We’ve all commented on a building’s character before. An apartment might have it because of some special oak trim, or a building might not fit with the ‘character’ of its neighborhood. In this video, architectural designer and professor Stewart Hicks takes a close look at the meaning and origins of this elusive concept. Why do we use this word for both people and for buildings? Characters also occur in fiction, does that help explain how buildings tell stories? From the Enlightenment architects Ledoux, Boullée, and Lequeu, to the Beetlejuice house, to contemporary practices exploring what it might mean for a building to have a face or a posture, we get to the bottom of why architects might consider architectural character to be a good idea.