A jealousy of architects 2.
As Archfemme notes, the architect’s wife may have the additional burden of being her architect husband’s only true friend.
Architecture is a tough and competitive profession. Architects have to work long hours during weeks and weekends alike. They have little time for recreational activities or for socialising with friends.
In spite of being gregarious and interesting people, they do not click with many people they meet. They may not admit it but they find them boring and petty, as they invariably relate to the architect some dreadful stories about renovations that didn’t go well (which reminds the architect of their difficult clients).
Most other people think they have taste and design sense, but have none.
Other people complain about their jobs and workloads, yet what they describe is nothing compared with what the architect does before breakfast each day.
Noone understands their profession and noone appreciates what they do. The relatively small number of architect designed homes is testimony to this.
There is an exception to this general lack of understanding – that is other architects. They know what it is like. The architect may not think that other architects have particularly good taste or design capabilities, but they know that they understand the unique challenges of the profession.
The sad thing is that architects are in direct competition with each other – with the only people who might understand them. At gatherings of architects, such as awards nights, architects will mix well, be charming to each other, swap amusing stories of difficult contracts and the impossible compromises forced on their projects by builders. They will appear sanguine about these frustrations, as if they are mature and wise enough to take such things in their stride.
They will also be full of bravado, unable to expose their true vulnerabilities and financial struggles. In spite of the isolation architects feel from each other, gossip circulates among them faster than news of Wall Street’s market plunges on twitter.
No architect wants to be the subject of this gossip.
Since there are more architects than jobs, intense rivalry and jealousy simmer under that bravado and goodwill at the awards night.
Architects will be beaten to a job, or an award, by another firm which deserves the job/award less. This is a general rule.
The other firms which win the work, and the awards, have less talented designers, are more ‘commercial’, and/or are ruthless self-promoters.
The architect’s wife may be the only person in the world that truly understands and validates this truth.