Tyler Suomala is an archi-techie and business development professional at Monograph. He helps architects better communicate their unique value through his fun and popular weekly newsletter, Tyler Tactics. For daily humor and helpful tips, connect with Tyler on LinkedIn.
Dust off your Furby.
Ask your mom to mail your cargo pants.
Replace the batteries in your Tamagotchi.
It’s time to take a long, hard look in the rearview mirror.
But first, close your eyes. Imagine yourself back in the studio. Take a deep breath and embrace the omnipresent laser-cutting fumes. Hear the sound of your hardened finger pads as you tap them on your cutting mat. See the insane amounts of cardboard, chipboard, and every other type of board that litter the floor and desks.
If you find yourself in a familiar place, then you’re off to a good start. You might be a millennial architect if…
…your love of “architecture” was born from playing The Sims.
Sometimes, when I touch an old mouse in a thrift shop I can still hear the music. I close my eyes and imagine the ease of switching carpets with two clicks or randomly placing four walls on a lawn without a roof (IYKYK). I don’t know about you, but I never managed to design a home that looked as good as the opening credits. We can all dream though, right?
Let’s not forget the very important, real world lesson that we all learned from The Sims: When a client’s budget is too small, you can just type “rosebud” into your computer for 2 hours to add an extra million to their budget. Victory.
…the plotter was the only thing stopping you from world domination.
Nothing like burning an entire month of your grocery budget on plots with a 10% success rate, amirite? The trauma is so strong that you can still run through the PDF settings in your head religiously. But there’s no stopping the phantom lines or surprise color combinations that the plotter had in store for you. And just when you’re feeling confident, you find it jammed at 1AM the morning before your final review.
I’d like to say that we learned our lesson, but I think we all know that’s not true. I still politely bow to every plotter I see as if to say, “I’m at your mercy. Please don’t hate me.”
…you believe that a Grasshopper isn’t an insect, but a way of life.
Parametricism, baby! We inject it into our veins and eat it for breakfast while chugging Red Bull and scrolling ZHA’s website. It sustains us.
But it wasn’t free. The cost? Curse words, mostly. Legend has it that Grasshopper has the highest ratio of curse words per hour of use (pre-Revit, that is). So many broken wires. So much time spent searching for the right component. Or googling for just one other person in the world that has experienced the same error as you.
What did we get in return? A Studio Gang-inspired facade to add to one side of our design project that was met with strong disdain by every juror at our final review. And rightly so. We basically ignored every aspect of the project to focus on our sick script.
Sorry not sorry, professors.
…Le Corbusier was mentioned in at least half of your lectures.
Villa Savoye. Slide. Ronchamp. Slide. Unité d’habitation.
We can recite his five points like the Pledge of Allegiance and continue to be haunted by variations of “Towards A New” anything, forevermore. And let’s not forget the photograph that accompanied every mention of him. You know the one to which I’m referring. A nude Le Corbusier stares at the camera in front of an active canvas in one of Eileen Gray’s villas (as one does…).
For the love of pilotis, let’s hope this trend has subsided. Can someone from Gen Z give us all a progress report?
…you’ve spent at least 10,000 hours of your life redoing work that you forgot to save.
Nothing crashes drafting and modeling software faster than a millennial on a mission. If there’s a bug, we’ve found it. If there’s a glitch, we’ve seen it. If there’s a Ctrl + S save function, we’ve ignored it.
It’s the price we pay for creating 473 iterations of a massing model in a single file. And despite our scattered sticky notes reminding us to “SAVE NOW!” we never learned our lesson.
Did you know that there’s an autosave function that you can enable in the settings? I won’t tell you how old I was when I made this discovery. But I will tell you that I kept it disabled…like a proud millennial.
Top image by Brent Dalling on Unsplash