Skip to content
Illustration of the letter N for the word noctambulle in yellow tones for the architect's alphabet of the Bordeaux agency Bulle Architectes.


N for night owl.

Is the architect a night owl ? Should we turn a blind eye to an ancient practice that idealizes keeping an eye on the night ?

We are talking about the famous “cart”.

Inherited from the Beaux-Arts, the cart has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, when architecture students worked intensively day and night and finished their models and panels directly on the cart that they pulled to the place of registration of their renderings, often on Friday before noon last, where they would then be displayed and judged.

A romanticized and idealized symbol of nocturnal artistic creation, the term “charrette” has gradually evolved to refer to the grueling rush phase that precedes a rendering.

If the job makes you dream, this practice, which still haunts many schools and agencies, leaves you wondering.

Being rocked by a few carts in one’s life can be part of the journey of initiation that leaves fond memories of camaraderie and team building.
But they are not an obligatory rite either. When sleepless nights and dark days turn into nightmares and darken the state of health, it means that it is time to wake up. In order to avoid finding yourself in a tight spot, or even bedridden, it is urgent to wrap yourself in the cozy blanket of organization.
A good schedule is the best way to sleep soundly.
It is not a paradox to be creative and organized. It is essential to ritualize the rising and setting of your team in order to have to tell the story of the project.

On the other hand, it is unthinkable to rest on your laurels. Any snooze or disregard for the clock can be detrimental to the entire team. Hence the expression “as you make your bed, so you lie in it”. Because we must not tell ourselves tall tales, the failure of one person can be costly to all. To make a competition mobilizes an entire team. No one can pull the wool over one’s eyes. On the other hand, some people can suffer: the team, the client if the competition is not completed on time and to the level of their expectations, not to mention the design office, the landscape architect, the perspective artist and the printer who also work in the shadow of the projects and who are far from being the fifth wheel of the carriage (or the cart).

Let’s take advantage of the summer to sleep under the stars, watch the shooting stars and make a wish. To continue working on projects that make you dream.

Back To Top