architecture and __

Lee 1988-02 Apartment

Perhaps this is the question of the year for all of us who are architects.

Batman and Robin, peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, now and later, this and that – there’s always an answer to the “and” – right?

Is there an answer to this blank? No seriously – I’m asking.

This has been especially apropos to my current schedule over the past few weeks. Being quite busy is not isolated to sole-practitioner architects, but when I’m busy, there’s really no one else to do the work. (Yes I have a few people that do occasional contract work for me that are good). However, when things need to get done, I need to get them done.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been lost in the rabbit hole as I work to hit one deadline and ramp up to begin another. Most of my projects are short lived compared to those of a larger firm where projects can go on for years. It’s good to be busy, but at times, it can be overwhelming. My projects are small, but detail intensive and the only way to get it right is to be immersed in it. It’s really hard to come back from that level of concentration.

Therefore, when I leave work, I have to work at not being there.

It’s unfair to my family not to spend time with them and not give them my attention. I also have other responsibilities. There must be other things that follow the “and” despite my love of architecture. It can’t be the only thing. People are more important.

Fortunately, I love what I do, so when I’m working, I enjoy it. Sketching ideas and thinking through details are hobby related to me, thus spending ‘free’ time on architecture doesn’t feel like work. It’s a joy to put so much energy into something I enjoy and that can bring joy to others. Yet there is an “and”, there has to be a switch to turn it off. I admit I find it hard to find the switch, let alone turn it off.

[Mad About You Season 2, Episode 6 The Unplanned Child – scroll to 7:15 to 7:36]

(…butter and ? )

Before I let all of us off of the hook, especially my readers who are students or who are considering studying architecture, let me share my narrow minded opinion.

While in school, architecture needs to be the main part of your life. I’ve drawn sharp criticism for my viewpoint as many feel we need to have a rich college life and experience many things and be a part of everything. I can’t say I disagree completely, but architecture is hard. It takes a unique discipline, rigor and a rare focus to be good (I didn’t say successful). This is an unpopular position in today’s culture, but architecture accepts no mistress during your college years. Be focused, be committed and it will pay off in time. A college education costs a lot of money and architecture as a discipline or as a field of study will require your blood, sweat and tears. Anything less, and I feel you’re wasting your time and architecture’s time.

I gave it my all in college. I was obsessed. I took the same approach to getting my license, but I’ve already ruffled those feathers.

Fortunately, praise God I did marry my college girlfriend, we have a son together. They are the most important people in my life. I’m blessed and humbled that there is an “and” in this equation. Architecture needs the ‘and.’

There are many answers to this question. Please read what my friends have written. #Architalks

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Architecture and Children

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Architecture and Photography

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Architecture and a Future Without Architects

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Architecture and Travel

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Architecture and Storytelling

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
architecture and integrity

Jes Stafford – MODwelling (@modarchitect)
Architecture and Gaming

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
architecture and m&ms

Rosa Sheng – EquitybyDesign [EQxD] (@EquityxDesign)
Architecture And the Era of Connection

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#ArchiTalks 18: architecture and… the bigger picture

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 18: Architecture and Mathematics

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
Architalks 18: Architecture and … Parenting

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Architecture and Yoga

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Architecture and Ego

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Architecture and Ego / The Architect’s Unique Struggle with ‘Good’ Design

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Architecture and Kids

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Architecture and More

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Architecture and the Myth of the Master Builder

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Architecture and Real Estate

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Architecture and Interior Design

Samantha Raburn – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Architecture and Wrestling)

Adam Denais – Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
[#ArchiTalks 18] Architecture and Strange Travel Etiquette

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Architecture and…my Generation.

architecture and __

7 thoughts on “architecture and __

  1. I like the approach you took with the subject “and” being all of the other important things in life. I am currently finishing graduate school and you are right… architecture school accepts no mistress!

  2. michele grace hottel says:

    when my daughter was three years old and an only, i used to take her with me everywhere and one day at a lunch at the rose cafe in venice, we were eating lunch with another archimom who was laughing because i was letting my daughter eat pats of butter at the table, needless to say, she was 1. quiet, 2. a relatively happy girl and 3. still is as a college student who will be graduating in may and has not seemed to let that butter eating deter her from a healthy and productive life 😉 good luck to your architecture and _____ life 🙂

    1. That’s fantastic! I think today’s post was a self-directed sermon…but the “and” is what we all look forward to each day even though the day was pretty good.

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