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ERIC Number: EJ788957
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-7
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Artful Writing: Well-Crafted Words Complement Well-Drafted Images
Weinstein, Norman
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n26 pB21 Mar 2008
Speaking plainly, says the writer: too many architecture students can't write. After hearing graduate architecture students defend their designs at a midterm studio review, the writer observed that, under questioning, several students became inarticulate and left participles or sentences dangling. While this may be understandable, the writer also noted moments when professors also seemed at a loss for words. Recognizing that few schools of architecture offer courses on writing about architecture, Weinstein advocates for at least two required writing courses. One is a variant of technical writing: no-frills, materials-based, trade language, but a technical writing infused with artful expression, sensory immediacy that reflects architecture as a meeting ground of artful design and scientific engineering. Weinstein's second course is described as "aesthetically colored writing thoroughly infused with scientific weight and precision as well as commercial savvy," driven by technological advances that require complex, multidimensional, written descriptions that can be translated into commercially compelling narratives for the general public. In an image-saturated culture, it may not be surprising that architecture students prefer to point to models or computer-generated images. But when today's students run their own firms and communicate regularly with their clients, concludes the writer, they will need to know more than how to make a building stand. How can buildings that seem to take flight, asks Weinstein, be explained in rippling, fluid, locomoting glory, except through a metaphorically rich, lyrically evocative writing?
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A