Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing a post about how during a project architects typically have a book of specifications to go along with all of the drawing sheets for a project. They talk all about the materials and what a contractor needs to do to install them correctly, beyond just the location, dimensions, and things like that. Then this weekend happened and I decided that post needed to get put on the shelf for a bit.
I started writing this blog partly because I was inspired by those that already had some sort of online presence already and partly because I saw all of them having a voice to make in impact within the architecture profession and realized I wasn’t a part of the conversation.
Weekday mornings around my place have a pretty typical routine, in fact weekends have started having their own distinctive pattern they follow lately. Usually social media is not one of the first things I look at. Getting ready for whatever I have going on that day takes priority. So a glance at my calendar and seeing what the weather is going to be like are my go to apps on my phone at that time of day. That is, after I’ve hit snooze a couple of times. So seeing what is going on in the world typically consists of my 5 minutes of watching the news, if I get that much time before I walk out the door. Even after I check out a couple of the various platforms I get the top headlines of the day and am surprised when I get some sort of mention, hit, whatever. Usually though, while I find a lot of the conversations or articles interesting, I’m not usually shocked by most of the architectural sites and people that I follow. New breakthrough materials, cool projects, different points of view on what we do, even ways of making the profession better are what I see and what I take time to read. That is, up until the other morning.
The other morning I found out that there was already a conversation going on, and instead of it being what you would expect from people interested in architecture; you know, things like how do we detail this, how do we make a better business, what does everyone think of the progress of the project I am working on, or something along those lines; it was more of an attack on some of the people I follow and admire for what I could only surmise was a frustration on the part of that person for not fulfilling what they thought was the more appropriate way of doing things. In architecture you learn that you need to separate your work from yourself, that the choices you make on a project are not always going to be the most amazing design solutions, sometimes you just simply do whatever it takes to get the job done. Same too with what we put out into the world through these various outlets. Hopefully some of these will resonate with people, some may just simply keep the conversation going. I’ll freely admit that you can’t understand the reasons behind why people write any certain post, especially when they are limited to 280 characters, there are some posts that clearly come across more pointed than others. Whether it was a good idea or not, I’m still trying to determine, I decided to add my two cents to the conversation.
Since that decision a bigger group of people decided to add to the conversation as well, it went in so many different directions so fast it was pretty much impossible to follow. Ok impossible for me, I’m sure there are other people out there that could have kept up better. But those that came into the conversation, while all having different opinions and point of views, there was one thing that we all had in common. We were all willing to hear the others voices. If they are constructively adding to the conversation, they deserve to be heard. Stifling anyone’s voice simply takes away from a bigger, better picture of this great profession. I realize looking back at all of the back and forth that occurred, I only took a glancing blow from this person’s frustration, others took a much more direct hit and continue to be demeaned after most of the people involved decided to bow out. I’m not sure I will ever understand why some decide to attack something rather than working to improve it; maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s more instinctive, either way I don’t believe it ever truly accomplishes what the goal really is.
This is going to be my simplest idea, and singular suggestion. Contribute. Add to the conversation. Pick a platform to use, fill a void you think is not being represented, make yourself heard.
I’ll be on the lookout for more diverse voices to this conversation. Let me know you’re out there, I’ll be interested in what you have to say. Make a positive change and help keep moving it forward.