"But I Still Think It's Ugly": Explaining Architecture to Normal People
A discussion intended to help us better explain architecture to non-architects, with the goal of increasing their appreciation of the buildings that give us joy and wonder and satisfaction. We want people to like the buildings we design, because we want them to ask us to design more of them. We’ll look at how architects' values often diverge from those of people at large; how architecture school shapes our habits of thought in ways that may sometimes impede our communication with non-architects; and how we might more effectively share both our love and understanding of buildings.
1) Be aware of habits of mind common to architects that hinder effective communication with non-architects.
2) Understand ways to counter those habits of mind.
3) Be aware of common communication faux pas.
4) Practice ways of generating more effective messages.
Tim Culvahouse, FAIA, helps fellow architects expand, refine, or otherwise enrich what they’re doing. He is Editor and Content Strategist for the American Institute of Architects, California Council and past chair of the board of the non-profit Public Architecture. He is the editor, as well, of The Tennessee Valley Authority: Design & Persuasion, published in 2007 by Princeton Architectural Press. His articles have appeared in a wide range of journals, including 306090, ANY, Art Papers, Design Book Review, Harvard Design Magazine, Modulus, Perspecta, Residential Architect, and World Architecture. A former Head of the Department of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and former Associate Dean for Design & Architectural Studies at California College of the Arts, he has served as the Favrot Distinguished Chair in Design at Tulane School of Architecture, Masters Studio Visiting Critic at Carleton University in Ottawa, and Friedman Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley. He earned his Master of Architecture from the Tulane School of Architecture and a Master of Environmental Design from Yale University.
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