is difficult to see and judge a lot of parameters and scales at the same time and to make a reasonable choice. to have a broad view and culture. it is so easy to call architects esthets and dreamers, whereas engineers are realistic heros … but you are right again, peace

  14. Well yeap…..a real architect goes through a load of shity life to be what he really is……….and at the end it may not end up so well……but yes the architect indeed is the master and it is beyond any other profession in the world………..I mean think about where would you be without architecture…it is the art of all is where you sit, you eat and sleep. Next time remember it is more than not having to sleep after long days and nights of useless work………………….

  15. engineers know everything about 1 thing. architects know something about everything.
    dear engineers, yes you are “masters” of auto cad and yes, you may know more about some technical aspects. but you couldn’t design something reasonably nice to look at even with all your brains. yes we spend a lot of our time complaining about not getting any sleep and all that kind of jazz but maybe thats because having a design ability is not something you can teach. it is not something you can learn. it is not something you can do by learning a computer program well.
    i realise engineers are very smart people, and we have much to thank them for as i personally hate anything that has anything to do with a “statics” or “bending moments”, but if you had any idea on how to design a nice looking building we, the architect, would not be around. but alas, you can not design pretty functional things. if you could, you would be architects.
    so i guess what i am trying to say is, STOP COMPLAINING AND GO BACK TO BEING ARE COMPUTER BITCHS.

  16. Lol I thought you guys are college/uni people, or at least heading to that part of your life.
    Show some respect guys. Architects and engineers have their roles, and they both have their good aspects and bad. As much as honesty is an important aspect of life, hopefully you guys don’t act like this in your work office.

    • Word, bandanana, word.

      Everyone plays a role in the industry and while some fella here said architect’s can’t draw for shit, I also say and experience all other players in the industry who can’t draw for shit, just won’t give the right info, don’t give a shit about the quality of their work, have no respect for the degree they worked their assess of to get.

      BTW, I guarantee you Rem Koolhaus, as hard working as he is, works his ass off and didn’t get much sleep during studies, or even now when hes in the middle of some large fantastic design. Show some respect people, going about and carrying on like this is exactly the reason why we players end up playing divide and conquer and the blame game, and not working together properly and banging out sick ass projects.

  17. I’m an architecture student and yes, we do cherish the time we spent for sleeping. Yes again, we do brag about not sleeping for days to our fellow architecture students but I must say that we don’t think that we are “Superior”. Maybe you heard people say architects are superior people because they imagined of beautiful and huge buildings and engineers(Yes, they’re a big help…NOT) helped them make it come true. Just a thought, Fine Arts students also spent sleepless nights. Architects are not the only ones who brag about their nights spent doing projects, almost other professions, one reason or another, causes them to stay awake for days.

  18. Oh this is all soooo funny!! I’ve just spent 6 years studying architecture and tomorrow I get my degree and like HELL am I actually going to become an architect!!!!! I’m so fed up with the rubbish my architect friends and teachers come out with! Like “there is no such thing as ‘beauty’ because architecture is more ‘meaningful’ than ‘beauty'”… oh come on!!! We all know that if a building is functional and looks good everyone will love it. There’s no need to design a building that “interprets the trees on the other side of the road” or that “follows the flow of the neardy river”. Just accept that what you do is an extended and slightly more complicated version of what an interior designer, or fashion designer or any kind of designer, even a craftman does…! Yet most of them don’t brag about knowing the ‘fundamental truths of life and the world’!
    So yeah, can’t stand the architects anymore and can’t wait to start working with normal down to earth people again! Just one more day of fake-phylosophical hell!

    • wait so you studied it and u don’t like the people or the profession, so now are u going to pursue a career in architecture or what?

  19. Ok, kiddies.. I’ve been doing this for 18 years now. I want to know why all of the “interior designers” are put on construction documentation… and all of the “Architects” pick fabrics and finishes. I’ve done more God Da*n parking lots than I want to tell you… I’m currently working on architectural room joists for Cargo Container Architecture… HEY… WHERE’S MY F”ING FINISH BOARDS??? They didn’t teach me parking lots in Interior Design School… they taught me the History of Tassles.. which I majored in… so what’s with the F*ing PARKING LOTS???, STRUCTURAL CROSS BEAMS, VEHICULAR ASPHAULT, AND ALL OF THAT NONSENSE I’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH..

    I’m really SICK of being used as a cheap architect… didn’t have the training… and don’t want IT.

    And I want to eat out someones throat right now!!!

  20. hey, i’m from indonesia and yes i agree with that “elitism”. i just quit, but when i was in second year i was briefed by this middle man contractor about how we can “cheat” our way in using cheap materials and designs to maximize profits. i didnt know until quite sometime, he really did seriously offered me a job to design the interior of some rooms in a hotel and he didnt even cared that i was a student! of course i couldnt take it, i wasnt ready and i suspect the money was corrupted.

    my lectures always blame the education system and how it dictates us so we’re afraid to explore our creativity but they are also a bunch of materialistic extravagant hypocrites who likes to dictate us with their OWN standards…so in every presentation we have or every exams that requires our creativity they get super subjective.

    i always have this question in mind, if we are still living in houses of our perspective of a “civilized” modern are we more evolved than bees in their hexagon’s nest? they have interior designs and specific functions too, as humans we should have more to offer. we can easily adapted to a space and a condition but it’s not particularly ideal,yet we allow the elite to control what or how we should live.

  21. I love this article. I am SO SICK of hearing people brag, yes brag, about how little they have slept. It actually makes me sick. Architecture students love to spend HOURS talking about how little they’ve slept and I can’t help but think its pathetic. It’s like some sad badge of honour and I’m so over hearing about it.

  22. Imagine not sleeping for two days, working on a project with your friends. Imagine the state of your mind after litres of coffee and energy drinks, almost no food, glue fumes, cigarette smoke, same winamp playlist that’s been playing for hours.. At a certain point everybody goes kind of crazy, but good crazy. From half hour long laughter attacks, to hallucinations, we’ve had it all. And although it was hard, we always spoke of how other people are actually missing on something really great, all in all. As far as the money part goes, you should probably dig deeper than Koolhaas. To such a bad argument, a response is redundant.


  23. Architects are not required in todays world of construction, we the civil and structural engineers/draughtsman can do the job with ease.

    Dont even get me started on autocad, it doesn’t take the brains of an arch bishop to work acad but by jo these lads struggle with it.

  24. Anyone who thinks that architects are not required in the modern world is clearly uneducated about what architects do.

    Some of these are valid points, but really people, educate yourselves about things before arguing for or against them – almost every post on this is a joke.

  25. My architect is a technical marvel but has NO Artistic talent or taste. This is the house from hell. He can’t or won’t draw a perspective. instead,He insists on providing a sample–of what–an entire library? I would like to just walk away from the project because he makes me hate the whole endeavor.

  26. A Humble GC.
    I am on the end of what the architect produces, an resonsible for legal liability of the finished outcome.

    So I have something to say.

    Architects are designers and not builders. Big problem.

    I am a developer, design/builder and contractor. Architects are paid by the hour with limited funding. They are not invested in providing detailed plans that work. Therefore, the owner payes extra for their lack of detail to describe construction.

    Think of history. Leanardo Di Venchi was a design build contractor. It worked. When architects are not resonsible for contruction, you get a partitial design.

  27. Dear Annie,

    Too bad you are poor as your Architect friends. If you were rich, you would be able to appreciate your architect friends more when you are asking ideas on your very own house.

  28. What architects do:

    Provide building designs based on life safety codes, accessibility codes, local design ordinances, ensure a water-tight design, include building developers site and spatial requirements, and site constraints, all within prescribed budget requirements, and allotted production/ construction time, for a building which is just an image in someone’s head, or has been a dream/ goal of an owner.

    We start from a blank piece of paper, create drawings for the owner to see the final product and possibly market (pretty renderings), provide drawing coordination for a minimum 4 consultants, include code information for permitting and the local planning department, research and specify every single architectural product to be included in the building (all the way down to door locks), and include information for a contractor to build, within the same set of drawings and specifications.

    During construction, providing answers to questions for contractors, because yes, it is a one-of-a-kind design which every owner wants, ensure products submitted are the correct quality, review pricing to ensure the owner is getting a fair price, and provide on-site observation.

    Architect’s are the discipline who are there for the owner from beginning to end. No consultant can say this, and neither can the contractor. Consultants, and contractors, have the luxury of not worrying about the big picture.

    If you can do it, by all means do it. If not, then you should rethink your position.

    I think every person involved in the design building process is important, but everyone needs to understand architects do more than draw pretty pictures, and make paint selections.

    • Am I allowed as a peer to just say thank you in the face of all the nonsense… And by the way isn’t that the number one thing? To be an educated voice of reason to the client, while maintaining compliance to the AHJ?

  29. I am an adult in my thesis year of architecture who works is a completely different profession. A NYC Medic who started at a community college 8 years ago in an Architectural Engineering Associates then transferred to a 5 year Arch Program. I’m a 3.7+ GPA student in my final semester and actually 2 months to the end ready to quit. Reason being? I spent 5 years learning nothing with my GPA as high as it is. I know no more about construction than when I started and the reason I got into this program was my love of construction and knowledge and performance in carpentry and home repair, working with my hands etc. needless to say, it has been extremely disappointing to how little Architects focus on construction and only theory and conceptual pretty images. Yes, concepts, spatial orientation and being able to represent ideas to a client are important I know but holy crap, we learn nothing. You spend 5 years in a program to get an internship and realize you haven’t been taught shit. What’s theory and how it’s implemented and the real world is a complete disconnect. I completely understand why engineers and contractors ridicule architects. Yes contractors can be shady but damn architects. Maybe it’s just my school but the lack of education is insane and I’ve always been the NERD in school….the math/science geek. Architecture school is the equivalent of being given 1 thousand circles and squares and being told you have to color each one in with a red crayon in 5 minutes. Busy work and lacking efficiency or critical thinking. I don’t know a single architectural student that once graduates if told to build a deck, they’d know how to. Sure they will say they can “design” it but I’m a firm believer that you can’t be the best architect if you can’t pick up a hammer and do. Seriously, you get a BArch degree and “I have an Architecture degree, but I need a Home Depot 1-2-3 book to help me do a home repair”. I agree with the engineers on here. I wish I can get my money back. PS: I’ve gotten A’s in design. I’ve spewed off a bunch of BS and in the end I guess I got an A in the “art” of BS. I would love for a good engineer to take me under their wing.

    • You are very correct. right on spot. I think architecture curriculum should be over-hauled as most schools use curriculum that doesnt prepare their students for the real world. I finished architecture school some couple of years ago and a day doesnt pass by without me asking “exactly WTF was i taught in school”. (dont get me wrong, i was above average in school). I am sure a lot of graduate architects out there will relate with the feeling of inadequacy that most of us felt immediately we left school and was faced with a real life situation where some contractor or engineer was waiting on us for some answers on site. Like you, I wish I could get my money back. I wasnt taught sh-t despite sleepless nights in the studio for good five years of undergraduate studies. That’s one of the reasons why after Masters degree I refused to seek employment as an assistant/junior lecturer in the same school. I’d rather prefer to get some real world experience first before mentoring students.

    • Beautifully put. As a profession, it may have it’s merits, butt he degree is the emperor’s new clothes sewn with invisible thread.

    • I think either your country or your college/uni has shitty course. My uni’s outdated af course has taught me more than what you say yours has and I’m in 6th semester AND I’m one of the worst students in my batch (at least in my college). Civil engineers make half of our professors and we have to learn about so many disciplines involved in the construction industry, albeit at a basic level.
      And this is coming from someone who has hated studying architecture for 5 of my 6 semesters.

  30. Just saying, Rem Koolhaas gets his shit done and he sleeps as long as he wants because he has an Army of non paid interns doing the job for him. Same for Zaha Hadid and so on.

    There are good architects and bad architects and, although some things are true (for example the “who-slept-less-tonight” part), most of it is just a dumb generalisation and proves that maybe, you should change your friends instead of publically insult them. Would be more mature.

  31. People like you is the reason architects and designers get married. Because this is world you will never understand and will never appreciate. We devote our lives to our jobs and constantly on the look out for inspiration for our next project. Just think about working on 1 project for 3 years day in and day out. You have no idea what you’re talking about so do some research before you make fun of a profession that the world can’t live without.

  32. There is a very easy solution. All architects should pull a “who is John Galt” let the engineers design coordinate and deal with the clients. After 10years we come back and see what incredibly beautiful works of art they have built. The fact is I can replace any engineer with a piece of software. Atlas Shrugged. Lol. I love engineering studied both, worked as a civil engineer for only 4 years went back to architecture, I guess I just loved that more.

  33. When I first started architecture, I actually wanted do product design. Or draw comics, or write stories, all those were my hobbies. I also wanted very much to be a scientist, I still think and believe I would have been a great scientist. I’m interested in physics and how the world works. I hated philosophy and literature and poetry and psychology, but over time have come to appreciate those things, I owe that to studying architecture. It just teaches so much, you really get an appreciation for lots of things, studying cities and people and environments, I find its all connected. What I do now as an architect is far different from what I studied, even though I still am not a big fan of philosophy and all that jargon, I can appreciate it to some extent and quite a bit of it is pretty relevant still. I don’t subscribe to the building design based on the meandering rivers and wotnot, but those things make for very interesting pieces of architecture, think about it, think of the great historical buildings so majestic that defines cities to this day, columns were based on human proportions. You don’t ask why did they do that the way they did, you just love it. Its just that its really hard to listen to some architects talk and ramble on about their style and this or that while the movement is in development. But what I’m sure of is, 50 years from now when we are looking buildings designed now, its will be like how we are currently appreciating architecture from the past, and those future architects will be under the gun and criticised as I’m sure the vitruviouses were in his time. Like me architects have a love for many things and we have to put them all together in our minds that makes sense, so how do I put together, product design, comic books scientist physics and lately cooking…what happens in the melting pot of my mind….I’ll tell you what happens…. Architecture happens…but for right now only I can understand it. You will get to see it with each building I publish.

    • I’m an architecture student and this is so relatable. I wanted to study physics (hopefully astrophysics) but my dad didn’t approve because we don’t have career opportunities for it in my country. I have hated architecture for 5 of my 6 semesters because despite my love for creativity, I loved math and science and architecture is less math and science and more every other subject. Still, despite all this, architecture has transformed my perception in a big way and even if I never grow to love it, I will forever be grateful that it helped me see the world in a way I never expected to.

  34. Architects are just a bunch of delusional ego maniacs who think they know everything about anything. They should just concentrate on designing good buildings and leave the city to urban designers, social studies to sociologists, furniture to designers, gardens to gardeners, structures to engineers, artistic drawing to artists, etc.

    Less ego and more collaboration with other professions! Abandon that ridicolous and unprofessional semi-god like attitude!

    PS: And it is worth remembering to our dear architects that architecture is actually a pseudo-science, since there is no kind of scientific proof between design choices and other environmental factors. Never. A design choice, even when influenced by external factors, is always a subjective decision. Trying to objectively prove design choices, like architects always do, is just PATHETIC.

    • Why are you making so many generalizations? Of course, there are delusional ego-maniacs. But aren’t they everywhere, in every profession? People like you who base their opinions on stereotypes they’ve seen God knows where, disgust me. Because you manage to INSULT A WHOLE PROFESSION AND DISCARD IT AS WORTHLESS. Sad and pathetic. But I forgive you. You either have issues or don’t know what the heck you are ralking about. Because if you knew ANYTHING about what you blabber about, you’d know that urban planners are ALSO architects and that architecture and urban planning are COMPLEMENTARY in every way and one cannot function without or in no regard to other. Real architecture is about COLLABORATION. And why do you think there is no relation between design decisions and environmental factors? Well what do you know, design decisions ARISE FROM ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS and more importantly, THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE architects design for. How is that not OBJECTIVE? Real architects design OBJECTIVELY and not because “They just like it for no reason” and if you had known anything better than degrading a beautiful profession, you would know how hard it is to design in a way that everything falls into place and the users are happy. Please educate.

      • I hold a BSc in architecture so I perfectly kwow what I’m talking about; now studying in my final year for a MSc in Construction Engineering. Don’t get me mistaken, I love good architecture and truly appreciate the artistic skills of architects, but I’m still firmly convinced that 1) it’s an overrated profession, especially by architects themselves 2) no architectural choice can ever be defined as “objective” – in the end everything in a project is a subjective decision of those glorified designers that are generally known as architects.

  35. All the things you said about architects, are not exclusive traits to architects alone. Being one sided in your opinion about one single profession is clearly biased. But you clearly know what you’re doing, since you’re a writer.

    Why not try scrutinizing other professions.

    If you try and research on the history of architecture you’ll know (if you have half a brain) that architecture is an essential part of where we are right now. The structures that facilitates the growth of nations, the shelters that keeps people safe, the roof over your head. the factories that makes paper (you know, that thing used for writing letters), etc.

    You said you don’t care about architecture, well lucky for you architecture is aimed to care for you.

    I know architects that are nothing like the ones you’ve mentioned. They are people too, just like you and me. How can you spit so hard on a profession that has done nothing personal to you.

    Architects, just like other profession aims to satisfy their clients. If you’re not happy with what you see, that’s because you’re not the client who ordered it.

    It’s not just about giant bongs or glass dildos, exercise your neck and look around you. And the bit about that sleeping part, its absolutely true.

  36. Earth needs architects too. They r not only meant for big buildings. Everyone can build big homes. But architects explains that how to use the given space. Normal ppls lok u thinks architects are nothing. But only architects know what is the wold. We architects feeling the world is so meaning. Others don’t. We can handle everything including humanity. If u architect so u are luchy. Others don’t know this. Architects don’t talk architectureal things to others.

  37. I read this article 7 years ago. Are people still talking about this? Don’t we have something better to talk about?

  38. Well done!!!! Great article! Even myself as an architect can relate to that and I feel (mild) hate while looking at all that wannabe lifestyle and those people that are trying to be unique but are all the sameat the end… Gross. I can be an architect without being a shithole,just watch me.

  39. Contemporary Architecture is just a consumer product like a plastic cup …
    Unpopular, no ‘finesse’ and sitting there in total disconnection with the people and the place …
    Me too in France and especially in Paris : i’m sick of there shits.

    From 1920 to now, the dogmes of the “International Architecture” wins.
    So make your Revolution, architects ! And break what your fathers taught you, god damned ! :)

  40. While it is amusing to a degree, this letter, is a self-indulgent example of how words written in ignorance can ultimately damage and in particular with reference to the ensuing the rabble roused response illicited from some who perhaps do not fully appreciate Ms. Choi’s facetiousness (that’s ‘shit-talk’ to those of you who might not appreciate the double entendre).

    I came across this when studying for professional exams, as an architect with 10 years experience in construction design and management in professional practice, with a further 5 prior years of academia spent studying everything from Structural Engineering, to Art History, from Civilisation Studies to Urban Design.

    The letter by Anne Choi I surmise, is intentionally puerile and wandering. But to those of you who openly agree with the letter, and miss its connotation I say, architects are partly the reason that Ms. Choi can drink her coffee while crossing roads safely to the park; walk with her dog (or hedgehog) (if she has one) along a promenade (if there is one close to her home) without having to share it with cars; partly the reason that there is enough light entering her apartment or house, enough air circulating in her home, partly the reason why she doesn’t live in a shanty town, why she has a better end-user-experience at a modern airport, and can see the entire football field without a column or head in her way.

    Architects are the people who not only shape spaces between buildings as well as the buildings themselves, but influence public and legislative policy through best-practice design and construction management setting benchmarks for quality in the entire built environment, raising the standard of living for the greater good by insisting on the implementation of minimum quality standards in towns and cities all over the world. And if they don’t then they are not doing their jobs properly.

    “Design” as it is commonly imagined (scribbling with colorful pens on tracing paper with gay abandon) is about 0.01% of an architect’s career. While design as a philosophy or an ethos is the raison-d’etre of the profession, an architects working life is 99% that of a professional advisor. Based on that advice through strategic informed decision-making (a.k.a. ‘design’), architects are the professionals who are obliged to carry the legal risks and the liability for their designs all the way to construction implementation and completion on behalf of clients who employ them to develop infrastructures. Those risks don’t just depend on successful color selection, or quality of finishes, architects in working for a client accept the liability to manage all of their client’s project risk from inception to completion as their client’s agent or representative. These are serious and complex risks such as financial and investment risk, health and safety risk, project program risk, quality expectation risk – all of which have serious legal binding and contractual ramification, should the architect fail in their promise and agreement with their clients. Construction Industry project managers for example assume no such legal responsibility or liability, and bear no such exposure to litigation through design risk, because they do not originate design, and as such originate no risk.

    Added to this the Architect has an obligation to the public at large and the environment to ensure that no third party is at risk of loss or damage due to the design of the Architect within legislative and legal frameworks. The architect is a professional possessing of a vast knowledge of law – Company, Contract, Civil, and Legislative Law, and is expected to know the realm of law within which he or she works as well, if not better than any solicitor – this is fundamental to the practice of architecture today.

    The architect is at the head of the design and construction procurement process, assuming a very great deal of liability, that most people simply do not appreciate, and would not without the requisite academic and professional training be able to manage that liability adequately on behalf of their clients. This is the liability that architects carry, and the reason for their service. Architects will put their heads on the block by standing over their designs and decisions and say, “Yes, It will work – this proposal will serve your needs Mr. / Mrs. Client” despite every person from the manufacturer of a screw, all the way up to and including the Main Contractor or indeed Client themselves, waiting in line waiting to sue the architect’s ass off if anything goes wrong. People in general are not expected to know any of this. That is why there is a niche in the market cornered by Architects, to be again facetious about it.

    I wouldn’t expect anyone who hasn’t studied Architecture to understand Architecture. Would Ms. Choi similarly express frustration at her complete ignorance of what her aforementioned Solicitors or Lawyers might do in their practice; ask of a doctor that he justify himself and his involved, convoluted or opaque procedures to her, because she can’t make head or tail of a diagnosis, or a prescription? Would she blindly trust him/her?

    If it was as easy as all that, wouldn’t everyone be an architect? And the fact is, that you can’t just ‘be’ an architect as easy as all that. There are minimum standards to entry to the profession, and with good reason. A minimum or reasonable standard of skill care and expertise are required of an average architect in practice; a standard below which if crossed there are further legal implications for an incompetent practitioner. I for one know, that with the level of personal effort that I am currently dedicating to my professional studies every day, as well as my 60 hours a week job (minimum) as a professional architect, I will be due every shred of credit that comes my way for making that minimum entry requirement.

    The invitation is there for anyone who feels that they could do as good a job if not better than a professionally qualified architect at navigating the minefield of legal pitfalls and professional challenges that come with each and every new project, to endure the pain that architects do in their professional formation. Choose your poison. And an architect’s poison is their profession – their job. At it’s basic level, architecture is a commission, a service, at it’s most noble; a vocation, a selfless act, a choice to try to do good in the world. Architects know how important it is not only to themselves, but sometimes to society, and how much they enjoy the challenge of their work. You’ll forgive us a moan or two about the never-ending queries from building sites, or the clients who want everything done yesterday, and the sleepless nights wondering whether the decisions you have made are good or bad, on many levels.

    Luckily for me, and like many other architects, I don’t do it for the money. I have a deep calling in the face of all reason and ‘sense’ to the contrary, to continue dedicating my time, and my life to the practice of a noble profession that has influenced and been influenced by history and demographics, inspired great artists and writers, empowered societies and been their means of social expression, set the scene for great significant political events, and countless ‘insignificant’ events, and more and more is becoming a tool for the development and successful integration of communities; indispensible in the provision of proper education, healthcare, and transport facilities.

    Architects like any profession, deserve respect for ensuring and maintaining ethical standards in their practice as professionals who according to the six canons of obligation within the AIA code of Conduct, are to observe their duties towards:

    1. The Profession
    2. Their Colleagues
    3. Their Clients
    4. The Public
    5. The Environment, and
    6. General Obligations.

    Forgive me if I’m missing the point of the article, or if Ms. Choi’s tongue was in her cheek when she wrote it, but opening a debate by putting forward a statement, that she is sick of the detritus of Architects, is to lower the bar, and to invite agreement from low quarters. But this is the Zeitgeist – the modern age when everyone has their say, in whatever fashion they wish – like me.

    Suggested reading: “Ethics for Architects” by Thomas Fisher. Give it a good read.

    Architects: the people that brought you the material forms and urban manifestations of western civilisation. Without Architects: No Venice, No Rome, No New York, No Chicago, No London, No Paris, No Modernism, No Art Deco, No Art Nouveau, No Bauhaus etc. etc. etc.
    Take a bow lads.

    Yours etc.
    Cathal O’Donovan B Arch Sc Dip Arch.

  41. To say that you “know more than architects” is like saying “my favorite music is nice sounding music not the music that sounds bad”

  42. She’s right. Only architects like their recent works. And don’t hang on to the coattails of beer people. Those architects would never associate with the likes of you

  43. Dear Annie Choi,

    Why so much hate? If you dont like to hear about architecture, then find another friends :)
    You depend on your architect friends to ask you out, but you hate them, yet you have no other friends to hang out with. No one force you to go out.
    Get a life.

    • Fuzzy,

      As a former Architectural Instructor, I would ask you, “”Why are you here?”. I’m not an architect. But I do architectural design and drafting on a daily basis. I started in 1977. I now produce new homes, home additions, interior design, kitchens, baths and accessory buildings. Close to all of the projects I do are built. I do roughly 30 projects yearly. I tend to start at 10 AM and leave the “office” at 4 PM. I eat dinner around 6 and then go back into the “office” for an hour or 2 after dinner. I can produce most projects in 50 hours – Plans, Elevations, and Sections. In the last 20 years I have “collaborated” with a number of architects. I stopped doing that. They don’t like to pay a reasonable hourly rate and your work is never good enough.

      Many States exclude residential and lite commercial projects from Licensure Law. Many Building Officials and Building Departments do request an architect stamp. But, a stamp doesn’t guarantee anything. A stamp doesn’t provide an automatic warranty. An architect stamp is worthless. I used to work for an architect who did forensic architecture. He often testified as an expert witness in lawsuits against architects. And most of the cases he was involved with found defendants responsible for damages. He once did a suit for a claimant whose husband fell through a roof smoke door. The defendants settled out of court of close to 8 million dollars.
      You don’t need a 5 year architectural degree to do 70% to 80% of the architecture. You want to really learn architecture, pay me 30,000 a year for the next 5 years. I’ll invest the money, and give you back half of what is in the account after 5 years. Come to my office each day at 930. We break for lunch at 12. You can bring your own sandwich or go to any of the local fastfood or grocery stores. You start back in the office at 1230 or 1.
      I’ll teach you how to do drafting, on the board. I’ll teach you how to measure a building and document it so that you can create Existing Condition Surveys that include floor plans, elevations and wall sections. I’ll teach you how to draw electrical plans, plumbing plans and hvac plans. I’ll teach you how to research building codes. I’ll teach you how to use cad and produce a project.

      Write me. We can meet via a web conference someoneinpgh at comcast dot net

  44. You are hilarious Annie, thank you…still laughing …I’m an architect and nobody ever explained the architects so well before…hahaha

  45. This is the best thing I have read in years! I applaud you…so true and so very funny. Thank you for making me LOL. All valid points and spot on…good for you! I have worked in architecture and design for 25 years and this is the truth!

  46. Dear Architects,

    Your egos manifest block out the sunlight. Your profession is not to be celebrated, but despised.

    Yours sincerely,

    Depressed citizens who live under your buildings’ shadows.

  47. Loved this article!


    Wow. wow. wow. I had no idea people hated architects so so much. It’s tough work. It’s not fun. It’s very unrewarding. 88% of the time I HATE it. Long hours at the computer. Unrealistic deadlines. Cranky clients. Shitty compensation.

    People go into this field for very different reasons. Be careful not to generalize. It’s easy to lose your soul in this field. But there are those of us who really care, work toward affordable, sustainable, and balanced environments for people to live, work and play. Environments aimed to strike even a semblance of a balance between the built and natural. Restoring landscapes and creating buildings that work to support its occupants and its surrounding resources vs the other way around.

    Design is a team sport. A good architect knows this and knows they are only as good as their weakest team member. So…cheers! and cheers again and again! to all the craftspeople, engineers, excavators, installers, framers, carpenters, metal workers, electricians, plumbers, hydrologists, surveyors, draftspersons, etc. etc. It’s a giant team making those shitty buildings, not just one egomaniac.

    What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander…the amazing spaces that bring some to their knees…not the brain child of one person but the glorious outcome of a well orchestrated team of skilled and talented people.

    So…sorry, Rem…you can’t rightfully take all the credit, the buck doesn’t stop at you. Unless of course the building falls apart, sinks 17 feet into the ground, or kills someone. Then, again, sorry Rem…the buck stops right at you, hold on to your ass.

    Did I already mention architecture as a profession is unrewarding?

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