A Letter to Prospective Architecture School Parents


A letter to prospective architecture school parents

As your child suddenly wearing angular clothes and pretending to need glasses and talking about things like maylines (sorry, forgot we’re not in the 90’s anymore) and 3d-printing and the power of the research lab to change the world studio? Has your child started rejecting your Frank Lloyd Wright photo books and started asking for that super sweet punched-out Chora L Works thing that makes no sense to you because there are literally holes in it? Has your child refused to go on anymore holiday house tours because, seriously mom, this is what I do all day at school?

Then congratulations! You now have an architecture school student child. And as much as we have—and need—the framework of, say, Adult Children of Alcoholics, just as deeply do we need a framework for Adult Parents of Architecture Students. You may be panicking right now. You may be wondering why Bessie is suddenly hating prints (unless she’s wearing all the prints at the same time); why Mark is rolling his eyes when you say there’s a nice-looking house for sale down the block. Rest assured, these are phases that will pass.

I would like to offer you the Phases of Architectural Education, so that you may feel calmer as you embark on this new journey:

Phase 1 – The “Omigod you so totally don’t get what architecture even IS” phase.
This is when your child comes home from college and says, “I’ve decided not to major in international relations because all politics is a power game and besides the real way to intervene in structural economic problematics is to problematize the problem of space within a Foucauldean metric,” and you’re like, “Oh, that sounds nice honey, are you going to look at buildings?” and your child is like “OMIGOD IT’S NOT EVEN ABOUT BUILDINGS.” […]