Architecture and the Myth of the Master Builder


This month's #architalks topic is "Architecture and ..."

Um…. Um…. Is there something besides architecture? I am pretty sure that architecture is life.

#architalks is organized by Bob Borson of “Life of an Architect” fame. You should read his blog it is amazing. In case you didn’t know, he is up for a “Major Award”, you can vote for his blog here. Hopefully when he wins so that he can post a picture of his leg lamp. In addition to Bob’s contribution to the topic, there are a bunch of other really good blog posts on this same subject. There are links at the bottom of this post. It is really fun to see the different takes on the same topic.

For my particular variation on this topic I have come up with the title.

Architecture and the Myth of the Master Builder

One of my pet peeves is whenever I hear someone say “I did that project”. Sorry, but "oh no you dit-ten". You were a small part of a “HUGE” machine that came together to create that project. Architecture is a team support. And the team is really, really large. Here at di’velept, we are super glad that there are huge teams on every project. My mind would melt if I had to figure out everything by myself. Plus, having shared authorship make every project far better than if ideas come from one person. Check out this video where Joshua Prince-Ramus talks about shared authorship on the Seattle Public Library.

I have thought quite a bit about this topic, but it is top of mind because one of the podcast I listened to recently introduced me to the essay “I, Pencil”. Reading the essay will boggle your mind. One of the best quotes from the essay is

“Not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me (the pencil)”.

After reading the essay I agree. The essay is a treaties for libertarian thought, which I don’t fully agree with, but if you can put that aside and just think about the massive amount of people (and places) that are part of the manufacturing of a single pencil it is pretty amazing. And this is just the supply chain to make the first thing that I touch when the phone rings about a potential project. Every other little item on the project has it’s own massive “family tree” that comes together to bring it into existence. Even the smallest project has been "touched" by thousands (or millions) of people. With rare exception, not since the stone ages has a single person completed a project. And even then they were building on the knowledge of people who built before them.

On a more tangible note, I am so grateful for the many wonderful consulting engineers that di’velept gets to work with on each project. That there are folks that love to calculate the size of ducts, conduits, and beams is just a mysterious to me as the supply chain of the pencil, but I am so glad that such people exist. Also, we have worked with a bunch of stand up contractors. They are the final line of defense in making any project come together smoothly, and it is great to be on the same team with them.

Here are links to everyone who wrote this month.

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Architecture and Photography


Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Architecture and a Future Without Architects


Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
architecture and __


Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Architecture and Travel


Collier Ward - One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Architecture and Storytelling


Jes Stafford - MODwelling (@modarchitect)
Architecture and Gaming


Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
architecture and m&ms


Rosa Sheng - EquitybyDesign [EQxD] (@EquityxDesign)
Architecture And the Era of Connection


Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#ArchiTalks 18: architecture and... the bigger picture


Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 18: Architecture and Mathematics


Amy Kalar - ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
Architalks 18: Architecture and ... Parenting


Michael Riscica - Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Architecture and Yoga


brady ernst - Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Architecture and Ego


Michael LaValley - Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Architecture and Ego / The Architect's Unique Struggle with 'Good' Design


Sharon George - Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Architecture and Kids


Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Architecture and More


Jeffrey A Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Architecture and Interior Design


Samantha Raburn - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Architecture and Wrestling


Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories


Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories


Adam Denais - Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
[#ArchiTalks 18] Architecture and Strange Travel Etiquette


Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Architecture and...my Generation.

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