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Architectural Word of the Day

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It is useful to understand the specialized jargon of your clients. Not only can it help you speak with them, it can help you understand their view of the world. For example:

"parti: Choice, means, or method. In architectural criticism the parti is the assumption made that informs a design as well as the choice of approach when realizing the scheme. It is the BIG idea. To complete an architectural project, there must be a beginning. This can be the most difficult task in designing a building. Architects sometimes invent a strategy before beginning a project. This is called a parti. This word is from the French language and is a derivative of the verb for departure. In other words, a parti is a beginning. Once a parti is established, it serves as the organizing idea behind the rest of the project. This can include everything from the organization of the spaces to the elements used as decoration."

The word is mostly used by what I call "capital A" Architects (and "capital A" Academics), not necessarily by the individuals who are doing the construction documents or selecting products.

Now you know, and can do your part for the parti.

by Michael Chusid, 2009

Published with permission of Building ProductMarketing

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