THE UNIFORM, DRESS CODE OF THE ARCHITECT

A FACADE

I HAVE DONE THE FULL GAMUT FROM THE BROOKS BROTHERS LOOK TO THE HIPPIE MULTICOLOR, ROCK AND ROLL.

CLOTHES ARE POWERFUL.

BUILDINGS ARE EXPENSIVE AND COMPLEX. THERE IS A COMMITMENT OF MONEY THAT IS NEEDED FROM THE CLIENT. OH SURE THEY WANT A SIGNATURE PIECE THAT WILL BRING ATTENTION, BUT ALSO THEY WANT A BUILDING THAT DOES NOT LEAK , DELIVERS ON THE PROGRAM AND DOES NOT RUN OVER BUDGET.

MY UNIFORM WITH FIRST WIFE JOANNE WOOD, 1958

ARCHITECTURE IS A SERVICE PROFESSION THAT DEPENDS ON OTHERS PEOPLE’S MONEY. SO THE CLIENT NEEDS ASSURANCE THAT THE UNIFORM OF SUCCESS AND TECHNICAL ABILTY IS WORN BY THE ARCHITECT. IT REPRESENTS A CONFORMITY THAT THEY CAN DEAL WITH.

ONE OF THE BOYS.

MY FATHER HAD A FURNITURE STORE IN BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA. THE CLIENTS WERE RICH, BUT WE LIVED ON THE WEST SIDE OF LA IN A MODEST HOME BELOW OLYMPIC. MY DAD BOUGHT HIS CLOTHES AT OVIETTES, THE EXCLUSIVE MENS STORE ON WILSHIRE BLVD, NEXT TO THE BEVERLY WILSHIRE HOTEL . HIS WATCHES WERE THE BEST. I SAW THIS STUFF, BUT IT MEANT NOTHING TO ME UNTIL IT BECAME TIME IN COLLEGE TO DRESS UP. WE TAILORED MY DADS LEFT OVER SUITS TO FIT ME AND I WENT OFF TO OREGON TO CHARM THE LOCALS. HAD THE CLASSY FORMAL ATTIRE AT THE SIGMA CHI FRATERNITY.THE TAB COLLAR SHIRT BEING THE CLIMAX OF MY UNIFORM, THE TAB COLLAR MAKES THE TIE STICK OUT LIKE A HORSES TAIL. I SEE THIS WITH SENATORS AND POWER ELITE ON TV ALL THE TIME.

IN THE FIFTIES , SIXTIES AND STILL TODAY THE UNIFORM IS THE SAME. IT IS THE INTERNATIONAL DRESS THAT EVERYONE RELATES TO AS POWER AND AFFLUENCE. ANYONE CAN WEAR THE UNIFORM. YOU SEE THE GENERAL ONE DAY IN HIS MILITARY ATTIRE WITH A THOUSAND METALS ON HIS CHEST AND THE NEXT DAY HE IS IN THE INTERNATIONAL SUIT WITH WHITE SHIRT AND TIE. ONE SEES THE POWER SHEIK PARADING IN HIS FLOWING ROBES IN HIS HOME LAND AND A WEEK LATER IN LONDON IN SUIT AND TIE.

TAILORED SUIT, FRESHLY PRESSED. THOSE PLEATS IN THE TROUSERS ARE VERY IMPORTANT. WHITE MULTI THREAD STARCHED SHIRT, CUFFLINKS PREFERABLE AND THE CONCEALED BUTTONS FLAP. MONOGRAM PERSONAL LETTERS, EXPENSIVE BELT WITH HIDDEN BUCKLE. THE OUTRAGEOUS NAME BRAND WATCH. THE SHOES ARE A BIT MORE COMPLEX. I ALWAYS PREFERRED SOME ITALIAN SMOOTH CLEAN DESIGN WITH EXPENSIVE LEATHER. BUT WHAT AMAZED ME IS THAT ARCHITECTS WEAR WING TIPS AND TASSLE SHOES. A COUPLE OF STYLES THAT TO ME EXUDE ZERO DESIGN TASTE. OH YES, THE POLISH. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, YOUR SHOES SHOULD LOOK SPIT POLISHED FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO . THAT ALWAYS SEALS THE DEAL. SOCKS NEED TO GO WAY UP THE LEG SO WHEN YOU CROSS YOUR LEGS NOTHING BUT SOCK SHOWS. I HAD A HIGH FASHION GIRL FRIEND BECOME VERY OFFENDED WHEN MY CALF SHOWED. THE TIE BEING THE CROWNING USELESS NECESSITY. I ENJOY THE SELECTION, BECAUSE IT CAN CHANGE THE WHOLE UNIFORM. A WILD ARTY PRINT SAYS. I AM THE CHOSEN ONE LOOK AT ME. WHILE THE SILK BEIG SAYS SLICK. THE DRAB TIE SAYS, I HAVE NO TASTE., NOR DOES ANYONE ELSE IN MY LIFE. OH THE COOL SHADES, YOU WOULD THINK SUN BLINDS PEOPLE THE WAY THE DESIGNER SUN GLASSES FLOURISH. THE DESIGNER STAINLESS STEEL GLASSES ARE THE RAGE. I HAVE A DOLLAR STORE IN ORANGE COUNTY THAT SELLS THE REAL THING FOR A BUCK. MY BEST CROWD PLEASER ARE PURPLE FRAME, WOMEN LOVE THEM, BUT IS NOT PART OF THE UNIFORM, I WAS ASKED BY AN ARCHITECT FRIEND IF I HAD ANOTHER PAIR OF GLASSES BESIDES MY PURPLE ONES WHILE WE WERE DINING. RINGS, ALL QUESTIONABLE TO ME, NEVER THOUGHT THEY HAD MUCH CLASS, BUT SOME LIKE TO FLAUNT THEIR WEALTH. NOT A NECESSITY.

MANY ARCHITECTS ARE ANAL, DETAIL ORIENTED. THEY CAN NOT SEE PAST THE DETAILS TO EXPERIENCE SPACE. THESE TYPES MAKE EXCELLENT NIT PICKY UNIFORM MEN. I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE UNIFORM INSPECTIONS IN THE ARMY AND LIKEWISE I FIND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIFORM EQUALLY LACKING IN SUBSTANCE. BUT DON’T FIGHT IT. IT IS THE POWER ATTIRE.

I WAS TOLD RECENTLY THAT THE WAY WOMEN CHECK OUT A FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL MAN, IS BY THE ELECTRONIC GAGET HE CARRIES, I AM SURE THIS APPLIES TO HOW CLIENTS SEE ARCHITECTS AS WELL, THE MODERN BIG TIME ELECTRONIC TRINKET ADDS TO THE UNIFORM. THE WALLET, THIS IS A TOUGH ONE FOR ME, BECAUSE I CARRY MY WHOLE LIFE IN IT. NEAT SLICK CLEAN LEATHER WILL SUFFICE. THE BRIEFCASE BAG THAT ALLOWS ONE TO CARRY EVERYTHING. POPULAR IN THE HIPPIE DAYS, IT NOW HAS BECOME STANDARD EQUIPMENT. MUST BE REAL LEATHER, CLEAN LINES AND WELL MADE. THE PEN IS A BIG ONE. IT ALWAYS AMAZES ME THAT THE UNIFORM GUYS HAVE SOME FANCY DESIGNER PEN. ASCOTS ARE BIG, BUT I HAVE NEVER USED THEM, THEY ADD A BUNCH OF COLOR AND ARTISTIC FLARE. I’M SURE YOU YOUNG BUCKS HAVE A TON OF THINGS YOU CAN ADD TO THIS LIST, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA.

THE HISTORY BOOKS ARE FULL OF ARCHITECTS AND THEIR LOVE OF HIGH FASHION. IT IS BECAUSE ANY ARCHITECT THAT CAN CRAWL HAS VISUAL TASTE THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE OBLIVIOUS TO.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT WAS NOTORIOUS FOR DRESSING UP. THE DAPPER CLOTHES, THE CAPE, THE BROAD BRIM HAT. THE STORY I HEARD FROM A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT SOURCES OVER THE YEARS, IS THAT MR. WRIGHT WAS GOING TO BE HONORED BY THE AIA AT SOME BIG BASH. HE GOT WIND OF THE STANDARD ATTIRE BEING BLACK TUX. SO HE SHOWS UP IN A WHITE SUIT. THIS SHOWMANSHIP DID NOT CARRY OVER TO JOHN LAUTNER, BUT JOHN WORE THE UNIFORM .

ARCHIGRAM PETER COOK AND RON HERRON USED TO PARADE AROUND UCLA IN LEATHER SUITS.

BUCKMINSTER FULLER WORE THE FULL UNIFORM WHILE PUSHING THE DYMAXION HOUSE.

IT IS A BIT RISKY TO WEAR ARTY CLOTHING THESE DAYS, PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE NUTS.

IF YOU GET STAR STATUS, YOU CAN WEAR JUST ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT FRANK GEHRY STILL WEARS THE UNIFORM.

THOM MAYNE WEARS SOME DESIGNER BLACK SHIRT WITH THE FASHIONABLE COLLAR.

YOU ALL KNOW THE TRENDY LOOK, BUT THE UNIFORM IS STILL THE SUCCESSFUL GANG ATTIRE.

FOR THE YOUTH WORKING IN OFFICES, MY ADVICE IS TO LOOK AT WHAT THE BOSS WEARS AND DRESS AS WELL IF NOT BETTER. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU WILL BE NEEDED AT THE CLIENT MEETING AS A PROP OR EXPLAINING SOMETHING THE BOSS SHOULD KNOW. ALL THOSE PETER KEATING QUIRKS IN THE FOUNTAINHEAD STILL WORK TODAY TO GET AHEAD.

I WAS WALKING ON OLYMPIC BLVD. IN SANTA MONICA IN FULL HIPPIE GET UP IN THE SEVENTIES, PONY TAIL, THE FLOWING PATTERN MULTI COLOR SHIRT, BURNT ORANGE BELL BOTTOM PANTS AND MY CUSTOM OPEN TOE LEATHER SANDALS. A TEAMSTER WAS UNLOADING A BEER TRUCK. HE STARES AND THEN GROWLS , “I HATE YOU.”   I WAS SO CORRECT AND BEAUTIFUL, HOW COULD HE THINK THIS WAY? IN THE SAME ERA I WOULD GO INTO THE LOCAL HARDWARE STORE AND GET LOUSY SERVICE. A FEW YEARS LATER DURING MY SUIT ERA I WOULD GO INTO THE SAME HARDWARE STORE WITH MY UNIFORM AND BE TREATED LIKE ROYALTY.   IT WORKED AT THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT AS WELL. I TOLD MY CHILDREN IT WAS MY MAGIC SUIT, BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE SO NICE TO ME WHEN I WORE IT.

IN 1976 DURING A LECTURE TOUR THAT TOOK ME EAST I STOPPED BY CHICAGO AND WENT TO SEE THE GRAHAM FOUNDATION. I DO NOT REMEMBER THE NAME, BUT THE ARCHITECT IN CHARGE OF THE FOUNDATION HAD A MEETING WITH ME,. IT WAS MY FULL LENGTH AFGHAN COAT ERA. PONY TAIL AND ALL THE COLORFUL CLOTHING. IT WAS WINTER, I LOOKED LIKE BIG BIRD. HE WAS CANDID AND SAID, THE FOUNDATION GIVES MONEY TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU, BUT I DO NOT LIKE YOU. HIS OFFICE AND HE WERE ALL WHITE AND BLACK SLICK . I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED A GRAHAM GRANT.

IN THE INFAMOUS PANEL AT SCI-ARC IN 1976 WITH GEHRY, CHARLES MOORE ETC. I WORE MY ROCK AND ROLL SHIRT AND SANDALS. I REMEMBER ROLAND COATE, SAYING TO ME JUST BEFORE GOING TO DINNER, GLEN YOU DID NOT DRESS UP FOR THE EVENING.

FOR THOSE WITH MEAGER FUNDS IT IS STILL POSSIBLE TO WEAR THE UNIFORM IF YOU HAVE DESIGN TASTE.   WALMART  SELLS A BLACK  ALL WOOL FULL LENGTH DRESS COAT FOR $70 BUCKS.  THEY SELL A BLACK SUIT FOR SIXTY BUCKS.  THRIFT STORES, IF YOU HAVE THE TIME, HAVE THE UNIFORM WITH HIGH QUALITY LABELS. WITH CAREFUL CHOICE  SHOES CAN BE HAD OR  AT CLOSE OUTS. HAND ME DOWNS FROM CLOTHES FREAK RELATIVES AND FRIENDS  IS A PLUS. YOU GET THE PICTURE. I HAVE TRIED IT.  EVEN THE PEOPLE WEARING THE EXPENSIVE STUFF CANNOT JUDGE A TEN DOLLAR HIGH END DESIGNER WATCH FROM WALMART.  PAYING FOR THE UPKEEP OF LAUNDRY, DRY CLEANING AND SPIT  POLISH SHINES IS OFF THE CHARTS, TOUGH TO MAINTAIN, FOR THOSE OF  MEANS, DO IT UP RIGHT.

YOU WOMEN ARCHITECTS, IT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT APPROACH. I BEING A MAN, I HAVE AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TIME SUGGESTING WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. WHATEVER YOU WEAR USUALLY WORKS ON ME. I COULD MAKE AN ATTEMPT AT YOUR UNIFORM, AND HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE WITNESSING THE EFFECTS, BUT IT IS SAFER NOT TO GO THERE. I’M SURE IT WOULD MAKE A FANTASTIC ARTICLE.

FOR ALL OF YOU WORKAHOLICS THAT COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT THIS STUFF AND CAN’T STAND THE HUSTLER WORLD. I WOULD ADVISE FINDING SOMEBODY THAT LOVES YOUR WORK AND WILL WEAR THE UNIFORM AND MAKE CLIENT CONTACT . I’M WAITING FOR THE AGENT IN UNIFORM,TO PAY THE BILLS AND MAKE ME FEEL RELEVANT, SO I CAN SHOW THE PLANET HOW IT SHOULD EVOLVE CORRECTLY .

WISHING YOU THE BEST,

GLEN

Share this Post:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Print
  • Yahoo! Buzz

29 comments

  1. So, when I come into the office in the morning, or late afternoon, I read Archinect so I can catch up on L.A., or l.a., or la la, or Los Angeles the only web news about LA for LA by LA.

    Glen you make me laugh and cry, I think you have a new job title …thanks SL….

  2. Thank you Glenn for another killer post. This is a great discussion of an interesting subject, not because it’s about “clothing,” but rather about status as a profession and as individuals…
    I could go on at length about this personal and sociological landscape, but I’ll be brief with a cliche, a story, and a tactic.

    “Always dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

    The head of the Warburg family and bank (known for revolutionizing the way business was done in the City of London) always had his men bring in an extra suit jacket to hang on the back of their chairs. This was not so they’d have one at hand; as they were already expected to wear one. It was so that even before the banker arrived, or during their lunch and meetings if clients or visitors were in it always looked like the banker was there – and had just stepped away for a moment. (a banker wouldn’t leave the building without his suit jacket, and in those days, bowler hat)

    The tactic is for men only as well (sorry ladies), but have a reserve tie in your desk so that if there IS a surprise meeting, you’re ready – and once you’ve broken it out, always swap it out in case there’s another with the same client the next day. That way you have a tie when you need to impress, but it’s not hanging around there like a noose the rest of the time. Of course, if you drive the same goes for the glove compartment – never know what’ll happen.

    Thanks again Glenn!

    p.s. Another tip – the Zero Halliburton briefcase projects bad-assery, and WITHOUT FAIL starts a conversation. Best ice-breaker I’ve ever owned.

    • DUANE

      THANKS FOR THE COMMENTS AND INSIGHTFUL INFOMATION. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE BRIEFCASE THING IN DETAIL, MAKES A GREAT STORY.

      WISHING YOU THE BEST,

      GLEN

    • DEAR DANIEL,

      I AM WELL AWARE OF THE CODE OF USING CAPS ON THE INTERNET AS YELLING.
      I REGRET THAT IT OFFENDS YOU, BUT HERE ARE MY REASONS FOR USING CAPS.

      I AM NOT ONE TO LET TRADITION STAND IN MY WAY, IF SOMETHING WORKS FOR ME I WILL USE IT.

      1 CAPS LOOK BETTER, WHEN IN DOUBT MAKE IT LOOK GOOD.
      2 MY EYESIGHT IS NOT THAT GOOD AND IT IS EASIER FOR ME TO READ CAPS.
      3 I AM NOT YOUR NORMAL WRITER, AS YOU PROBABLY HAVE OBSERVED, ALL THE PUNCTUATION IS A CHALLENGE TO ME, SO THE LESS SHIFTING FROM LOWER TO HIGHER CAP IS HELPFUL FOR ME.
      4. JUST LOOK IT AS WORDS. I WILL USE BOLD LETTERS WHEN I AM SHOUTING.
      5. IF I HAD A SECRETARY I WOULD PROBABLY USE LOWER CAPS, BUT IT IS ME DIRECTLY TO YOU.
      6. PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGIES IF IT BOTHERS YOU, AND TRY AN EASE UP ON TRADITION. I AM NOT OUT TO SHOUT AT YOU. THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT.

      WISHING YOU THE BEST,

      GLEN

      • Hello Glenn,
        I’m an instructor at AAU in the IDS department and was relocated (…or dislocated) to 601 Brannan this summer. I happened to be in the print lab one day when you also were there, speaking with some of your students, and unfortunately I did not introduce myself.

        I overheard you describe your blog and finally have an opportunity to peruse it; and, I find it insightful and informative.

        Your reply about using ALL CAPS vs. upper/lowercase resonates with me for a couple of reasons:
        1. I, too, rarely conform to convention and/or tradition
        2. The subject of readability and legibility is near and dear, given my history and experience in this area (back in the day) when employed by HP, pioneering the effort for high-quality digital output …before anyone even knew what “digital output” was.

        For what it’s worth, readability and legibility is significantly easier when upper/lowercase characters are used; therefore comprehension increases.

        As our younger contemporaries might state, “…just sayin”…

        • TED

          THANKS FOR YOUR IMPUT. OTHERS HAVE EXPRESSED YOUR VIEWPOINT OF EASIER TO READ IN STANDARD UPPER AND LOWER CASE FOWMAT.

          BEING AN ARCHITECT WE ARE TRAINED VERY EARLY ON TO LABLE ALL INFORMATION ON OUR DRAWINGS IN CAPITALS. WE PRINT FREEHAND ALL LETTERS IN CAPITALS AS WELL. TO ME IT IS MUCH EASIER TO READ AND WORK IN CAPITALS. THE WORLD HAS DIFFERENT TAKES ON THIS.

          THANKS,

          GLEN

  3. Love it! I do respect the holding back on what women architects should wear as their uniform although I would still love to hear your thoughts.

    I personally like a white button down shirt, tailored crisp dark denim belted, sometimes a scarf or other neck accessory, and a pair of vintage (because I can’t afford the real deal) Ferragamo flats, with black pearl earrings and usually a (sometimes velvet) blazer.

    Cheers K

    • KELLEY,

      YOU ARE WAY BEYOND ME IN YOUR DESCRIPTION, YOU KNOW BEST.
      WE ARE EMOTIONALLY DRIVEN, AND THE UNIFORM SAYS HOW WE WANT TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS. I HAVE WITNESSED TOO MUCH OF THE CLIENT, INTER OFFICE AND SCHOOL DYNAMICS TO VENTURE FORTH IN THIS AREA.

      THESE DAYS AS AN INSTRUCTOR, YOU SIGN OFF ON HARASSMENT. JUST INNOCENT BEHAVIOR CAN GET ONE IN TROUBLE, THAT IS NOT LIBERATION. THE SOCIETY WORKPLACE JUST KIDS THEMSELVES ABOUT BEING PROPER.

      A WOMAN HAS A WHOLE ARSENAL OF CHOICES TO GET WHAT THEY SEEK. IT IS REALLY NOT FAIR, BUT THAT IS LIFE.

      IF I CAN GET UP THE COURAGE TO REALLY LET LOOSE ON THIS SUBJECT IT WOULD BE PERCEPTIVE AND ENTERTAINING. I WAS FINANCIALLY DESPARATE ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO AND STARTED A BOOK ABOUT MY EXPLOITS OF BEING HUMAN. IT WAS VERY FUNNY, BUT I DECIDED THAT MY DIRECT HUMAN SIDE WAS NOT GOING TO GET ME ARCHITECTURAL AHEAD. I MIGHT MAKE THE TALK SHOWS AND EARN A FEW BUCKS, BUT THAT IS NOT MY OBJECTIVE IN LIFE.

      THANKS FOR THE NOTE AND YOUR THOUGHTS,

      WISHING YOU THE BEST,

      GLEN

  4. GHS…You are spot on with the uniform game…used it successfully for years when working metro areas…but it only seems to work here in Texas in those bigger cities. When I meet with people in smaller towns I get a lot of “who do you think you are” and “uppity” etc. when wearing the “uniform”. Jeans and a dress shirt seem to help a little…but not much. I’m still trying to discover the “uniform” for small towns…any experience or suggestions?

    • I used to teach branding, and I always thought a BMW was a symbol of success (because I live in Silicon Valley). When I gave a branding seminar in Michigan, I received the opposite reaction: it’s a symbol of disloyalty. So with anything related to appearance, it’s all about how a particular message is heard. Communication is about the receiver, as much as the sender.

      In the US, typically a salesman drives a fancy car, and that’s seen as an indication he or she is skilled and successful. In the UK, many customers view a fancy car as an indication that they are going to be gouged.

      • TIM

        THE RECEIVER, AN INTELLIGENT POINT. THE US IS ALL ABOUT MONEY SO THE MORE YOU CAN RELATE TO HAVING IT THE MORE YOU ARE RESPECTED. I HAD A GIRL FRIEND THAT USE TO RENT A CAR LIKE A JAUGAR TO GO CLIENTS MEETING WITH RICH CLIENTS. SHE FELT RICH ONLY DEAL WITH FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.

        GLEN

    • cowboy boots.
      works in those smaller, more parochial markets in the south, west, midwest…

      You can wear them with the uniform in larger Texas cities. In smaller cities, add them to your nice jeans and dress shirt, blazer even….

    • RICHARD,

      THANKS FOR THE SMALL TOWN LOOK, IN OREGON I DRESSED LIKE THE LOCALS. BUT AWAYS HAD BLACK SLACKS. THE LEVI LOOK THERE SEEMED LIKE A LOGGER.

      I THINK IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO BE A BIT OVER DRESSED.

      IN NICARAGUA IT WAS THE OPPOSITE, THE LOCALS DRESSED THE UNIFORM EVEN THOUGHT IT WAS BOILING OUTSIDE. IT WAS A POWER PLAY THAT THEY THOUGHT THEY HAD TO DO.

      AT ONE TIME I DID HAVE MY COWBOY BOOT ERA. I LOVED IT.

      GLEN

    • JERR,

      I THINK I WAS A BETTER BASKETBALL PLAYER AND I DO NOT SMOKE. OTHERWISE I HAVE NO POLITICAL SKILLS OTHER THAN LOOKING THE PART.

      GLEN

  5. RSS FEED

    THANKS FOR POSITIVE REFERRAL, I AM HAVING FUN TELLING THE STORIES, AND I HOPE TO IMPART A MESSAGE WITH THIS GETTING TO KNOW YOU STUFF.

    WISHING YOU THE BEST,

    GLEN

  6. Glen,

    Thanks for the question about the Zero Halliburton. I’m a big fan.

    Whether in social or professional situations it always elicits the first response from someone, especially if they’ve never seen it before. Often even if they have. I don’t have to say anything coming in, it invariably gets them to talk first.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Zero_Halliburton

    From Wikipedia: “Erle P. Halliburton, the founder of Halliburton, had commissioned the aluminum case in 1938 from aircraft engineers because other luggage could not endure the rough travel through Texas oil fields in a pickup truck. In addition to being more durable than a leather or cloth case due to its rigidity, the aluminium case seals tightly against dust and water.”

    They are beautifully designed objects, and their beauty comes from their fitness for purpose. Mine is 30+ years old and is still waterproof and has taken more than one nasty drop in its time, and bears hardly a scratch.

    But most of all, the sleek aluminum projects an image due to their constant use in popular culture for carrying things like large amounts of cash or contraband, or broken-down sniper weapons (etc).

    Before I bought mine, I joked that when I bought one I would hang around national monuments in a three piece suit, mirror shade aviator glasses, with an earbud trailing from inside my collar to my ear and the Zero handcuffed to my wrist. Just to see how quickly security accosted me . The big joke was going to be that I just had something really benign inside… Hello Kitty dolls or something. Then 9/11 happened and that kind of image became not funny.

    But I still bought one. Anytime you turn up to client meetings with one, or to meetings with other designers or engineers, the first question is “what are you carrying in there?” Which then allows me to banter a bit about the things I -might or might not be carrying-, (If I could tell you I would, etc) and then come clean and show them it’s just dumb books and files… Projecting an intimidating image but immediately undercutting it. It allows you to be both taken seriously and crack a dumb joke.

    I didn’t buy one for that reason, I just love the look and function. I happened on the icebreaker effect by accident and never use it on purpose. But after it happened a few times, I realized the power that a Zero Halliburton projects. Coupled with just how beautiful and functional they are, I’d recommend one to any professional.

    Thanks again, Glen – and keep up the good work – with the blog and in all other matters.

    Best wishes,

    Duane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)