17 Jun 2018

The Dad — The Architect

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Doctor, Officer, General. Those are titles that designate a particular status, position or employment. I don’t like them. It’s not these titles specifically that I don’t like. I don’t like titles, period; however, there are three titles I’ve earned in life that I proudly wear. Husband, Dad and Architect. Over the years, my family learned those titles are not mutually exclusive.

My spouse described the experience of living with an architect in this article titled, My Husband — The Architect, but my offspring is less vocal and despite the offer, chose not to draft an article about his architect-dad. I’m persistent if nothing else, so after moderate cajoling I extracted a first-hand account from my honors (summa cum laude) graduate of what it’s like to live with an archidad.

Dad, Architect, Homework Designer:

Having an architect dad means all visual aids take twice as long to present because the archidad’s critiques take as long to interpret as it does to type. How does a student respond to this feedback?

“the juxtaposition of the frame relative to image counteracts the angle of the subject”

Similarly, is it worth the effort to change the font at the last hour when your archidad says?

“the font size is disproportional to the negative space and the font type contradicts the primary design concept”.

My school projects are beautiful, but the happy-to-glad changes transform a routine homework assignment into an late-night charrette.

Dad, Architect, Life-Cycle Guru:

Having an architect dad means your cardboard canoe project cannot be a purely functional and sea-worthy box that fully satisfies the academic rubric. The finished project must exceed the basic solution, include aesthetic features and a second-life plan for material salvage. Before the boat embarks on it’s maiden voyage, my archidad expects answers to the question…

“how have you successfully integrated the physics, material choice and the school mascot into your design concept?”

After the successful launch, I had to explain my reuse or disposal plan. My archidad asked,

“Did you use complementary material modules to minimize material waste?”

“Will you re-purpose the materials for use on another project or recycle them?”

I appreciate my archidad’s save-the-earth vision, but who will save me from my archidad’s relentless add-on work?

Dad, Architect, Extremist:

Having an architect dad means you must show EVERY step on math homework even if you can simply deduce the answer from the given material and all your diagrams must have appropriate line quality to distinguish between object, hidden, break and guide lines. Failure to comply results in another elaborate critique.

“You skipped the step that shows the sign change to indicate negative acceleration.”

“There’s insufficient line weight differentiation between the object and guide lines resulting in unclear imagery.”

I welcome my dad’s expertise, but his preoccupation with missing signs and skinny lines causes too many sleepless nights!

Here’s the hand I was dealt. I have a live-in archidad, who cares about my projects, the earth and making me a better person, but what do I get for all of the add-on work and sleepless nights? I get a great dad who also happens to be a great husband and architect. For mom and me, having an archidad is a win-win-win.

Read these articles to learn about other Archi-dads.

Architalks Entries

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
Happy Fathers Day #archidads

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
The Dad — The Architect

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
#Archidad – A modern approach

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Life as an Archidad

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Being ArchiDad

Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)

Larry Lucas – Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
A Daddy Architects Work Life Blur and My Escape

Steve Mouzon – The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
Fathers Day for Architects – The Empty Seat

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
ArchiDad on Father’s Day

Architalks Credits

This is a Brian Paletz brain child inspired by the #archimom post from last month. It’s a subset of the monthly blog event 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 dad-architects responded to the “ArchiDad” topic.

image/video credits:


About the Author

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