Words That Build by Norman Weinstein

Words That Build by Norman Weinstein

By Aaron Britt
I occasionally head over to ArchNewsNow to keep abreast of the latest happenings in the architectural press, but until today I had overlooked Norman Weinstein's wonderful series of essays "Words That Build." In the hope of fostering clearer, more inspired communication between architects and their clients, Weinstein has already penned over 20 short essays describing a kind of ideal form of professionally talking about architecture. Taken seperately, each offers a small change of course for designers. Taken as a whole, they suggest a refreshed sense of urgency, wonder, and empathy when talking about design.

"Words That Build" has been running since April, 2008, giving it a kind of stretched out feel, as though Weinstein were slowly moving toward an ethos of design communication rather than just getting something quickly off his chest. He's written about architecture for Architectural Record and the Christian Science Monitor, and his literary sensibility shines through, particularly his feel for poetry, of which he is a writer.

At the outset of the monthly column Wenstein sets out to redress what he see as the harm done to "the overlooked foundation of architecture: oral and written communication."

Some 20 columns later he has addressed the very practical problems of greenwashing and the far more ethereal hope of offering your client both "a well known product" and a "mysterious product."

All told I've had great fun reading Weinstein, and though he's clearly writing for the working architect, there's much to glean here for those in my racket, and really all of our rackets: communication.


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