Taking words seriously

Juliette Mitchell - Taking words seriously

I wish architects would take their words more seriously. Some do, of course, but it’s still a rare treat to come across an architect’s website where the words inspire me as much as the photographs. I just get the sense that architects are, as a species, very reluctant writers. But you (and I’m addressing all architects now) really do need words.

It’s the words on a website that will give people a sense of what you might be like to work with; it’s the words that will explain to the planners why you’ve designed a house a certain way; and it’s the words that, along with the images and plans, will really fight your corner when you need to prove that you’re the right person for the job.

Of course grappling with words isn’t to everyone’s taste, and it can be hard to move from more 3D concerns to the necessity of getting a string of marks on a page to line up in an orderly fashion. But good writing isn’t all that different to good architecture. And you don’t need complicated phrasing to convey subtlety, beauty and the qualities of a space.

So after many years spent working with people whose working life depends on it, I’m on a mission to bring good writing to architects. And to show that sometimes the very best words are actually the simplest, just like the very best houses.