It was upon the time, there was an RFP which I ignored because I was bitter by the process, the "smoked room handshakes deal" that would kill any clean competition beofre the race began. So, I just brushed it off. But today, as I was getting ready to go to the office between drying my hair and finishing my daughter's homework, a dear and beloved friend called me, AM I will call him. He asked him if I was going to the pre-RFP meeting and I was too polite to say "NO" so I replied, "I am thinking about it". Well, he convinced me, and I went to this otherwise place that may have been forgotten by God at some point, but not dismissed by the big guns in architecture. So, we are pursuing this project... a civic center, library and other stuff. I know we can kick some serious "butt". All those carpet baggers and wanna-bees cannot possibly get what the project is all about. Our executive architect is the same one who will be the executive for Zaha Hadid, so, as we say in my neck of the woods, "what the hell, let's go down in flames and if we have to, we will take everyone with us". I think we have a shot to the project, because we understand the area, and we are not coming from the "you people point of view" but rather, from a deep understanding of the nuances of what makes a project such as this great. Now, we have our work cut out for us. We need to convey our intentions, goals and understanding of the Client's dream... the rest are just details which in the scope of things, they don't matter as being in a mission that comes from within.
Just a few thoughts to share...
When you realize that taking on this monastic calling called "Architecture" is just a "pipe dream" and regardless of how hard you try, there is always someone around the corner waiting for you to blaze through, just to kick you in the lungs and take all the God's given breath out of you... so you can become cynical, a hired gun and comply with the "status quo"... in unexpected places, you find hope and your heart is filled again with this unrelentless optimism, energy and purpose.
Well, that is what teaching does for me. Today, after arriving late to class, parking on the red zone and taking a zillion phone calls during class, my students taught me a huge lesson. Life as an architect is not about today or the imminent tomorrow, but rather the long term future. There are in my class, more than a few young students who are teaching me day-in and day-out why I chose this ungrateful profession. They inspire me, humble me and most importantly, they allow me to see that this profession is not about my contemporaries or the old geezers, but rather the new generation who is coming into the field with an unpoluted heart, great talent and making light of the obstacles they have to overcome to get where they are.
In running, we say that it will take another hundred years to break the world record for the mile, set by Effrain El-Garruh from Morocco, if you look at the statistics for the last 100 years. In architecture, my students, fill me with the dogmatic belief that they will not only be better than we all have ever been in this profession, but they will go into uncharted waters with the naivitee and force that only God's enthusiasm can bestow in their young lives.
Me? I am just a vampire who goes three times a week to get my HGH or spiritual steroids from each one and all of them, so I can keep the hope alive, that at the end of the road, you can't argue with success, the person who went the extra mile, the one who shamed all their detractors by lasting long enough to let them know that honesty, hard work and integrity pays off... and like in the old Western movies, good guys (or girls) always win.
Thank you guys and keep working hard because this is just the beginning of a great journey where the synopsis will multiply in an algorythmic destiny.
I would hire all of you if I could.
Well Gang, It is happening... we are at the brink of a great undertaking. Thanks to God first of all. All we can do at the moment is to give our 200% and rest assured we will. I can't give any information about the matter, due to a confidentiality agreement, but thanks to all of you who put your own weekends aside and rolled up your sleeves to get us to this point. My special thanks to Debra, Chuck, Alan, Rick, Mike, Teal, Ale, Joe and of course my partners in crime, Cliff, Peter, Susana, Pablo and everyone who contributed to get us to this point.
Now, our odds are better, and we will not walk away without leaving part of our soul in the process. I have not had such a great day like today in a zillion years.
It is great to be given such an opportunity to show what we are made of.
My deep thanks and devotion,
A beautiful B-day card I had to share. I was moved by it. Thank you Ashley and Megan, and as my protegees, I want you to go on and take the world by a storm.
Your teacher, Ana