Did you hear the exciting news? Kayne West is picking up a T-square and going full-on architect. That’s right, the rapper/producer/reigning heavy-weight champ of award ceremony controversy is adding architecture to his resume and joining the ranks of stars like Brad Pitt and, well … Brad Pitt. While the trend to channel fame and fortune into architecture may be a lesser, grassroots movement, these titans of entertainment are creating more than enough buzz to fill the architecture paparazzi void. Amidst all the gossip, the news about West and Pitt has been greeted with a heavy dose of skepticism. (A less committed fellow-celeb, Moby, has avoided the backlash by keeping his interest in architecture a hobby.) Critics target the absence of academic studio time, the lack of accredited degrees, and “internships” that involve working shoulder to shoulder with renowned architects rather than slaving away at the bottom of the professional ladder, well below architects you’ve never heard of. But the critics can complain to their maylines (that’s an architectural straight-edge, Kayne and Brad), because Team BUILD is welcoming our new architectural brethren with open arms.
Indeed, it’s going to be dope to rub elbows with our new buddy Kanye at the architecture awards each year while he grabs the mic to redirect that honor award from Frank Gehry to Rem Koolhaas (who, after all, did have one of the best projects of all time), or catch up with Brad at some AIA round table discussions. What’s that, Kanye? Join you for a PechaKucha karaoke slam? You bet! Hey Brad, how about we throw some cardboard down in the BUILD LLC basement and have ourselves a Fight Club style design charrette? As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s going to be architecturally sick.
For the most part, architecting it up with our newly minted comrades is going to be all lollipops and rainbows. But Kayne, Brad, there is this one little thing we need to talk to you about. It’s not a huge deal, and you shouldn’t take it personally. So here’s the thing, you’re too, ahem … glamorous for architecture. If you’re going to fit in with the architecture crowd, there’s a few image downgrades we’re going to have to implement. So for our soon-to-be new pals Kayne, Brad and any other super-famous, ridiculously wealthy, mega-stars looking to become architects out there, here is BUILD’s Famous Person’s 5-Step Guide to Becoming an Architect:
1. Your new wardrobe budget is $175.
Most of us architects can’t even correctly pronounce Louis Vuitton, let alone afford it. But don’t worry, a hundred-and-seventy-five bones goes a long way if you’re scrappy, resourceful and you hit Banana Republic during their fall sale. Also, no more loud colors or fancy patterns, from here on out its all grayscale monotones. With your entire wardrobe residing between 40% gray and 100% black you’ll be perfectly camouflaged at any design event in town. This strategy also allows you to conceal the fact that your button-ups have skipped a few visits to the laundry room. (The laundry room is that funny little appendage in the basement, adjacent the staff quarters).
2. Your personability is too personal.
Let’s face it, most of you famous people could roll out of bed with a massive hang-over and bed-head and still seem more polished than us architects on a good day. Largely due to the fact that we were up all night working on that competition project for Cincinnati, we’re just not really all that interested in being personable, not right now anyway — get back to us after we’ve finished our coffee. In order to seamlessly fit in with architecture culture, you’ll need bags under your eyes and a persnickety look on your face suggesting slight disapproval. There will be no more smiling and for God’s sake, turn off the charm. Try mumbling a few sentences of indecipherable opinion involving Ronchamp, Taliesin West or Bilbao. (There are important buildings in these places.)
3. Dumb-down your life experiences.
Under no circumstances should you mention that Lear Jet soirée from Milan to the Côte d’Ivoire with Vogue models. You’ll need to tone it down with all of the exotic places you’ve been and amazing people you’ve put bottles of Perrier-Jouët away with. We architects spent our most fruitful years toiling away in the studio (that building on your college campus with the lights on all night). You’ll need to adopt some tiresome stories about that time your buddy Brandon drank an entire 6-pack of red bull and then pulled an all-nighter. Repeat after us, “Someday I’d like to backpack around Nova Scotia sketching the indigenous structures.”
4. You’re still too young.
Architects don’t get any respect until they’re 73, so lay off the plastic surgery and let those crows feet work their magic. You’ll need to trade in the herbal detoxification wraps and bespoke mineral water cleanses for carpal tunnel and value-grade bourbon (on the rocks please). Carrying 12 pounds of oversized gold chains around your neck is a fitness indicator of youth and vitality that sends the wrong message — these should be substituted for a pair of chunky black glasses.
5. Less bling, more books
The Bugatti, the Bel Air mansion and the luxury yacht aren’t exactly indicators that you’re sweating over those wall section details (drawings required for construction documents). If you’re going to pull off this architect performance, go with a studio apartment stacked with esoteric books and one nice designer chair.
Cheers from Team BUILD