11 Oct 2015

My Hero – Citizen Architect!

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Everyone needs a hero. I know what you’re thinking. Marvel bombarded us with blockbuster superhero films the past decade and you could easily mistake my hero worship for one of those spangly-outfitted heroes. But, the hero to which I refer is not the tall-building-leaping or high-tech-toy variety. My chosen hero may have great toys but the similarities end there because my hero is the chick with the bic, the man with the plan, it’s Citizen Architect [wild applause]!

Every good story casts the hero, the victim and the villain. If you’ve read this far then this qualifies as a good story; keep reading.

The Hero

The hero is called “architect”, “super-architect”or “archi-champion”, but may more formally be known as Citizen Architect! [if you forgot to say this with reverberation, then say it again with @ least three echos.] Every hero needs a catalyst. A hero’s impetus is The Victim.

The Victim

The victim is the client, “owner”, “damsel”, “dude” or whatever pet name you call your clients. I don’t use client pet names, but as you’ll learn in this article, my southern female clients often have pet names for me. Every victim falls prey to The Villain.

The Villain

The villains the Citizen Architect confronts are The Imposer, The Destroyer & The Restrictor! [insert you favorite boo-hiss sound bites here.]

The Imposer:

The Imposer is the ominous code official who confuses clients with complicated jargon and obscure requirements that affect building location, size, occupancy, materials and safety features. The Imposer renders a client helpless with paperwork, fees and requirements. Citizen Architect to the rescue! Citizen Architect translates the Imposer’s lingo into usable images and documents to gain project approval. Citizen Architect’s knowledge of  codes and jurisdiction requirements plus his aptitude with construction documents thwarts the Imposer’s ploy. Crisis 1 averted, but another villain lurks.

The Destroyer:

The Destroyer is a contractor, subcontractor or supplier who breaks things, improperly constructs details or provides inferior substitutions. Citizen Architect intervenes with trade tools such as documents, specifications, submittals and site visits to defend the client’s project, not the project the Destroyer wants him to have. Citizen Architect’s skill in trade interaction and knowledge of building science derail the Destroyer’s indifference to restore order where construction chaos looms. Hooray for Citizen Architect! [thunderous cheers]. Another villain defeated, but there’s a third oppressor.

The Restrictor:

The Restrictor is the project budget or the two-faced voice that encourages a client to overspend and also the oppressive force that supplants luxury for economy. The Restrictor renders a client’s dream helpless and hopeless with financial despair. Citizen Architect employs product knowledge and creative aptitude to create the beautiful, yet affordable, project clients aspire to have converting the Restrictor from foe to friend. Have no fear, Citizen Architect is here!

Citizen Architect (CA) doesn’t use x-ray vision [wishful thinking], bullet resistance [although it would be remarkably helpful] or a power ring [which would be a first-rate toy]. The CA uses skill, aptitude, knowledge and expertise to defend the architecture world against villains.

Is it a bird, is it a plane…sorry that’s the wrong kind of hero.

It’s the chick with the Bic. It’s the man with the plan. It’s Citizen Architect!

Architalks Credits

This is another entry in Bob Borson’s blogging brain-child titled, “ArchiTalks”.

The #ArchiTalks goal is to inspire blogging architects with similar educational and professional requirements to opine on the same topic and simulpost their response so other architects and a broader audience can enjoy the rampant thought-diversity within the architecture profession

Select the links in “Architalks Entries” below to read how architects responded to the “Citizen Architect” topic.

image credits: © Marvel: The Avengers

Architalks Entries

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Citizen Architect … Seems Redundant

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Citizen Architect

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Good Citizen Architect

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
What Does it Mean to be a Citizen Architect?

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
small town citizen architect

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
#ArchiTalks: The everyday citizen architect

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
Citizen Architect: #architalks

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
Architect as Citizen

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
My Hero – Citizen Architect

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
We are the Champions – Citizen Architects

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Meet Jane Doe, Citizen Architect

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
Architalks #13: How Can I Be But Just What I Am?

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
Help with South Carolina’s Recovery Efforts

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Senior Citizen, Architect

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Citizen Architect

Tara Imani – Tara Imani Designs, LLC (@Parthenon1)
Citizen Starchitect’ is not an Oxymoron

Jonathan Brown – Proto-Architecture (@mondo_tiki_man)
Citizen Architect – Form out of Time

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
[cake decorating] to [citizen architect]

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Citizen Architect #ArchiTalks

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
Citizen of Architecture

Daniel Beck – The Architect’s Checklist (@archchecklist)
Protecting the Client – 3 Ways to be a Citizen Architect

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Citizen Developer??

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Citizen Architect

Courtney Casburn Brett – Casburn Brett (@CasburnBrett)
“Citizen Architect” + Four Other Practice Models Changing Architecture

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
How Architects Can Be Model Citizens

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
Citizen Architect: The Last Responder

Samantha Raburn – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Inspiring a Citizen Architect

About the Author

Your Architect is Eric Faulkner -- an architect licensed in Texas & Oklahoma with 29 years experience in design, construction observation and life.