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Disabling the Disabled, Enabling the Enablers

I walk into the building and the noise is intense. Not necessarily high pitched but complex, too many voices and videos.

Someone has sat on the usual place I sit, the only place closest to the unit I have been assigned to (my second choice). It is right next to a printer so people keep passing to print things. There is boys close by, saying things that make me feel sexualised and objectified in some manner or maybe is just sarcasm? I never know because when I do it, I get misconstrued and people make weird faces at me.

I suck at makeup as I never really liked to have things on my face. I made an extra effort to put on a mate layer for my eyelashes so that they don’t get damaged by the sticky mascara and went to university naively trying to fit in. Who am I kidding? For what? Why should I bother? They don’t.

The space doesn’t either. There is potential targeting or disabling everywhere I look. The Kitchen smells so bad and all surfaces are sticky and greasy, this puts me off every time. I even bought detergent and gloves, all have disappeared. How are we meant to become architects when we can’t even look after our own communal spaces?

I cut my finger accidently whilst making a model now I have to go to the bathroom sit on the toilet and put my head down between my legs hoping that I don’t vomit like last time.

I have a presentation tomorrow and I took so long to investigate the site properly and compose a considerate concept that I didn’t really have time to make enough drawings. Anxiety hits and I start to shake, now I can’t work for another hour at least.

I didn’t produce enough, they kicked me out of the unit because I got defensive when someone tried to ‘’teach’’ me a lesson concerning a complaint I made last year. Another unfair judgement of my personality within an environment that should be professional and academic. Another one that goes unpunished and in fact naively enabled by the unit tutor.

They pulled me out, I got invited to leave half way through a tutorial. I had produced drawings this time even!

Someone should be held accountable, but they won’t, they never do. They let them copy my work too.

Now I am on Holiday and I can finally start producing work. But wait this is the only time I get to spend with my grandfathers and one of them is sick. What do I do?! *breathing exercises* calm myself down.

I can work whilst he sits watching television. He wants to show me a book. I have to get this to work and produce a drawing that will show that I work as hard externally as I do internally.

Someone will edit this article and make this piece sound like what it is not.

This is not an attack,

This is not a lesson,

This is not what I would have felt the need to write if people carried themselves with the sort of dignity they expect of others. A sort of dignity we have been entitled to from the moment we were born, not the sort we have had to earn at the cost of dopamine shortages.

I should have been focussing on my project throughout the term. But how could I? How could I when they are disabling me? When the way they treat the environment is disabling? When I am studying a discipline that shapes our environment and therefore it concerns the way we treat it? How hypocritical of us to care only for our project's drawings instead of our immediate working environment and communal spaces. Those of the physical and those of the spiritual, social and economic.

"Creativity, in this industry is a luxury for the elite."

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.” Annie Dillard

Inspiring video for those who might be considering quitting architecture:

You can find out more here: 30X40 Design Workshop

I made this choice at the age of 12.

Architecture is a bridge, not an island.

Stay strong old man, we are not giving up.

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