For many years, the architectural language has always been unfamiliar to those who are not from the field of architecture.
And it’s true, for common people, it can be a real challenge to understand this “alien” language entirely. Unless if it’s someone who is inquisitive, curious or simply required to, nobody can spare the time researching about architectural terms.
From getting criticized as being an alienating language to getting ignored by the rest of the population who find it to be “pretentious”, many architects and architectural writers have struggled to find ways for conveying their ideas/messages about the wonders of architecture in a simpler manner.
Furthermore, when it comes to written form, it can get pretty exacting for these writers to give their best.
After glancing at this issue for some time, we have decided to come up with 11 techniques to capture the minds of readers, making sure that boredom stays out of the question.
Tips on How to Write About Architecture
Insert rhetorical questions
A lot of people may be skeptical when it comes to rhetorical questions, saying they’re overrated.
But there are instances where a rhetorical question becomes powerful when trying to state a point. And in such cases, you will need to come up with a very good one.
An effective rhetorical question should be one that does not allow the reader to think about any other answer except the one that you want them to agree upon. However, it must have a solid point in order for people to relate or concur with it.
What a good rhetorical question should be like is that you must impart the idea with such confidence and soundness that you can actually picture your audience nodding or going “hmm” in agreement.
It is very similar to stating a solid point, except that you put it out there in the form of a question – a question that does not leave any room for oppositions or disagreement.
The agreement is the end game. That’s what makes it a rhetorical question, and that too, an excellent one.
Create an interesting scene
If you want to catch your reader’s attention and get them glued to your piece, set up a scene.
The main purpose of a scene is to prepare for what’s waiting ahead. If the scene fails to grab the reader’s attention or if it’s not catchy enough, chances are that the reader may not proceed forward with the rest of the writing.
The idea is to carefully construct the scene in such a manner that the audience sees what you are seeing.
Here’s what you can do to create a good scene for architectural writing:
Observe and build a setting
It is essential that you first improve your own observational skills. Then you have to describe the setting in, pretty much, a poetic tone.
Build up the theme/mood
Because a scene should be related to the rest of the piece, it is critical that you first create an effective scene as a strong foundation.
When the audience gets a grasp of the project you are explaining, their awareness of what lies ahead will come naturally. Therefore, the rest of their reading will flow.
Drop a quote
Another method to make your writing interesting is by opening up with a quote.
A quote is a backbone that provides support to the rest of the narrative in your paper because it shows bits of evidence that other minds are on the same level as you are. Besides that, it also acts as a brief representative of what the whole content is about.
Moreover, many people find quotes to be interesting and helpful because they’re short and succinct.
So before you insert a quote, make sure that you choose one which represents and backs up your writing.
Inserting more than one quotes
It takes shrewdness to inject a quote. Quotes should be inserted at calculated and required timings.
Just because there are a lot of quotes in your paper, it does not necessarily mean that they automatically support it. Also, too many quotes can spoil the flow of your writing.
The secret to using effective quotes is to let them represent the essence of each of your project points.
Insert facts and knowledge
When you are writing your very own piece, it is important that you display a certain amount of knowledge that you possess about architecture as a subject. This will convince the readers that you are somebody they can instill their trust.
Do a lot of research on facts and information about this topic before you kick off with the writing process.
Simply put, when you have enough knowledge and facts, no one will be able to attack what you write. As clear as it is, the knowledge and facts that you gather must be closely related to the point you’re making so that they support it all the way.
If you can, use deep factual contrasts to feature your architectural project.
A contrast is a comparison between two things with the purpose of making one of them stand out. Therefore, by stating what is actually true about both of them and comparing them, it helps the readers see your point very clearly.
Express your own thoughts
Be as creative as you can when you let the audience know of what you think about a certain feature, matter or just an idea.
If your personal take on a matter is written blandly or plainly, it becomes a statement. There is nothing wrong with a simple statement that declares your own thoughts.
But when it comes to tough topics such as architecture, the way you write down your thoughts, or anything for that matter, must capture the reader’s interest.
When people read the thoughts you express, they will become curious about your opinion and thinking process and sometimes they do hope to find it relatable too.
And most of the time, readers find personal perspectives to be interesting. Expressed personal thoughts allow the readers to access into what the writer thinks about a particular thing.
Keep in mind that when you write your own views about, say a structure, let them be consistent and harmonized throughout the whole paper. Cluttered or disorganized thoughts can confuse your readers.
Use metaphors and similes
As humans, it seems that we understand a particular matter better when it is broken down into comparisons and samples.
That is the reason why many efficient writers use metaphors and similes to let their readers know exactly what they mean or feel.
The same goes for writing about architecture and its components.
A very effective way of using metaphors and similes is to bring familiar or common objects to the picture.
For instance, if you are to write about a particular building, you have to keep in mind that the readers can be from anywhere; and not all of them can touch or see the building.
In that case, compare the building to common objects or things which you’re sure everyone knows. This way, anybody who reads the paper will instantly connect with it.
Make use of instinctive imagery
To help general readers understand about the built environment in the easiest way possible, an imagery is one of the best writing technique to use.
Imagery is integral because it helps people see, and actually feel what you want to portray only by reading the piece.
Just as we discussed about how the other techniques help readers discern architecture better, imagery does the same except that it functions at a much higher level when it comes to portraying pictures in the readers’ minds.
A good sample of an imagery is one that goes into the smallest and minute details of something. And in the description process, it should make the reader feel as if they’re in the same place as you are, observing the scene.
To successfully execute this process, you will be required to step up your narrating game as well because it is all about describing the picture in a dramatic and lyrical style.
To make your writing more interesting and fun to read, being witty will do the trick.
When everything is serious and descriptive, people tend to lose focus or get bored. And you have probably noticed that when the mind is engaged in laughter or fun talk, it becomes refreshed.
It is in moments like these that you need to insert some humor to get your readers re-engaged. You have to carefully look out for the right timing to inject your wit.
Make sure not to try so hard to sound cleverly witty because your readers might be able to see through it.
Also keep in mind that the witty statement is not bound to the topic alone; it can be about anything that adds more flavor to your writing. At the same time, it also shouldn’t stray too far from the topic that it becomes irrelevant and unnecessary.
Humans understand humans better.
Generally, we are all the same and that is why it becomes easier for us to understand each other than understanding other species.
Personification has been used by many good writers because of this particular reason. Therefore, this is also another way of making the wider audience grasp a difficult concept.
Samples of common phrases about architectural personification include “the building stands tall”, “the structure collapsed to the ground” or anything alike.
You can see that the words “stands” and “collapsed” are what humans would do.
So when using personification in architectural writing, make sure to dramatically describe your project as if it inhibits human behavior and characteristics.
While other techniques capture the attention of the readers, emotions capture their hearts.
Now, you may be wondering why and how can that be when we’re only dealing with lifeless buildings here.
The answer is that there is more to buildings than just being structures that provide shelter and space.
Architectures tell us stories, withhold memorable incidents, inspire, and even spell out the passion of creators. Buildings also represent feelings such as love. Take the renowned Taj Mahal for example; it is the ‘symbol of love’.
To win the hearts of your audience, tell them about the feelings and emotions that came along with the structure.
And finally, do not be afraid of being creative and following your instincts when writing.
Following the rules of writing is a must, of course. But do allow yourself to write what you think or feel because there is no fixed rule that says you shouldn’t.
Moreover, the field of architecture is so vast that it surely has room for your voice and perceptions too.
If you put a limit to how you write based on the idea of conformity, you are only robbing your potential learning and growth.
No doubt that writing about architecture or anything that revolves around the same topic has become ‘a walk in the park’ to those who have been engaged in this process for a long time.
However, when it comes to beginners, it is different because getting themselves familiar with this subject and improving their writing skill at the same time is not an easy task.
We understand the tussle that beginners go through when trying to come up with a good piece on architecture, yet fail to do so no matter how much effort they put into it.
Likewise, students too may find it hard to complete assignments on time if they’re still trying to master the mechanisms of architectural writing. But in time, with persistent practice and determination, their skills will eventually develop.
On top of that, the good news is that these days, there are platforms with writers who provide excellent article writing service. They are there to help people out with arduous topics.
The above techniques have proven to work, not only for architecture journalists but for every other writers as well.
In a nutshell, writing about architecture only requires you to be a good creative writer with excellent knowledge about the field. Keeping the readers engaged and interested is the key.
So that’s it for today! We appreciate you for taking the time to read this article.
All the best!