Archispeak: Large, made-up words that architects and designers use to make themselves sound smarter than you (you being the client or the confused observer of design). It does nothing to inform or enlighten the consumer of architecture and mostly serves to numb them into obedience or self doubt. Urban Dictionary
Is there truth to it? Indubitably.
Architects love their Archispeak, their own special jargon.
Jargon, however, obscures meaning.
It is a language of exclusion.
In Architecture, a public act, exclusion is a problem. Yes?
So why use it?
Jargon has value, it renders a clarity of thought & communication that may not otherwise be achieved by the inexactitudes of non-specialised language.
Architecture (the built work) is a language too, a visual language. A language of materials, a language of proportions, of visual composition, of spatial or functional relationships. It’s a language understood and interpreted consciously and unconsciously in a myriad of ways. Architecture’s and architects’ consideration and realisation of a visual language has, however, fostered jargon, exclusion and elitism.
Elitism is not, in itself, a problem or indeed unreasonable. We admire elite athletes, chefs, artists, and so on. In literature the writing of Nobel prize winning author (elite of the elite) Patrick White is highly lauded, but more people read and connect with JK Rowling.
If it’s not the elitism of the architecture that’s the problem, then what is?
It’s the exclusion of everyone else as a consequence of Archispeak.
It makes me curious.
How might architects talk about the value of architecture in a language free from jargon?