I architect

Seth Godin’s says, Is architect a verb?

“I confess. I like using it that way. I think architecting something is different from designing it. I hope you can forgive me but I think it’s a more precise way to express this idea. Design carries a lot of baggage related to aesthetics. We say something is well-designed if it looks good. There are great designs that don’t look good, certainly, but it’s really easy to get caught up in a bauhaus, white space, font-driven, IDEO-envy way of thinking about design.

So I reserve “architect” to describe the intentional arrangement of design elements to get a certain result. You can architect a computer server set up to make it more efficient. You can architect a train station to get more people per minute through the turnstiles.

More interesting, you can architect a business model or a pricing structure to make it far more effective at generating the behavior you’re looking for. Most broken websites aren’t broken because they violate common laws of good design. They’re broken because their architecture is all wrong. There’s no strategy in place.”

Image: Henri Cartier Bresson
Ernst Haas—Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One Reply to “I architect”

  1. It’s the word _design_ that might be broken, misused or misrepresented leading to a lack of clarity. I say architect more than design. When I say design it’s usually with a qualifier before it: graphic-design, sound-design, industrial-design. Dunno about you, but the word design does seems a drift these days, perhaps it’s the era of digital– the perceived loss of craftsmanship, moving away from working with our hands to working with bits and bytes?

    Ever tried talking to a London cabbie about interaction-design? “What’s that then mate?” Long pause. Oh, that’s the worldwide internet thingy. Mine’s on the blink. Bloody thing. He tells me he prefers txt message to emails. Good to know I say.

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