Dear Architects : I am sick of your shit


Alright my ninjas, I was sent this ‘letter’ by a few different people – in particular our ninja Austin [AKA Arco] who has written some posts for MNP. While I can’t speak for the other sources, Austin found it over at Part IV – an architecture blog that I [unfortunately] haven’t read in quite some time, but was a fan of – go check it out.

Written by Annie Choi, the ‘open letter’ was published in Pidgin Magazine – a publication of the graduate students of the Princeton School of Architecture [for sale – looks like it could be siiick] – and is HILARIOUS.


Once, a long time ago in the days of yore, I had a friend who was studying architecture to become, presumably, an architect.
This friend introduced me to other friends, who were also studying architecture. Then these friends had other friends who were architects – real architects doing real architecture like designing luxury condos that look a lot like glass dildos. And these real architects knew other real architects and now the only people I know are architects. And they all design glass dildos that I will never work or live in and serve only to obstruct my view of New Jersey.

Do not get me wrong, architects. I like you as a person. I think you are nice, smell good most of the time, and I like your glasses. You have crazy hair, and if you are lucky, most of it is on your head. But I do not care about architecture. It is true. This is what I do care about:

* burritos
* hedgehogs
* coffee

As you can see, architecture is not on the list. I believe that architecture falls somewhere between toenail fungus and invasive colonoscopy in the list of things that interest me.

Perhaps if you didn’t talk about it so much, I would be more interested. When you point to a glass cylinder and say proudly, hey my office designed that, I giggle and say it looks like a bong. You turn your head in disgust and shame. You think, obviously she does not understand. What does she know? She is just a writer. She is no architect. She respects vowels, not glass cocks. And then you say now I am designing a lifestyle center, and I ask what is that, and you say it is a place that offers goods and services and retail opportunities and I say you mean like a mall and you say no. It is a lifestyle center. I say it sounds like a mall. I am from the Valley, bitch. I know malls.

Architects, I will not lie, you confuse me. You work sixty, eighty hours a week and yet you are always poor. Why aren’t you buying me a drink? Where is your bounty of riches? Maybe you spent it on merlot. Maybe you spent it on hookers and blow. I cannot be sure. It is a mystery. I will leave that to the scientists to figure out.

Architects love to discuss how much sleep they have gotten. One will say how he was at the studio until five in the morning, only to return again two hours later. Then another will say, oh that is nothing. I haven’t slept in a week. And then another will say, guess what, I have never slept ever. My dear architects, the measure of how hard you’ve worked and how much you’ve accomplished is not related to the number of hours you have not slept. Have you heard of Rem Koolhaas? He is a famous architect. I know this because you tell me he is a famous architect. I hear that Rem Koolhaas is always sleeping. He is, I presume, sleeping right now. And I hear he gets shit done. And I also hear that in a stunning move, he is making a building that looks not like a glass cock, but like a concrete vagina. When you sleep more, you get vagina. You can all take a lesson from Rem Koolhaas.

Life is hard for me, please understand. Architects are an important part of my existence. They call me at eleven at night and say they just got off work, am I hungry? Listen, it is practically midnight. I ate hours ago. So long ago that, in fact, I am hungry again. So yes, I will go. Then I will go and there will be other architects talking about AutoCAD shortcuts and something about electric panels and can you believe that is all I did today, what a drag. I look around the table at the poor, tired, and hungry, and think to myself, I have but only one bullet left in the gun. Who will I choose?

I have a friend who is a doctor. He gives me drugs. I enjoy them. I have a friend who is a lawyer. He helped me sue my landlord. My architect friends have given me nothing. No drugs, no medical advice, and they don’t know how to spell subpoena. One architect friend figured out that my apartment was one hundred and eighty seven square feet. That was nice. Thanks for that.

I suppose one could ask what someone like me brings to architects like yourselves. I bring cheer. I yell at architects when they start talking about architecture. I force them to discuss far more interesting topics, like turkey eggs. Why do we eat chicken eggs, but not turkey eggs? They are bigger. And people really like turkey. See? I am not afraid to ask the tough questions.

So, dear architects, I will stick around, for only a little while. I hope that one day some of you will become doctors and lawyers or will figure out my taxes. And we will laugh at the days when you spent the entire evening talking about some European you’ve never met who designed a building you will never see because you are too busy working on something that will never get built. But even if that day doesn’t arrive, give me a call anyway, I am free.

Yours truly,
Annie Choi

::Thanks to Austin – via Part IV::

Posted: July 25th, 2007
at 12:45am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please

Comments: 50 comments


50 Responses to 'Dear Architects : I am sick of your shit'

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  1. […] Seguono estratti di una bella e giusta lettera aperta di Annie Choi credo che questo sia il suo blog): When you point to a glass cylinder and say proudly, hey my office designed that, I giggle and say it looks like a bong. You turn your head in disgust and shame. You think, obviously she does not understand. What does she know? She is just a writer. She is no architect. She respects vowels, not glass cocks. […]


  2. shit, I’m dropping out.


    25 Jul 07 at 11:08 am


  3. my ninja, please dont drop out- just understand that you’ll never make a lot of money [especially in proportion to how much you’ll work] and that the rest of society will think you’re an ass.

    i’m pretty sure that would be true for most of us anyways – all these other people are just kidding themselves [and cant possibly enjoy their jobs as much – we build buildings, how ridiculous is that? my ninja please!]


    25 Jul 07 at 12:43 pm


  4. Hey!!!! just my first glimps at this site and cant stop laughing!!! still an architecture student in Tucuman, Argentina (were Cesar Pelli studied longlonglong ago…) and didnt quite relized how architecture was a worldwide sickness!.


    25 Jul 07 at 10:31 pm


  5. great to hear from you, my ninja! and yes, architecture is an unfortunate affliction – but if you’ve got to be plague by an obsession, what could be better than architecture?


    25 Jul 07 at 11:14 pm


  6. If i lived in 187 square foot apartment, I’d be pissed off about nothing too.


    26 Jul 07 at 2:10 pm


  7. looks like architect boyfriend dumped her ass


    29 Jul 07 at 7:42 am


  8. I agree with you Casper, I do think that her boyfriend found another girl to spend the time…maybe is because…like she said..she didnt understand us, but we respect your point of view.


    5 Aug 07 at 1:01 pm


  9. You know, my ninjas, I think you’re missing the point – forget that she sounds sounds spiteful, like an architect wronged her or something. I think the real point here is that WE SHOULD BE MAKING MORE MONEY. Think about it – thats how you get all the respect: your paycheck, not the whole ‘shaping the way people live’ bullshit…


    5 Aug 07 at 2:47 pm


  10. How little do you guys really make. I am just curious. I am close to the business, sustainability consultant and engineer, and both my parents are architects, doing well monetarily. I think I would have been an architect if it wasn’t for there constant complaining and advice not to do so; however, I am contemplating going back for a masters in architecture… guess I have the bug too.


  11. My dear Friends,

    I think you are missing the point(s).
    Architects are obsessed because nobody want to listen to them, because they are underpaid (not the one who made , but they made it because they stop being architects anyway) , they have their idea stolen by their principal or their (I mean our) projects bastardized by clients, planners and contractor. so why should they be an happy bunch?
    Of course when we socialize (do we?) we talk about our frustrations.
    “I am more frustrated than you so this make me a better architect” , unfortunately our girl/boy friends if they are not architects get pissed off. what they don’t understand is that we enjoy it!! we love it. we like to be pissed off.This is our way of being . This is our life!!
    You normal(?) people take or leave it. The choice is yours.

    NormanD Foster ton

    12 Mar 08 at 4:52 pm


  12. yea, im with u.. where do i sign to switch to management??


    21 Mar 08 at 3:17 pm


  13. The money would be nice, but we don’t do it for the money. It’s something that makes us happy. Sounds like Annie Choi has a glass dildo up here ass. That’s why she is so unhappy. Thanks for the laugh of your column!


    23 Apr 08 at 12:24 am


  14. hi,
    i’ve encountered this text before on the Net, but never have i ever read it. i don’t care that much about what people think about “us” (‘cus yes, i’m also in the branch)……but….after i read it and read the replies, i think i get it…. everybody, in almost every job in this complains about their problem(s).
    U see, it’s not the problems that define us, but the way we are dealing with them; the way we embrace them and resolve them.
    U think, that as architects, we are special….well…sorry to say it, but we’re not that different….in fact we are the ones that have the problem(s)….we have such a good oppinion about us, that we don’t even bother to listen to what others have to say. We think that we are special, that we are not understood, that we get less paid for what great things we have accomplished….Ok…what have we accomplished?…i ask u this…what have we accomplished?…some contractor’s falic dream of skyscraper or some gigantic palace?….no….we have changed our way of thinking during centuries…and lost it…lost the spark. lost the glimpse of CREATING….we are designing….no…we work the same way a corporation works….they say that architecture is a matter of ideas….it’s a land of all possibilities….bs….as long as we have structural problems….it will never be the promissed land…ARCHITECTURE NOW….is what we lack…and i 100% understand Annie Choi (it doesn’t matter if she is or not into architecture)…she has the oppinion of the many….architects today have become a bunch of sorry asses….a bunch of people doing the same thing with different topping….we should stop complaining and start thinking…look what happens around the world….be altruist….

    ADrian Romania

    30 May 08 at 5:26 am


  15. Uh, the girl is totally right. I have been working in the field for over 8 years now, and in engineering/contracting before that doing AutoCAD design, etc. Bottom line, I have never been paid proportionately to the work I have done (until I started my own company..) and most of my bosses / firm principals had leveraged my efforts to futher their own enterprises, yet had the attitude towards most of their staff that we were not working “hard enough.” Fact is, we don’t get paid enough (unless we have our own firms, the only exception I am aware of.)

    Also, I got into architecture to “create”, to design, to execute a worthwhile vision, hopefully my own at some point. Unfortunately, because I showed “technical” competency early on, my whole career has followed the path of a “nuts and bolts guy” i.e. the one who puts all the drawings and details together for the office’s “design primadonna”, while my whole goal at the beginning was to BE the design primadonna! In my experience, 99% of us come into the field with that motivation, while only about 10% are able to carve out a niche in design.

    Frankly, I got a little burnt out from doing primarily construction details, working drawings, etc. so I can’t chime in on the whole “we don’t do it for money, we love what we do” line. I wasn’t born independently wealthy, and a big percentage of my collegues over the years have not been either, so I think it is BS to say we don’t do it for the money, or rather, that we should accept less compensation and justify it with that altruistic statement.( I know, with this attitude, maybe I should just quit complaining and go get an MBA…and maybe I will!!)

    Just my 2 cents. Anyway, I definitely got some laughs from Anna Choi’s post, a lot of truth in it in my view.


    12 Jul 08 at 11:18 pm


  16. hahah, a year later and this article is still frickin’ hilarious.


    13 Jul 08 at 4:49 pm


  17. I just love that we’re still getting comments on this shit, which is just too hilarious…


    13 Jul 08 at 5:08 pm


  18. i think annie choi is a crazy and bias bitch ….. she’s ignorant too.

    for a start, if it wasnt for the architect, she will not hv a comfortable place to sleep on, eat on, and fuck on.

    if it wasnt for the architect, there wont be factories that built her PC or laptop to publish this bullshit, and hospital or law firm to give her all the services.

    well, not all architects are well paid, but for those who wanna change his/her profression for money….go ahead. perhaps annie only fuck some rich cunts whom buy her drinks. the reason why we didnt buy u drink because we think u’re so biased with ur oppinion about architects that we hv to lie to her about not having money to buy u drink.

    some of us manage to get some sleep and trust me, it’s about personal time management. it’s not the profession. it’s personnal ! an organized person will always get his/her work done and then go to bed and sleep. before that, we have some sex too.

    and ya, we talk about life, history, politics, economics, love, arts, all of it. not just architecture. we hv a brain u know. i didnt see u become and architect urself.

    untill u hv finish the 5 years course plus one year internship, dont u go influence people on ur biased oppinion about architects and architecture. u’re shallow, maybe u should quit writing all togehter. your writing is a joke.

    Steven Lor Swee Wei

    3 Nov 08 at 8:19 am


  19. I’m from Nigeria…and we read this in my studio, printed it out, and pasted it on our door
    This just says a constant fact about architects worldwide……

    shaw-lar architunde

    16 Dec 08 at 5:20 pm


  20. I’m an architecture student. She’s rihgt, whatever you say, SHE’S RIGHT! shaw-lar architunde- there is nothing to be proud about in being a monothematic jerk! soon I will be an architect too, I’ve also prited this letter, but in order to remember what I don’t want to become.


    25 Mar 09 at 9:18 am


  21. Life is what you make it, and quite frankly you only achieve or do what you limit yourself to and allow others to influince. I look at this article and I am reminded that I am not going to let the norm of architecture students become what I am or do. If that was the case then there would have never been a Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gheary, Le Corbusier, I.M Pei or anyone who dreamed big and broke out of this little box you are accepting… This is why Americans are now being overcome by those in other countries cause they are accomplishing so much more because they do not limit themselves to society, they find a way and they fight no matter what they do to get there. So pleaes by all means change your proffesion now that you’ve put so much effort and dedication into it, obviously if you’re willing to quit now you were never meant to be an Architect… especially if you’re fogetting why we are even here in the first place. Thank you Agata, at least a few people know what it is to take control and form to what you want rather than what they say! Everyone else: FYI interns are never paid that well and if you want to make the money then dammit design better cause maybe your designs are crap therefore you wont be moving up anytime soon. I don’t know figure something out and stop living in the background??


    2 Jun 09 at 7:38 pm


  22. First of all, I haven’t read the rest of the comments (because I’m lazy) so forgive me if I’m repeating what has already been said.

    Second, I spent almost 4 yrs at architecture school before becoming wholly disillusioned and dropping out. Now I make websites.

    Warning: opinion follows.

    My time ‘studying’ architecture was marred by semantic waffle, theory and very little *actually designing and making stuff*. Architecture as a profession has been utterly gutted and ruined by theory. The moment we had to stop and consider, when looking at any rectangular glass box, what exactly it *means* is the day architecture died. It died long ago. Postmodernism killed it pretty much, because it became more about talking than making stuff. The more time I spent talking about architecture (which was what the curriculum encouraged) the less I got to design / build and the less I really learned. Most people coming out of my arch school didn’t know much about how the industry works, or even how to get something built.

    I have several friends who soldiered on an became the real thing. 2 are doing well (one designs skyscrapers in the middle east somewhere, the other owns his own small firm) The others are making crap money (especially considering you could be a *doctor* by spending 5 yrs at uni), are stressed and spending little time actually designing. The most talented architect I know is planning on ditching the profession out of sheer disgust.

    The industry has turned Architects into glorified project managers with good CAD skills and the ability to debate the meaning of a word like “verandah” for 3 hours without coming to a conclusion.

    Reading the open letter above makes me doubly glad I got out while I did.



    10 Jun 09 at 11:48 pm


  23. This chic needs a hobby and something to like as much as us Architects like Architecture. Turkey eggs? theres a career for you, lay an egg.

    This My Ninja Shit is lame

    18 Jun 09 at 5:54 pm


  24. […] MOST FAMOUS LETTER | Annie Choi’s Letter to All Architects This was initially published in Princeton’s Pidgin Magazine (Architecture Graduate magazine) and caused a stir when it first came out. The original is a bit hard to find but has been transcribed around the Internet. Notable Phrases (without a PG-13 rating): “… I have a friend who is a doctor. He gives me drugs. I enjoy them… One architect friend figured out that my apartment was 187 square feet. That was nice. Thanks for that.” “I believe that architecture falls somewhere between toenail fungus and invasive colonoscopy in the list of things that interest me.” Hot Terms: “hookers and blow”, “glass dildos”, “concrete vagina” Leave a Comment […]


  25. I’ve never seen so many people capable of missing a point in my life until now. Good god. No wonder she wrote this.


    11 Jul 09 at 8:48 pm


  26. Hey!! What about me!! I’m studying to be an interior architect! Slight difference!! 😛 lol So…. More money!!?? Here’s Hoping!!:P lol


    19 Aug 09 at 10:28 am


  27. OK, I am not a Architect. I studied Landscape Architecture. And yet, I still relate. We all brag about our negative hours of sleep. We talk the jargon. Non-Larcs can’t stand it. Loved the article.


    21 Aug 09 at 1:14 am


  28. Damn, it’s true no money!!!!! ….. and beside if there is best let’s say 1000 architects in the world who among the us will be next to Rem koolhaas ? !


    5 Oct 09 at 11:42 am


  29. peace…
    i realy dnt know what is ur problem with people who have golas and objectives to do in their lives and who spend the night awake to do something they like ,and have one hour sleep to wake up very glad at the morning just to pray and then have a look at what they have done in that night .. if u may .. can u tell me why u want to wake up tomorrow ? to do what .? drink ur coffee ?? interesting “mission” … hope u will have a life that has a meaning …


    5 Oct 09 at 2:57 pm


  30. Hello from Russia


    11 Oct 09 at 4:55 pm


  31. Hello here from Pasadena,California.

    It’s 3:42a.m. and you just made me laugh soo much from reading your letter. I have always dreamed of becoming an architect since grade school. I have gone through all the dramas that you have listed. No sleep……..Little pay……I’ve dropped out of school a couple of years ago due to having no money for school. I’m a butcher now……….(was my previous job before diving into architecture.) I still tell myself go back to school……..Don’t give up!!! After your letter I am at a crossroad……………….lol


    12 Nov 09 at 7:51 am


  32. Please, continue with your biological existance on burritos, hedgehogs and coffee. Best regards.
    p.s. you do not have the right to deny something just because you have never tried to understand it.

    Boris Tikvarski

    16 Nov 09 at 1:36 pm


  33. it’s a cute letter. and sure, architects deserve being poked fun at-we take ourselves way too seriously.

    but this letter, and sadly it’s popularity, seems to play all too well to those that not only refuse to appreciate passionate pursuits, but are unable to even understand them. Apparently, Annie has never been moved by a profound work of architecture-which I think is sad for her. And so the toilings of Michelangelo or Louis Kahn are all lost on her. That’s a shame-she missing some wonderful experiences while at Starbucks writing cute letters on her laptop.

    Annie’s clever retorts could be leveled at a number of artistic pursuits whose only reward is the work itself. In a sense, she is mocking all artists. Heaven forbid an endeavor is not about money.

    Of course, the absurdity of her list of things she values is clearly tongue-in-cheek, but any veiled irony is not accomplished. That wouldn’t be easy, and I doubt very much this letter took more than one draft. ee cummings would role over in his grave, as would Mies, knowing how easy on herself a wordsmith was being.

    Of all the thankless professions out there-writing has to be near the top. but apparently Annie doesn’t care much for reaching for Dante, or Rilke, or even acknowledging the sacrifice writing/making anything of any importance requires.

    she’s just another banal American without vision, living her life as a sit-com; with coffee and hedghogs (how witty and random!) publishing pithy trite articles filled with coy jabs at anyone with the balls to reach for more, helping all the other bores to feel ok about it all.

    Annie irks me in the end-why isn’t she a “doctor or a lawyer”? leave the writing to those that really appreciate art.

    for those starting out out there-yeah, it is a tough profession, but nothing worth doing is easy.


    25 Nov 09 at 12:54 pm


  34. love this shit!!love!

    architect who hates architect

    6 Dec 09 at 12:26 pm


  35. ah ah….lol…I have an architect friend too…..let me read this shit again…


    29 Dec 09 at 11:58 pm


  36. You know, I am glad that i am an architect that has worked so ittle in actual architectural design.
    And this is now I am doing extremly well, driving a Porshe cayenne, and…… Not nagging about enough sleep like most of my other fellow friends…
    I enjoyed reading the comments more than the article..


    5 Jan 10 at 1:59 pm


  37. You people have to realize that the “caustic blabbering bitch of Asian heritage” is a career model, and she was just getting a little press, a little self promotion. Don’t take it personally. Architects suck for other reasons.


    6 Jan 10 at 12:51 am


  38. […] via my ninjaplease […]


  39. […] Dear Architects, I'm sick of your shit […]


  40. Come on! Why take it so seriously? I actually found Annies letter very funny and I am one of those who´s allways working and completely broke…So what? It´s true that architects are completely absobed by the profession, and allways complaining about clientes, bad payment, legislation and so on…That´s the torment of all artists and it will allways be this way, because we don´t work for the money but for the art. Ask Michelangelo.
    And by the way, Koolhas does not sleep that much, and I have never designed a Dildo or a Vagina so maybe the problem lies on the shit architects that are friends with her…SORRY!

    19 Feb 10 at 7:28 pm


  41. […] Dear Architects, I'm sick of your shit […]


  42. Thanks.

    Reading this at 4 am in the morning doing some designing for first years really got me thinking.

    Maybe I should just end my life and just get a gun to my head and go boom. Architecture really does suck dick.

    I’m pretty sure this article made me want to drop out.


  43. I cannot believe the vitriol in these comments. It’s a joke, people! Those of you who post such nasty replies prove her point. Get over yourselves! Oh, and you tell me why it matters that she might be asian? you racist asshole.


    17 Jul 10 at 2:11 pm


  44. i left that field behind – 2 x now. it truly is pathetic. AVERAGE American architects pay: $60,000 for 60 hour week. Pittsburgh bus driver: $55,000 for 40 hours. Who’s smarter? i’m managing property for rich folks now and making much more – will be creative during my copious spare time.


    18 Jul 10 at 11:31 am


  45. My personal favorite comment while Stumbling architecture sites, “Open letter to all architects: put down Photoshop and pick up a shovel.”


    30 Aug 10 at 6:34 pm


  46. Just become engineers…. more about doing, less about pretty pictures… 😀

    Lukey J.

    22 Oct 10 at 7:27 am


  47. lol man.. i’ve literally read every single word on this page (comments and replies to the comments)

    her writing’s pretty damn hilarious, very true and honest lol packs quite a punch esp. due to the fact that i’m studying architecture and i can relate to just about everything she’s mentioned

    …and the comments about her being either a biased asswipe makes sense, too (i bet many arch. students can relate in many different ways)

    in the end, i just don’t know what to feel anymore about what i’m doing or whether what i’m studying is even worth the time and effort and blah blah blah

    i think, in the end, it’s all about the degree of passion that a student derives his drive and passion to carry on in such a field (whether the field is horrifying and incredibly lame OR a worthwhile profession that ‘create’ and ‘invent’… or so many architects say hahaha)

    sadly, i too want to just drop this s*** and find something else ‘worthwhile’…that pays a little better, too haha

    …shit gotta stop surfin around and study for my freakin midterms… ugh

    hollerrrin frm korea haha


    23 Oct 10 at 9:56 am


  48. LMAO. I was laughing so hard after a long period of time.This is so true!!!!!!So true.I am an architect and I said good buy to this profession few months ago.And I feel free again! and human after all.


    26 Oct 10 at 9:33 pm


  49. alright. have fun living in your cardboard box on that island with the nuclear power plant. you could design your own non-glass dildo looking house, but you’d just have to take it to an architect to finalize it anyway. oh well


    14 Nov 10 at 6:00 am


  50. consumerism


    16 Sep 11 at 8:10 am



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