After a 6 mile run up the Tramway and back, spending time with my daughters and sorting out our next challenge, I am at the office trying to jump into the abyss of design... it is a kind of "black box" exercise, based on a sketch Alex and I came up with yesterday for our new challenge.
One axiom comes to mind:
"What ever you can do or dream you can, be bold. Boldness has a genious and inherent power and magic in it". - Goethe
As I find my way around the office, I am aware of all of those who inhabited this space, not only the young faces of former students, partners and friends, but also, our predecessors, the trail blazers who have taught us, the newcomers, not to be afraid of Architecture, and to embrace this sacred desert we call "home" and become active participants in an evolving design aesthetic. Thanks Stew Williams, John Porter-Clark, Albert Frey and our beloved Don Wexler... we are trying to live up to your standards.
Our office has gone through an incredible transformation, a balancing act of a heroic nature in these challenging times. At times, it feels like if we are climbing the "Hillary Steps" on Everest and we can see the plume of snow that could have sent us into an abyss... Changes have occured rapidly and unexpectedly. We are expanding our services to include Planning & Entitlements, finding opportunities in unexpected places, and finally diving into the beauty and suspense of design challenges... new clients, return clients, the works... Projects of incredible caliber.
We expanded our office and it does not look like the studio at Cal Poly anymore. We have a small gallery, a conference room and the old clutter has dissapeared. However, we still convey that we are a "design firm" and "good design sells". We are even welcoming aboard new members to our team, Ivan Ivanov and Alex Meyerhoff, in addition to the old timers, Peter Blackburn & Cliff Cortland, and of course my nightmare boys, Zach Morgan and Matias Cena. In time, I hope to lure back some members of our "dream team" who went away to seek greener pastures.
Three quotes which empower me to get up everyday with the hope that Esc Arc will continue to soar and reach for the stars:
"Out of clutter, find simplicity, from discord, find harmony, in the middle of difficulties lies opportunity" - Albert Einstein.
"Fall in love or fall in hate. Get inspired or be depressed. Ace a test or flunk a class. Speak the truth or lie and cheat. Dance on tables or sit in the corner. Life is divine chaos. Embrace it, Forgive yourself. Breathe. And enjoy the ride." Solbean.
"I will respect you more for failing spectacularly than sliding by and being mediocre" - Ana's cliche pet-talks to her students, staff and team-mates.
Check this out, we were mentioned in the Desert Sun, our local newspaper about the conversion of the St. Theresa Convent into a Pre-School. Our office in mentioned among lots of big wigs in Palm Springs. Kudos to Peter Blackburn who went beyond the call of duty to make this project happen. Here is the link,
All I can say without disclosing any personal information is that "Life is Beautiful...but too brief to sweat the small stuff" and don't wait for things to happen, create your own opportunities and live every moment as it was your last.
This weekend, after teaching my class at Cal Poly, my friend Alex and I went to Malibu to find out the developmental restrictions of our latest project, and we met a wonderful young planner, Kristin who provided us with the information we needed to make this project painless, then, on Friday night, I went to my first concert at Disney Hall and enjoyed an absolutely poetic interpretation of Bolero by the LA Philarmonic. On Saturday, we went to see the Lautner Exhibit at the Hammer Museum and just strolled around downdown taking it all in, trying all kinds of ethnic food and me impressing Alex (hopefully) with my bilingual abilities. We even visited the Bradbury Building, portrayed in a cult-movie of my generation, "Blade Runner", hung out at Hennesy & Engals and shopped until we dropped.
We came home last night, and now my daughter and I are getting ready to go to the office where not only we'll spend time together, but I'll take her to visit the Greenbaum Residence for her to see "what mommy does" when she is not around.
Gang, have a blessed Sunday,