An Architect's Dictionary (according to CWM)

Arch Daily ended 2015 by posting an article, "150 Weird Words Defined: Your Guide to the Language of Architecture," which got me thinking about some of the stranger things I've heard around the CWM office. The English language is a fickle thing, with several words having multiple interpretations. Some more typical architectural terms I've heard our team use include:

  • Aesthetic (adjective): The way something looks; to designate a particular style.
  • Charette (noun): An intensive design event in which architects get even less sleep than usual and encourage each other into ever more insane, we mean creative, ideas.
  • Facade (noun): The face (exterior) of a building.
  • Sustainability (noun): Go green! To minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.
  • Space (noun): The architect's canvas, otherwise known as the total built environment. 
  • Motif (noun): A repeated figure or element of the design. 
  • Inspiration (noun): Although not always easy to come by, these great ideas start the process of planning, designing, and constructing cultural works of art.

As the Marketing person at the firm, I've definitely had to do some research after listening to our designers discuss project details! Architects truly have their own language, and after delving further into the varied concepts of design, I have certainly gained an appreciation for this second-language my co-workers speak. 

We know this is a pretty small list; do you have a favorite architecture-related word or phrase? Share it with us in the comments below!


About the Author: Darra is our Marketing Coordinator. Armed with her Bachelors in Marketing, she brings plenty of organization to the team, paired with an annoying obsession for turning things in on time (aka early), and a lot of loud laughter.