Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Message To Architects of the Past, and the Future

Here's a suggestion: If you're going to name your building the 'Steel Building,' make sure it's made out of, you know, steel.

Slapping a steel entrance, oddly reminiscent of a 1930's robot, onto your extremely conventional brick building doesn't make it right.

Extensive Googling failed to turn up any substantive information about why this building wears its misfit name. In the absence of any actual facts, I'm going to presume it was the headquarters for some minor steel industry office in the past, and they didn't deem it worth going over the top with an all steel building (unlike Alcoa, who use aluminum in their offices as much as possible).

Real world architects aren't the only ones guilty of hyperbolic naming. Information architects, and the marketing departments they support, are quite fond of declarations that don't quite fit the structure they're stamped on... for instance, can there really be 109,000 "premiere online destinations" on the Web?

Similarly, is your website really 'easy to use' if you feel compelled to issue a press release explaining that you now have an index page that links to other pages on your site? Holy New Web Paradigm, Batman!

A truly great interactive experience, like a real steel building, doesn't have to label itself as great. Hopefully architects of the future- both structural and informational- will resist the temptation of patently false claims (such as this page that is inexplicable returned by a search for 'simple instructions').

1 comment:

Steve Buccellato said...

I guess corporate HQs can't all be the the Chrysler Building.

Now, how can I make my website one of those 109,000...?