This paper describes a recently concluded graduate seminar which tested how form-generative design tactics of algorithmic work could be productively brought to bear on the conceptual analysis of existing buildings. The seminar did not seek to optimize performance or aesthetic value but simply to query the mechanics and consequences of translation as an act. Seminar participants mined existing buildings as sources for parametric rule-sets which were subsequently applied to varying media fields (e. g., physical materials, text, and graphics). This application revealed that specific media resist certain kinds of translation. This peculiar resistance suggested that characteristics of architecture exist which might broadly be called untranslatable.