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July 2015

The Language of Reality

Every day we are exposed to clever or not so clever language in the media. Whether it's print, digital, broadcast - TV or radio, or face-to-face conversation, we are almost "wordsmithed" to death. In true Andy Rooney meets George Carlin style, guest author Tagish, AIA member explores the changing vocabulary of architecture. This article first appeared in "Forum" July, 2015, a monthly publication of AIA Las Vegas.

Have you noticed that there no longer are such things as houses? House builders are now home builders. There are no real estate listings for houses -- only homes. Is an unsold house under construction a home? Whose home? Expensive ones are "residences". There are home inspectors, home remodelers, home furnishings, and home fries. Only dogs live in "dog houses". You'll notice however, that cats do not live in "cat houses".

Architects too are being re-defined. Now it appears there will be a kind of professional technician who is not registered or licensed but is functionally competent to perform architectural services. Of course, there are many people in this category now but it is apparently demeaning to call them "interns" so a new name is being considered. Maybe we will have "Architecteers" and maybe "Architectettes"? As soon as it becomes politically incorrect to sexually distinguish persons such technicians could then be assigned a number under a single new category such as "Fully Qualified Person AX: Architectural Division". A second class of professionals already exists and they are identified as "Residential Designers" (note that they are not "House Designers"). It only remains to conceal their sex so bigots can't discriminate.

The lexicon of today is governed by political correctness and sales psychology. Who wants a jive house when they can buy a "home"? Who needs a jive licensed and registered Architect when they can get a "Fully Qualified Person" for maybe less cost? Does a dog care who designs his abode? Maybe some do?

Reality is now just words to create perceptions and it is known that perception is reality. Murderers are unfriendly neighbors seeking happiness. Thieves are financially deprived by social injustices. Wars don't exist if we say so. The 1952 Korean War was called a "police action". It is likely the dead did not appreciate the difference.

Any re-definition of Architects will be under the direction of lawyers so the perpetrators of architectural "crimes" will be punished. The Code of Hammurabi written in the 18th century B.C. in Mesopotamia defined crimes and punishments. Among them was the crime of faulty building design and construction. He had a battery of lawyers preparing these from previous codes and generally the crime was matched with the punishment (an eye for an eye, etc.). Lawyers will be needed more than ever and they have to make a living too, right? Don't "Fully Qualified Persons" make as many errors as Architects? The money rolls in and the fun never stops for lawyers.

It seems doubtful that the reality of architectural design processes would change much. It is the perception of reality that would change. Interns would no longer exist. They would just be removed from the idea that their objective is to become licensed and registered Architects and for many that is already a real fact. Who needs that trail of tears? It is a democratic ideal, a great leveler of status. Some would say that it is a better recognition of the real world.

Whether you consider yourself a "fully qualified person" or more importantly a licensed built environment professional (architect, engineer, landscape architect), you must maintain current, complete, active credentials with various requirements. We can help "keep it real" by providing credentials management services. Visit us at for more information with an easy sign up process.

Big changes Coming to this summer!



Housing Solutions for the Modern Dog!

This design won Best In Show, by Newberry Campa Architects. Built for a large dog looking for a stylish home to retreat from his active lifestyle.

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