Architects are masochists

It came to me just recently: architects are masochists. Why is that so? Well, if you take the definition of masochism which says: In psychiatry, the term masochism describe a personality type characterized by the individual deriving pleasure and gratification from either inflicting or receiving physical pain and/or humiliation, respectively.

Now, knowing the definition of the dissorded and having an architect in your life, you can connect the dots. Only an architect would accept sleepless nights over and over again or absence of social life. But, those are not main reasons for calling an architect a masochist. The real reason lies in relations with the investors and contractors. The profession has come all away from the top in ancient Egypt, where an architect was first person after the pharaoh, to the very bottom of the pyramid. Irony, right? The only one to blame are the architects themselves. They (or should I say we) let investors pay them (us) less then needed for normal work. They (we) accept impossible deadlines, which we know we cannot accomplish by working 8 hours per day (and having weekends off too). I thought this was just the case in my country, because we are doomed to be a tool for the investors who don’t need your art and architecture and simple design. I thought we were the only ones who humiliate themselves to get a job. But no. It’s global! Architects all around the world behave the same. I’ve heard so many international stories about investors wanting the impossible and us trying to accomplish that.

But, hey, don’t get me wrong. The title says “masochists”, so there’s a big part of blame on us. I’ve caught myself on multiple occasions doing something else I shouldn’t be doing in the time of rush hour. And then I realised I like that. I love sleepless night, running late and all that excitement. It pumps the blood in my brain. It gives me adrenalin. It’s a way of life which you either accept totally or fail in being a true architect. We do thing to our social life, to our marriage, to our physical and mental health which normal person would not do. And we enjoy it. We love our jobs. We are proud to be architects. We get excited when we stay up late drafting and designing.

And after all I have come through in these couple of year as an architect, I can only say I’m a masochist. There’s no other explanation to this. Who else would embrace this kind of life, and be totally happy with it?

I. M. H. O.

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    Edvin Barčić

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    Making world a better place since 1988.

    I. M. H. O.

    The Editorial Page