Monday, January 15, 2018



I love beginnings. I marvel at beginnings. I think it is beginning that confirms continuation.

-        Louis I. Kahn[1]

To be honest, I was struggling to come up with the stream of consciousness that would stitch together my thoughts with this month’s theme.  I suppose that is appropriate for this theme, like a painter, staring at a blank canvass for the first time.  I have written many posts over the years; some come much easier than others do.
This is LBJ, having a worse day than I am.  I believe presidential photos to be part of the Public Domain.

I started writing regularly about my perspective as a young architect over fifteen years ago.  Cripes, I am old.  Anyway, back then I wrote for our monthly newsletter, which we actually printed out and placed a copy in everyone’s mailbox.  I started to look back at some of the topics, and I am all over the place.  Many of the stories I told are about people who are retired, moved on or in several cases, no longer with us.  I tried to write in a way that anyone could appreciate the story.  While most of my articles had something to do with architecture and my exploits with the Firm, I was just as interested in being relatable to our bookkeeping and clerical staff as I was to the firm Partnership.  I still strive for that universal appeal today.

In searching for ideas for this post, I looked back at the content from all the earlier articles, which I keep on a thumb drive.  My very first article was about how my mom actually interviewed for me at this Firm while I was studying abroad at school.  I wrote subsequent articles about projects I worked on which we have since added onto; about co-workers who very few current employees here will remember; about comical tasks I had to do as an intern; and about technology that no longer exists (remember fax machines and floppies?).  And while some of the articles I wrote have no real value as stand-alone texts, they all lead me to the architect and would-be writer I am today.

I had a professor once tell me that I should finish every thought I have, even if it is on a roll of trace paper that I know I will throw out, because that thought has purpose in the process, even if not necessarily the finished design.  In other words, I may still learn something from it.

Every time I begin anew, whether it be a building diagram or a blog post, the beginnings build upon all the other experiences in my data bank.  Some of those experiences have no relationship to the new destination, other than they are part of the road that lays behind me.

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series where a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. This month’s theme is "Renewal" and was led by Larry Lucas.  A lot of other talented writers who also are architects are listed below and are worth checking out:
Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
get out of town renewal

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Goal Renewal

Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
renewal: #architalks

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Renewal - Re-Ranch

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)

Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 34: Renewal

Stephen Ramos - BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@BuildingsRCool)
No guts, no glory!

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)

Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
5 Tips for Harnessing Renewal to Advance Your Goals

Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
reNEWal. new year. new goals

Tim Ung - Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
Break Routines

Larry Lucas - Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
Renewal is Valuable for Heart and Hometown

Steve Mouzon - The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
The 12 Steps of Sprawl Recovery

[1] “The Invisible City”.  International Design Conference, Aspen, CO, June 19, 1972.  In What Will Be Has Always Been: The Words of Louis I. Kahn, ed. Richard Saul Wurman (New York: Rizzoli International Publications).  1986, p. 150.

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