My son Cory is a third year student in NDSU’s architecture program. As I have watched him grow into his own design style I have been amazed at the transformation that has occurred at each step of the way. In his pre-program classes he developed his artistic eye by sketching random objects. He then moved into designing simple things – like a chair which represented a metaphor. Now he designs full buildings.
Every time Cory designs something and he explains why he chose particular elements to include or accentuate, I can only marvel at the beauty, creativity, and utility that emerge from his mind (see a recent design of Cory’s here). A building is never merely a building to Cory. I love the way his mind has been liberated to think in the architecture program. Every time I see one of his creations I think to myself – I want to do that…I want to design fabulously beautiful and purposeful spaces that inspire people.
Alas, I do not want to do all the work that comes with developing the brainpower required to produce such output. Architecture students live in their design studios for days at a time when they are in the heat of production. They spend hours on the smallest of nuances things you or I might never notice, but that architecture folks see like a blinking neon sign.
Architecture students have to serve multiple masters – themselves and their own design persona and the palates of the instructors and evaluators. They must develop thick skins and be open to critique for the sake of continual improvement. It is not a place for frail egos.
I found the above sign online. It seemed fitting. I am not an architect, but I wish I was. I wish I was an architect in the same way I wish I knew how to play guitar – it seems like a delightful ability to have, but not so delightful that I am willing to invest the hundreds of hours necessary to become proficient at it.
Oh, well – such is life. I may not be able to create beautiful building designs, but I produced a kid who can. I guess I will just have to settle for having a son who is an architect. I can live with that.
Day one thousand two hundred and sixty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da