The idea is simple. Students are given a brief lecture in the morning involving some design problem and by evening are expected to have produced a model and a set of drawings to represent their quick solution to the problem. It's a tradition the has it's roots in the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and it is intended to build the sort of quick thinking and decision making skills so often needed "in the field", as they say.
Today we were given a free standing one room building, 24ft. X 24ft., to be used as an artists studio. We were to figure out a way to light the building naturally, both directly an indirectly, through the use of skylights and the situation of the building on it's site. I passed. My project was on the high side of the middle. There were some that blew me away, and others that were just junk. I'm pleased with the results.
So what does one wear to a "charette"? Khakis, blue oxford, bow tie and penny loafers, of course. ( the camera needs new batteries, so use your imagination). I was advised to dress comfortably, so I wore a sweater instead of a jacket.
Recently I posted about bow ties have been the neck wear of choice for architects in the past, and today I finally realized why: bow ties don't hang down into all the cutting and gluing and drafting, messy work to be sure. A long tie most certainly would not only be destroyed, but more importantly would be forever in the way. This must also explain the former popularity of v-neck sweater among the design set.
Once, a friend's grandfather, who was a butcher, gave me a similar reason for his own penchant for bow ties.
Of course, these days, the preferred neck wear for an architect is:none, the preferred method of shaving is:none, and the preferred thickness of drafting lead is:laptop. (smallest violin...)
And so, in closing, I leave with this photo, of two architects dressed like architects. (Gotta love that checked jacket and those round horn-rims):