For one, he was last week’s guest editor.  More specifically, he’s Ian Robertson – the ‘Ian’ in ‘Items from Ian’ occasionally posted on Price Tags.  Some of you wondered, though, why a guest editor would be seemingly anonymous.  Ian responded:


Hi, Ian Robertson here.
It seems my WordPress handle caught some off guard (and honestly, I have no idea how to change how that handle appears when I post WordPress comments whilst logged into my WordPress account).  “Artitectus” (or some variant) is the name under which I do my own design work, and as well as being conveniently similar to the word Architect, it also has its own meaning. According to “The Names of Plants”  artitectus is ‘completely fabricated’ and ‘fully roofed,’  interested at all scales.
Sounds like a good name for a design firm if I ever heard one!
I believe that the term ‘architecture’ has been vilipended to a mere shadow of its former meaning, ‘Architecture’ it is now only for the effete, for the moneyed, and conversely, ‘architecture’ for anyone who works in IT or comes up with ‘solutions’ for things.  This is a shame! There are too many aspects of the world which seem to no longer be designed, they seem accidental, or formulaic, or otherwise created with the least imagination, analysis, and critical thinking as possible.  Now is time for the world of atoms to rediscover the benefits of caring about the design, and not just the dollar.
My bio links:
Now that that’s resolved,  I hope together we can design a better world.

  • Ian Robertson



  1. Can we call you Arty for short? Just kidding!
    I personally do not have any trouble with anonymity in comments, or people who wish to use a nom de plume when writing. What counts is what is said, how well it is said, and the reasons for saying it. Tracking down the author for personal abuse over occasional controversial issues or rating her/his op-eds on how many letters appear after their name are not necessarily the best or only measures of the content of one’s character, the depth of one’s experience and understanding, or the quality of one’s ideas.

    1. I’ve certainly been called worse I’m sure 😉
      Personally I think a consistent voice is more important than a specific visage … but not really that fussed about name vs nom-de-plume (when it becomes noms-des-plumes, however, it gets a bit more weird), happy to play either way.

  2. The “tecture” part of the word architecture comes from a Greek word meaning builder, and the first part of the word means chief, i.e. chief builder. I like your word “artitectus” meaning fully roofed (by) fabrication.
    It seems to me that language is utterance after the fact. First there was builders followed by
    language that accounted for what resulted from building i.e. architecture. But before there is the activity of building there needs to be inspiration or at the very least the need to stay dry and warm, hence “roof building” takes place.
    It is important to get the language right because it is the framework for thinking about these
    things. I prefer to think of architecture in terms of the cellular membrane found throughout the plant and animal world. It is the structure that divides the world into inside, the place where the climate is moderated and controlled, and outside where we are confronted by the power of nature. I think of the membrane as a kind of capsule containing humans.
    Architecture in the ancient world is limited to insitu building. The modern world has
    expanded the meaning of architecture to include for example naval architecture, or the
    architecture of software (meaning the structure of a software program). The capsule has a reach across the planet and in outer space; the submarine, the airplane, the boat, the car, the dwelling unit, the space station. All of these things are supported by the architecture of software.

    1. Unfortunately, Architect exists in the superposition between your use (which I agree with) and the protected use where only those with a license can use it, until Architect is either free-game, or is actually protected, it renders itself somewhat useless as a descriptor, as its meaning depends so much on the person speaking/listening. Its seems odd that someone can freely call themselves an Architect within IT, but not within the world of design, even if they do (architecture).
      Lawyers and Doctors seem to have kept a handle on their ends of things, Engineers less so … Architects less so yet. The term Intern Architect is either perjorative or not, depending if one is in ‘the know’ or not.
      I agree with you that anything associated with the design of any space is architecture, so it would follow that anyone designing any space engages in architecture, and is therefor an architect.
      I wish ‘Architecture’ would follow the model of engineer or others and add ‘Licensed’ or ‘Registered’ to the title, instead of perpetuating the current situation.

  3. Engaging in architecture does not mean that you should be called an architect as there are many ways to practice design (including architectural design) through many different vocations. If you are an architect but you produce nothing then where in lies the values of the title? What matters is your work, and for that people will call you all sorts of things, sometimes architect even if you aren’t one.

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