“I did not choose architecture, it chose me” (Olga Milanoff)
“Architecture is not a choice, it is a destiny”! (Frank Lloyd Wright).
There are some people who are destined to become architects. There are others who are destined to be the partners of architects.
Both have grand and difficult vocations, involving heroic struggle, creativity, resourcefulness.
Architects call their vocation challenging. They do it tough but get some satisfaction in knowing that their tireless work – while under valued and under paid – makes the world a better place and visibly improves peoples lives.
Architects’ wives call their vocation a mistake. They do it tough and get no satisfaction in knowing that their partner’s tireless work – away from the family – makes the world a better place. It may visibly improve peoples lives but not the lives of the architect’s loved ones.
There are few consolations and fewer comforts in this most ascetic of vocations. But there is one comfort….sharing some bitter tales with other partners of architects. They discover that the architects they love may indeed be unique, special, original, one of a kind (as architects always are), but their idiosyncratic ways and uniquely frustrating circumstances and habits are indeed species typical. The architects’ wives/husbands may feel less alone in their plight knowing that others share their pain.
The term “wives” is used here to refer generally to the partners of architects. Of course this may be a male or female partner of a male or female architect, or a person who is in a relationship or trying to have a relationship with an architect, but is not married to the architect.
Having said this, however, I think that women architects do not display all the species typical traits of the male architect. Women architects are likely to undertake a hefty portion of the home/family responsibilities as well as undertaking the responsibilities of the world in their architectural work. Women architects may also carry the load of all marketing, public relations , relationship management, staff management and community engagement endeavours for their company. This is a difficult workload, which is compounded when the female architect is also married to an architect.
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