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Hey, It’s Architecture. Sorry About That.

August 6, 2019

There is one rule of humor: be funny.

Funny means the humor means something to you. It means absurdity. But intimate absurdity.

Everybody loves, and is a fool for love. Everyone wants to be hip, and is mockable for being lame. Everybody has a body, but almost no one likes it.

But everyone lives in a building. Everyone uses buildings everyday to live.

And every building has a design.

But so many buildings are jokes to those who are forced to use and live around them.

Somewhere, someone made the information needed to make every building happen. That info maker would be a human, who can be absurd. Or lame. Or just so narcissistic that the fact you are using the building is irrelevant. That would be an architect.

If absurdity of the intimate is a key to humor, the jackasses that make buildings that crush your humanity are the low hanging fruit of mocking

Architect Fjuck in the video is simply a mirror. Not a Fun House Mirror. The words, the perspective, the outcomes are with the rest of us architects every day.

The list of the mockable buildings in this teaser is a Who’s Who of buildings that a few love, and most, and mostly not architects, loathe. Their complete narcissism of fine arts self-referential hip tone deafness is completely self-justifying. And stupid. So it is funny.

We, humans, are subjected to elite absurdities everyday. They are called “Politically Correct”. Architecture has those absurdities in spades. Architects get loved by other architects if they make things only an architect would love.

But those self-justifying brain dead reactionary absurdities seen in the Fjuck video are almost all buildings which are noticed, then lauded, because if they are not lauded when they are “correct” puts the mute architects on the wrong side of correctness.

On the other hand, most architects and designers fall to pandering, to pleasing the lowest common denominator of cash-n-carry design work. Follow the money, get paid, make a building by making what the buyer wants, but leaving some impact.

So the mockability of architects and their architecture is as universal as the pontificating doctor, the avaricious ambulance chasing lawyer, or the overwhelmingly judgmental parent. And you. And me.

If we pretend the “serious” architecture is too “important” to be humorous, we are fully inhuman. Inhumanity is what makes the buildings designed by architects for architects completely mockable. Because those architects are infinitely mockable.

But “Houston, there is a problem”. Humans use architects, or at least designers. Their absurdities, so easily mockable, inveigh the judgment of irrelevance to other humans, so architects become irrelevant.

If “we know best” and disdain the realities of the human condition: from fear, memory, even simple safety – we become the chefs of inedible food. We are that tree falling in the woods with no one listening. We join New Music, needle tower residential skyscrapers in New York City, and any number of fringe websites that appeal to tiny numbers but indict an entire specie.

Who are we, we who design things?

Are we, too often, the jokes so easily made?

Yes, many are. The loudest and often most lauded are. Those architects are in the place of the convinced. Just like Fundamentalist Believers of any stripe, ‘Right” first, and relevant only by coincidence.

I want to have meaning beyond my obvious mockability. There is no way anyone makes anything and escapes humorous judgment. But if you know that what you do has an alternative view to yours, and offer it anyway, it’s hard not to be in the flow of our larger culture. If the hero architect of Fjuck is the image that is rewarded by the Deep State of architectural journalism, education and institution, my life becomes judged in my absence.

If architects forget how we are seen, we give up the right to be surprised by how we are are seen, let alone dismiss it, we become those jokes of cultural absurdity. If you doubt me, ask Hillary Clinton.

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