5 Thinking Like An Architect

What does an architect do?

An architect is someone who DESIGNS buildings.  They develop the DESIGN for how the different parts and systems of the building combine and interact.  In the place you live there are systems for heating, lighting, cooking, plumbing, and other functions. An architect made them all fit together.

The architect doesn’t do the construction of the building.  They create plans and drawings to help construction workers do that.

There’s a name for drawings like these that architects make. Do you know it?

Thinking Like An Architect When You Are Organizing

A master organizer always thinks like an architect when organizing some collection of resources.  You might have a closet, dresser, bookcase, and boxes in your room, and you might organize your clothes, books, toys, games, and other stuff using them.  But master organizers  always think first about WHY and HOW they are organizing – the reasons for organizing things, and the principles or rules they are using to organize them – not about the physical locations and or containers where the resources end up. The physical locations and containers are the WHERE of organizing, but WHY and HOW are much more important.

You have seen this way of organizing — what master organizers call ARCHITECTURAL THINKING – in some of the examples of organizing systems:

  • When we organized your HALLOWEEN CANDY, we asked: suppose after you arranged the items into categories, you put the items in each category into paper bags and wrote the name of the category on the bag.  But then you decided that it would easier to find things if you used see-through plastic bags.  This changes the storage of the items, but it DOES NOT CHANGE how they are organized, because the design (the ARCHITECTURE) of the organizing system isn’t changed.
  • When we analyzed the organizing system for a LIBRARY, we decided that a BOOKMOBILE was a kind of library.  It doesn’t look like most libraries that are in buildings because it drives around, but the building isn’t what makes a BOOKMOBILE a library.   A BOOKMOBILE is a library because its ARCHITECTURE answers the WHAT, WHY, and HOW questions the way libraries do!



ANSWER:  The drawings that architects create are called BLUEPRINTS.  In the next lesson you will create a blueprint for an organizing system that you design



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"The Discipline of Organizing" for Kids Copyright © 2022 by Robert J Glushko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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