Words that Architects use: Architect Bingo Card #4

December 3, 2010 — 7 Comments

(blah blah blah – starting to seem familiar?)

So a few weeks ago I wrote a post on how to speak like an architect with the premise that if you want to be an architect, you have to speak in a certain way or no one will take you very seriously.

I am back here today to present you with round 4 of Architect Bingo© – another group of 25 words for you to learn and incorporate into your casual daily conversations. If you are a regular around here you know that this has been a Architect Bingo intensive week at Life of an Architect and I am feeling a little bit drained. I am glad it’s coming to a close because these are the words that are now coming to mind:

Boredom:  the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest

Exhausted:  to deprive of a valuable quality or constituent

Vacuum:  a space absolutely devoid of matter

I have had vocabulary words on the brain and I am starting to have nightmares about being swarmed and stung by spelling bees – it isn’t pretty. Coming out tomorrow is the final card in the series – #5. For those playing along at home, that’s a total of 5 cards and 125 words. If you are a minor, I am going to instruct you to not look at Architect Bingo Card #5 because that card is really a drinking game for more advanced players (over the age of 21). Because I just can’t do another Architect Bingo card in this format, I have a friend of mine sitting in with me and we are going to goof on the last 25 words a little bit. Whether you like it or not, it will be good for me and I expect it to be funny (at least the parts I write will be funny).

I have added to my list of architect-y words that you need to master so here is the fourth round of words for you to memorize:

Configuration:  relative arrangement of parts or elements:

Prefabricated:  relative arrangement of parts or elements:

Layout:  the plan or design or arrangement of something laid out

Space:  a limited extent in one, two, or three dimensions

Connection:  the act of connecting causal or logical relation or sequence

Joint:  a part or space included between two articulations, knots, or nodes

Studio:  the working place of a painter, sculptor, photographer and additional creative vocations

Integrated:  marked by the unified control of all aspects of industrial production from raw materials through distribution of finished products

Figure Ground:  relating to or being the relationships between the parts of a perceptual field which is perceived as divided into a part consisting of figures having form and standing out from the part comprising the background and being relatively formless

Clad:  to cover, sheathe or face one material with another

Grade:  a datum or reference level

Illustrate:  to provide with visual features intended to explain or decorate

Context:  the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs

Portal:  the whole architectural composition surrounding and including the doorways and porches of a enclosure

Thermal:  being or involving a state of matter dependent upon temperature

EcoFriendly:  not environmentally harmful

Perception:  awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation

Foreground:  the part of a scene or representation that is nearest to and in front of the spectator

Mastic:  any of various pasty materials used as protective coatings or cements

Arrangement:  the state of being ordered; something made by arranging parts or things together

LEED:  LEED® is a voluntary third party rating system administered by the US Green Building Council and stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Conceptualize:  to form an idea, of something in an abstract environment

LifeCycle:  a series of stages through which something (as an individual, culture, or manufactured product) passes during its lifetime

Cantilever:  a projecting beam or member supported at only one end

Corbusian:  of, pertaining to, of characteristic of the Swiss architect, Charles Edouard Jeanneret – otherwise known as Le Corbusier

While you are learning and practising your new vocabulary words, take the form along with you next time you are sitting in a design presentation and mark off the words as you hear them. Now you have the first three ‘Architect Bingo’ game cards (game card 1game card 2, and game card 3) and by the end of the week, all the  playing cards will be available so that you and all your friends can play along at the same time.

Did your word make the list? If it didn’t, your last chance is tomorrow and after that – tough noogies.


All the cards are finished – You can find them by following the links below

Card #1

Card #2

Card #3

Card #5


Bob-AIA scale figure

ps – on the advice of my crack legal team Architect Bingo©® (US Patent Pending)


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  • Wait a minute. Did you steal that last one from Jody? Doesn’t he have a copyright on “Le Corbusier” or something? He may come looking for you with a cantilever! And I think you’re wrong on your definition of “mastic.” I think that’s a city in Connecticut where lonely 50 year olds go to (how to say it delicately) twitch while “entertaining” themselves. Read the roots of the word carefully. Check with John Poole – he lives in CT. And I thought portals were only found in movies such as “The Matrix.” But then, I’m not an architect so have no hope EVER of winning this game. Maybe I’ll have to drink alone. And become a Figure on the Ground after one too many. Waiter! Call my legal team!

  • Am I part of the legal team? I’d better go to law school. And lose my conscience.

  • Gibber

    I listened to a lecture online yesterday that was chock full of the architectural lexicon gems. Lexicon…oh, that’s a good one too. Anyway, here are a few: temporal, ephemeral, tabula rasa, piano nobile, perception, construct (CON-struct not construct like to build something), operative, bifurcated.

    Awesome idea for a post. I remember we used write down buzz works classmates were using/overusing during their presentations and making ticks to see how many times they used it. Never thought to use the bingo format….Genius!

    • Anonymous

      Wow – you do have a lot of good ones! I particularly like bifurcated – I totally should have thought of that one…


      • Mayya_mango

        furcated-from french word fork and ed 🙂 u’ll never forget 🙂

  • Chris Laumer-Giddens

    What about “massage”? Not used quite as much as “juxtaposition”, or “seamless transition between inside and out”, but definitely pretty popular during the design phase.

    And, here’s one that my family loved the first time they heard me say it…”bumwad”.

    Can’t wait for #5! I’m printing them all!

    • Anonymous


      Bumwad a good one – and definitely one that architects use and non-architects don’t know.

      I have #5 coming out tomorrow and until I make a 6th (no time soon), this is going to have to wait. I will put it on the list!

      Thanks for contributing