Learn Architect-Speak Online

As we enter the first full work-week of the new year, it’s become painfully clear that the holidays are over, and the academic world is back in full swing. As the season of architectural talks, exhibition openings, and book releases picks up where it left off, it may be useful to learn a few words in Architect-speak.

Speak like an Architect” is a phrase-generating site that would serve as a life raft to any novice at even the stuffiest architectural get-together. It’s made by a group called Coyote Productions, although we don’t know where or when that happened, or who those people are. Based on the few gems the site’s produced for us, however, we’ve gleaned that the algorithms that run it are based on similar tenets of Kyle Chayka‘s 2012 artspeak analysis: 1) Any single word can be replaced with at least three; 2) If that fails, consult a thesaurus and use the synonym with the most syllables; 3) Abstraction and metaphor trump literal descriptions; and 4) Whenever possible, bring up sustainability. Synthesized thusly: “Above and beyond plebian comfort objectives energy conservation regulations must utilize and be functionally interwoven with the pragmatics of value engineering.”

It’s no Rosetta Stone, hence there will be no point where you actually know what you’re saying, but it’s the best pretentious in-joke since Unhappy Hipsters. [Thank you, Architect Magazine]

— Janelle Zara