As one looks out in the world to where an impact could be made, the options are manifold, both paralyzing and titillating. The choice is so vast that self-discipline and deep listening to oneself are inevitably triggered.
In that haze, architecture might emerge. When that happens, when architecture is picked to make one’s contribution to the world, our emotional and logistical resources are put in motion. Architecture is both Art and discipline coalesced in its own distinct complexity, shaking the foundations of our awareness, a key discovery is a world above eye level. It becomes clear that a great many people before us battled for a better environment to improve the human condition and to enjoy inner enrichment. Clear also is that architecture was both a backdrop and a centerpiece of human events and that it has retained the capacity to do the same in the present and future. Where is our place in it? As milestones of architectural history are internalized (those monuments around which our belief system finds anchor to) questions about how our contribution aligns to the ancestry of history come up, if an individual aspires to do worthy work. The story has been told as a logical and linear progression of steps, but its true history is much more layered than that. The inner questionnaire starts. Going through the metaphorical checklist of attributes to learn whether one’s make is right for the job falls into a personal choice. This, by default, is actually an open list, a tentative screening to do a first pass at believers versus “Sunday strollers” improvised designers.
Something somewhere deep inside ourselves prompts us to give, in some form, as members of humankind. It is a growing sense of necessity for us to engage in ways that are meaningful to ourselves and to others. Since architecture is our chosen conduit for that, the senses are more alert to its possibilities than ever before. Whether urban or rural dwellers, our experience of buildings has ordinarily left us indifferent, backdrop entities to our concerns. However a few of those experiences did move you, and unexpectedly so. It was an eye-opening occurrence that mobilized a whole other level of personal aspiration to contribute within the same mode. That set our agenda: the commitment is to put your best effort to add through one’s work to that inventory of buildings that positively affect lives, while keeping at bay those environmental derailments that will inevitably challenge that resolve. In doing deep reassessments over time about our actions, responsive to how the world is understood, calibrating the next move and the next and the next is done to hit the center of an elusive target. That is the most impactful and transformational architecture the individual can help to shape, to rediscover and reinvigorate our investment in life in general. It is indeed a lofty goal worthwhile a lifetime of exploration, study, and execution.
Skepticism about the linearity of progress is an emerging achievement of 21th century consciousness. Paradoxically it was not inaction that ensued. Recognizing the fallibility of scientific creed in “one solution to one type of problem”, led to the reformulation of the individual’s agency on the oblique plane of the collective. The nurturing of one’s vow to give to the world in some form is negotiated in the cornucopia of opportunities, available over time. Being coherent on a timeline as long as life, goes hand in hand with personal notions of integrity. Those principled yardsticks are realities as singular as the uniqueness of each person.