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Architecture and Storytelling

This is my contribution to this month’s ArchiTalks topic, “Architecture and…” The other posts are linked below; you can also find them on Twitter by following the hashtag, #ArchiTalks. Enjoy!

For about seven years I’ve been merging two of my creative passions: Architecture and Storytelling. In this span of time “Storytelling” has become a major element of business marketing, having surpassed “Branding” as the previous focus.

Storytelling is everywhere; not only as a fad (although the bandwagon has built up a lot of momentum!) but as a form of communication that is superior to mere jargon, data dumps, and talking points. Science has proven that our brains are wired to respond uniquely to stories.  (The length of this post won’t allow elaboration on that claim, but trust me, I’ve gathered and presented the research elsewhere.)

Architects are beginning to tap into the power of storytelling to communicate the value of what we do.

Some share their stories through their individual blogs (and community writing events such as ArchiTalks). Some have entered the Fairy Tales Architectural Storytelling Competition. Some pitch and produce cable television programs. Collectively we are sharing the Thousand Stories of Architecture. Our profession used to be a closed book, but we are opening the pages and telling the stories to a culture that is desperate for our vision. I believe we are ushering in an Architectural Storytelling Movement!

I like to share this quote, initially attributed to Plato:

Those who tell the stories rule society.


My personal goal is to write architecturally themed works of fiction that weave the joy and drama of the architectural process though strong character-driven stories. There just aren’t any books, movies or TV shows about who we are and what we do.  I want to change that. Who’s with me?


Please read and share these other “Architecture and…” posts.

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Architecture and Photography

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Architecture and a Future Without Architects

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
architecture and __

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Architecture and Travel

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
architecture and integrity

Jes Stafford – MODwelling (@modarchitect)
Architecture and Gaming

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
architecture and m&ms

Rosa Sheng – EquitybyDesign [EQxD] (@EquityxDesign)
Architecture And the Era of Connection

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#ArchiTalks 18: architecture and… the bigger picture

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 18: Architecture and Mathematics

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
Architalks 18: Architecture and … Parenting

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Architecture and Yoga

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Architecture and Ego

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Architecture and Ego / The Architect’s Unique Struggle with ‘Good’ Design

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Architecture and Kids

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Architecture and More

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Architecture and the Myth of the Master Builder

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Architecture and Real Estate

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Architecture and Interior Design

Samantha Raburn – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Architecture and Wrestling

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Architecture and Children

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories

Adam Denais – Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
[#ArchiTalks 18] Architecture and Strange Travel Etiquette

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Architecture and…my Generation.


  1. michele grace hottel /Reply

    oh collier, i keep forgetting but i do have some stories, if you remind me i will remember to write them down for you… probably under a pseudonym… keep writing!

  2. Osaki Peebe Harry /Reply

    No doubt Architecture lacks the kinds of stories that could make the profession more popular. And there are stories related to architecture out there. Let’s be creative and write good, compelling stories, I’m sure if we do, there will be a large audience for it. Note: Just finished a screenplay entitled “Wandily.”

  3. Dale Berkebile /Reply


    I gotta say I love the concept that you share here. Architecture has not been readily available to most so the ideas you are sharing here are perfect for telling the wonderful story that I would agree people are hungry for. Keep writing them. I think you are trying to take a unique approach which is awesome and will totally set you apart from other firms.

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