Bullshit, the Architecture Student's Language

The authors of The Real Architect's Handbook: Things I Didn't Learn in Architecture School suggests that I read On Bullshit. It even suggest that I carry it around with me, since it is pocket-sized.

This would serve one well, were one committed to using academese (itself a dialect of bullshit) as a smartypants way of calling bullshit when one finds oneself stuck in a committee meeting (of any kind) or in a crit at architecture school.

Bullshit is the required language of most (all?) architecture schools. You might not be aware of this until you first hear your classmates trying to convince the critics (and themselves) of the theoretical merits of their design, to wit:

...even though at 3am that morning you heard these same classmates bemoaning the ridiculousness of their designs.

And then suddenly it is your turn to stand up there in front of everybody, your Illustrator printouts pinned up behind you. Gosh, you better sound smart too, 'cuz if you don't, the critics will use architectese bullshit to tell you how retarded you are. And you'll think to yourself, "What the fuck does that even mean?!"

Don't want that to happen. Better learn to bullshit.

Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person's obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic exceed his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to the topic.
-- Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit, page 63

Thanks to the superiority of the immersion method of language acquistion, you'll pick up bullshit quite quickly while at architecture school. It will become more familar to you than your mother tongue. Speaking of, your mother will no longer understand you. You will feel funny when you find yourself "dumbing down" your words so that you can continue to communicate with anyone who still talks to you after you abandonned them for architecture school. You won't even know who you are anymore.

 

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