Yesterday, I read a blog post "Dear Future Architects: Don't Be Like Me". I enjoyed the self reflection the author had about a particular situation where he was designing a fast-food restaurant...not say the Guggenheim Museum and was a little less than enthused. He wrote “Bojangles? Are we really doing a Bojangles? Is there someone else who can work on this? I’m not working on that,”. The cool thing is he realized his mistake and categorized them into several things. He summarized them into these four categories; saying "no", sometimes you have to choke down the vegetables, he missed an opportunity, and he wasn't grateful.
There was some real self-reflection there. THEN I read several comments like "designing for a unhealthy food chain", "follow your dreams", "unethical to design a fast-food...", he had "principles". So I thought I would provide a small reality check to those new comers in the industry and by the way, I am not an architect, but do work with many in the high-end residential industry.
- We all have to start somewhere. Turn down work when you're getting started and you'll be doing sidewalk art beside your shopping cart.
- Just because you have an extremely high opinion of yourself and talents doesn't mean I'm supposed to also. We all see art differently...same with architecture.
- You can't eat dreams...or maybe the architecture unicorn will take care of your bills while you refuse to design an "unhealthy" food-chain.
- Take a real hard look around at the work being done today and understand you may never design a project that has any significant relevance. This doesn't mean not to try, but it is the reality.
- It's just a JOB, be thankful you can make a living doing what you love.
That said, challenge yourself, strive to create great design, want to be recognized...then go to work. Well done Stephen Ramos, architect!