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*IMPORTANT* Architects and clothing

edited May 2005 in architecture
Okay. This is really sensitive so make sure you tell everybody to reply.

We are a large Architecture/Interiors firm in Melbourne. One of those 'Creative Capitals' apparently.
Today, all our staff told by our non designer, executive director, we were beginning to have a very 'casual' attitude to the way we were dressing for work. ie. not dressing in a manner 'suitable' to be called for/into a corporate client meeting.
Many of us took it to mean we would need to come to work in the 'traditional' and late 20th century/earry 21st century funereal black. This is opposed to the Melbourne Uni Bow Tie and jacquard vest Movement of the 70's and 80's which sometimes teamed up with brown vest and elbow patches. I went to a ID products show (Designex) recently and it was the sales/promotion staff who wore the black thing. The 'ladies' selling tassels and lamp shades wore either the 'shreaded look' or the 'shawl look'. But I digress.

I remember the father in 'The Brady Bunch' was fairly corporate but certainly did not look part of 'The Creative Class'. And that awful series 'Pacific Palisades' where the guys looked like pimps and the girls looked like street walkers. I fact they looked more like the current crop of real estate agents than Architects.

Has anyone else thought it was strange that only car sales persons, real estate agents and Seventh Day Adventists wear suits on a Saturday? I'm babbling.
Anyway my allocated lunch is over, so, it's ever to you.

What does a designer, Architect, drafty wear to the office?

No polo shirt suggestions please. Too project managery.

Comments

  • edited January 1970
    wear a black long sleeve round-neck t-shirt
  • edited January 1970
    Come on. You have to do better than better than that. I someone asked a question about a football team there would be a flood of comments from people that have not even touched a ball.
  • edited January 1970
    I wear a doona and a beanie, that's 'casual' I think. But I have a refrigerated home office.
  • edited January 1970
    What a completely pathetic response. You must be able to better than that. What happened to creativity, humour.............
  • edited January 1970
    How do we attach photos. I have the perfect answer
  • edited January 1970
    There's an FAQ on photos here: http://www.butterpaper.com/talk/phpBB2/faq.php#24

    Basically you put the image up to a free photo gallery site and link to it or use the IMG button above to insert it into your post.

    If none of that makes sense to you email it in (last resort though as might take me days to get to it).

    P
  • edited January 1970
    "The first thing worth of remarking on was the uniform. Architects have to be one of the most sartorially conservative bunch of professionals there is in modern Britain. Even politicians look like they're dressing for the Rio carnival when set against you lot. Once and for all, constructors: simply because you don't wear a tie, it doesn't mean you aren't wearing a suit. Furthermore, simply because you're wearing slightly mismatched trousers (or skirts) and jackets, it doesn't mean you don't appear to be wearing suits when you're observed en masse, sipping white wine, and back-lit by a row of rational windows. And another thing - while it may be true that grey is the old black, grey remains the old grey as well as being both the new black and, of course, the new grey. Also, giving a pair of black leather lace-ups a vaguely orthapaedic toe does absolutely nothing to detract from their essenital character. Finally: shirts can be off white."
    Will Self, Feeding Frenzy, Penguin Books, 2001, pp.160

    True, not an Aus reference, but I recognised a little bit too much of what he described for it to be pretty bloody relevant here too. So, I think we should wear just about anything to the office that isn't as spectacularly cliched as the above described attire.
  • edited January 1970
    The instructions from that director would not be received as being so intrusive if that practice took architecture seriously but the fact that they can call staff's attention to that and other trivial misdemeanours while there is no "quality control" over the bulk of their architectural production and what is built is prominent in our citizen's lives (like everytime they go to buy their retail stuff- there's a clue) - is disgraceful. Should there be some corporate uniform or clothing subsidy so that there is a clear expectation of what is meant to be spent?
  • edited January 1970
    peter wrote:
    There's an FAQ on photos here: http://www.butterpaper.com/talk/phpBB2/faq.php#24

    Basically you put the image up to a free photo gallery site and link to it or use the IMG button above to insert it into your post.

    If none of that makes sense to you email it in (last resort though as might take me days to get to it).

    P

    OK that sounds way to hard. I'll try this -

    http://www.archiseek.com/content/attachment.php?attachmentid=679
  • edited January 1970
    Anonymous wrote:
    peter wrote:
    There's an FAQ on photos here: http://www.butterpaper.com/talk/phpBB2/faq.php#24

    Basically you put the image up to a free photo gallery site and link to it or use the IMG button above to insert it into your post.

    If none of that makes sense to you email it in (last resort though as might take me days to get to it).

    P

    OK that sounds way to hard. I'll try this -

    http://www.archiseek.com/content/attachment.php?attachmentid=679


    :shock: LMAO..thats better...
    i dunno..i guess casual is cool..
    monday - rock chick
    tuesday - glitter chick
    wed - punk chick
    thrus - lady like chick
    friday - retro chick

    lol
  • edited January 1970
    some firms will say a collared shirt and shoes, ie not thongs. for the girls its a top that didnt expose the shoulders, ie no strappy cocktail dresses.

    most 'arteliers' wil let you wear anything because thats the look thy are going for. btu goodluck showing up to a coporate firm with thongs and a tshirt.
  • edited January 1970
    mmmmmm since we r part of "art"

    why gotta wear so formal like biz people u know....
    dang maybe i should be a fashion designer lol
  • edited January 1970
    architecture is only a part of art in the broadest sense. architecture can never have the freedom of art and art can never be architecture. Although people use the word 'art' for everything these days so im sure some will disagree.

    back to topic. the type of architecture you refer to is almost non existant. int he real world its high powered client meetings and site inspections. formal attire commands respect .

    architects ARE business people.

    EDIT: People who finds the confines of architecture restraining often do find other design industries mroe appealing. mainly because they had a wrong conception of what architecture is int he first place. So yes, maybe you will be a better fashion designer than an architect.
  • edited January 1970
    :shock: hmmm right....
  • edited January 1970
    believe me, good architecture is not created on napkins in a cafe. its a rigorous multidesciplinary exploration on the problems presented, which forms the basis for your response (the building).
  • edited January 1970
    Corporate schmorporate, FBE. I work to a clientelle of fashion designers, artists, musicians and other 'cool' boutiquey type folk. I get praise for my fat kicks and material boy jeans. I get hired BECAUSE i'm the kind of person who wears fat kicks and material boy jeans!

    Architecture isn't boring suits and high powered client meetings - it's creating a product for people to live and work in and embrace life through, no matter how you go about it. And architects aren't business people. They DO business but they occupy an almost unique position that floats in between business and something much more powerful. At the least we make someone happy in the morning with a well-placed window, at the most we control peoples' lives by organising their cities.

    If you like climbing the corporate ladder, having your emails spied on and being told what to wear so as to facilitate some disparate coporate view of your job, then go nuts, good luck to you. Not all of us believe that is a path to happiness and creative fulfillment ;).

    Also, formal attire does not command respect. Talent and skill and knowing how to approach a client and knowing how to do your job command respect.

    oh, and good architecture can be created anyhow and anywhere, dude. Have you EVER crawled through a ceiling space in your life? or is it all CAD and consutlants for you? ;) chill tiger

    Have a good day kids.
  • edited January 1970
    dav_ wrote:
    Corporate schmorporate, FBE. I work to a clientelle of fashion designers, artists, musicians and other 'cool' boutiquey type folk. I get praise for my fat kicks and material boy jeans. I get hired BECAUSE i'm the kind of person who wears fat kicks and material boy jeans!

    .


    :? thats a good thing? whatever floats your boat mate. you obviously dont bother to read other peoples posts.

    big scale architecture IS business. But why does design and business are not opposites, infact that are more alike then you think.

    If you are happy with boutiques and artist studio then thats your choice. I like urban scale civic projects.
  • edited January 1970
    Why would you think i didn't read the posts? You said architecture is high powered client meetings and corporate suits, because that's what you need to command respect. You said that any type of architecture besides that is rare. You said architects are business people and that architecture and art are unresolvable. I READ your emails, i just disagree with your opinion.

    I was illustrating that other types of architecture do exist, and can be done while wearing whatever the hell we want, that clothes do not maketh the man or lady-architect and that if you find the parameters of a profession that pathetically attempts to grasp at past glories and memories of status and power, too rigid, then change those parameters! If you don't want to be at the mercy of 'high powered' clients' perceptions and you don't want to wear a suit to your site meetings, then just don't. I think that if the talented designers and thinkers get motivated to change the perception of the architect, instead of bailing when some corporate colleague tells them they'd be better off in another profession, we'd all be in a better boat.

    The design and construction of our entire environment at the mercy of men in suits? Screw that!
  • edited January 1970
    Yeh. Ok.
  • edited January 1970
    i am a professional. my image is important to both myself and company. I always wear suit to my company.
  • edited January 1970
    Here's my take on "work clothes"

    As this thread seems to have demonstrated, its all about who your clients are. The clothes you wear, like it or not, are part of the "presentation" of the company. And clients may well judge the company you work for on what you wear. Also, you want to establish 'repore' with your clients, identifying with them in the way you do business, including the way you present yourself to them. This includes the clothes you wear.

    Therefore, if your clients are mostly big corprate lawyers and accountants, you're going to want to dress up in a nice suit. If your clients are mister and misses average after some house plans, some nice pants and a collared shirt (or polo top) will do. If your clients are funky designers and boutique fashion designers, then a black turtleneck or some other fashion is obviously the way to go.

    My boss hates wearing ties. But when the big meetings are on with the big clients he'll suit-and-tie up accordingly, and so will I.
  • edited January 1970
    nice work, floorjoist. except i'm not sure that turtle necks are fashionable...;)
  • edited January 1970
    Oh dearwhat a sad office you work in.

    We allow our staff to dress as they wish respecting their abilty to make judgements about professionalism. Never hauled anyone up yet...and I, I am sad to say am in my 50's. All up twenty people in our practice

    Our office ranges in age from 20's to 60's and people dress according to what suits them, what they are doing (no point in clambering in a roof in you Sunday best). We would draw the line at birthday suits, or looking like you were about to go and do your own home renovations.

    Philip
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