The art and… what..? of architecture

Incomplete house from Graduate Design Studio II.

One of my greater failures (so far).

Whenever I speak to someone new and mention that I’m in architecture, they’ll say without fail, “Oh, how creative! You must be an artist!” I’ve learned not to argue, to just smile and nod instead, maybe chuckle and say, “Something like that.”

 I grew up in the sciences, on the neuro side of psychology. I threw myself into biology, into anatomy and physiology. Into chemistry and physics, even. I was a research assistant for three years and found myself preparing for med school. My dad, a family practitioner and the biggest reason I flirted with becoming a doctor, once told me about ‘the art and science’ of medicine:

To be a good doctor, you need a deep grasp of the science behind the medicine. To be a great doctor, you need the ‘art’ – the intuition to know when to go with or against what the science seems to say.”

Here I am in architecture now, and I miss the science.

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