I know I talk a lot about the problems in our profession and how architects are killing the industry and how clients suck, but I thought I would take a moment, switch to a more positive tone, and talk about why I LOVE Architecture.
As any architect can tell you, going all the way back to “what made me want to be an architect”, it is a love/hate/love/gun-in-mouth/love relationship that at times can be very complicated and at other very special times is very simple and clear.
My own personal journey with architecture began when I was 3 years old. Obviously I went through the typical career choices same as any toddler/child/teenager (fireman, fighter pilot, math teacher, motorcycle cop, sniper, G.I. Joe, etc), but architecture and the buildings around me always held a special fascination in my mind growing up. I was always drawing and creating things out of paper (origami) and was sent to detention A LOT for not stopping my scribblings (thanks, mom, for defending my creative freedom to more than one principle and guidance counselor).
ok back to the topic at hand
When I was 3, my grandmother took me and my mother to NYC for some shopping or whatever (I’m not actually sure why we were there, I was 3 for goodness sake), but the only thing I really remember is riding in a taxi with my head sticking out the window staring straight up into the air thinking “how the hell did they DO that!?” (I was a fowl mouthed 3 year old, what can I say). And thus started my fascination with buildings. My wife gets irritated, because to this day when we go to a new city I have an obsession with touching buildings….it can get a little steamy sometimes, I mean good architecture is just SO SEXY! 😉
My love for architecture, however has grown not out of design, but out of practicing the business of architecture. Design is wonderful, it’s what keeps us engaged and creative and energized, but it’s not the nuts and bolts of our profession. It’s easy to enjoy something that is naturally fun – like design. But to LOVE something you have to take joy in the most mundane and tedious tasks associated with it as well. In this way, being in architecture is much like being in a marriage – you may not always like her or get along with her, but you still love her and can’t imagine your life without her (talking about architecture not my wife….she’ll kill me for that, but I don’t think she reads my blog anyway :-P).
So, through the practice of architecture, the grit, the grime, the tedium, I’ve grown to love architecture. Architecture has the power to shape entire cities and change the course of human history. Look at the redesign of Paris, or Washington D.C.. Look at the patterns of development in cities like Atlanta or London or Chicago or Savannah. There is beauty and symmetry and chaos and confusion and architecture has the power to bring it about or change it all at the same time. As I’ve said in a previous post, Architecture is one of two of the best professions to be in.
Now the question is, why do you love architecture? What keeps you passionate and engaged with architecture? What got you started down such an amazing, frustrating, sometimes suicidal path?