Architecture is a business; architecture is a profession. Architecture is a concept, a religion, a movement, a passion, and an indication that we were here. It is so many things; yet it’s so cool. Jump in to any conversation of a group of architects and you’ll often hear us complain, act defensive, tell stories, seek advice and share successes. If you’re not an architect, you’ll hear a strange tongue of unknown dialect with jokes only funny to our own. We cheer for great architecture and we are quick to criticize as well. Our faults are so obvious; being a critic is inveterate to our personality type. It’s both a strength and weakness depending on how much we turn up the volume.
What if we look in the mirror for a moment, not to evaluate our work, our process, or even our solutions. Do we understand what is happening as we design? Someone decides to hire us, pay us, put confidence in us to build – their building, be it a home, an office, a university, – name it. Whether it’s good or bad, “A” or “a.”
It’s risky. Clients invest large sums of money, time, and yes, emotion. Don’t discount that last one, even with commercial buildings where the decision makers are detached from it because others use it. Someone will use it – think about that. In this moment in time, during my short stay on this planet, I’ve convinced someone to commit resources that could have gone elsewhere. A team of people, consultants, contractors, vendors, tradespeople all came together for this goal – to follow something I directed. There’s a mark out there that began in my mind. What if it’s wrong – it doesn’t work? What if I forgot something or didn’t account for that detail? What if? Can you feel that?
Whether it ever gets an award, a magazine feature or any recognition, it’s still there. It’s built; it’s permanent by some standard. As I look back at 2017 with a host of projects, some built, some being built and some soon to be built, how do I feel? You’re wondering why is that even relevant, why does that matter? It does, it’s how I view and plan going into 2018 with more work than I can handle and a reputation to protect. It’s what guides my thoughts, decisions and choices. I can’t remember hearing anyone talking about it among a myriad of endless blogs, posts, and Facebook rants. At the end of 2017, I’ll make a transparent confession.
I feel accountable.
photos by Skysight Photography