Millennial Innovation

Innovation in the technology age takes place when those with the tools (typically young) work along-side of those with experience (typically not as young). This combination can be a powerful one when culture allows counter-parts to play on the same field and contribute as equals.
As a recent graduate of architecture school, I’ve noticed those with tools lack essential skills such as sketching, detailing with intent, managing external relationship. On the other hand, those with experience tend to be one level removed from the documentation process because of their lack of comfort with technology. The pre-millennial generation accepted a hierarchy in command that battles this method of fostering innovation. It was normal to be a ‘cad monkey’ for the first 3-5years in your career while you took commands from above. Given the pace of projects I’ve recently seen, and movement toward more design-build and design assist, we don’t have the luxury to work in a top down system. Some of our principals and design leaders are accepting this shift and are working beside those with fresh ideas and technology that need qualification. These are the environments where we’re seeing innovation take place.

Pull up a chair, boss!

Maad Social Skills

Today I became aware that, although you may be the professional, there may, and often times will be, someone in the room that knows more about what you are talking about than you do. To accompany this observation, there is very little discussion taking place outside of social media. If you’re talking with someone in person, the chances that your topic has been elaborated on in some form of social media are great. There’s some irony at play here but to sum things up; crowd sourcing is relevant even in person.

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…like finding a tulip in the ivy

Nature always amazes me. Not in an I want to mimic everything you do, nature kind of a way. I simply enjoy the way it expresses itself and how it seems to appear at the right moment for an epiphany. When I noticed this tulip I had the urge to capture it and bring it inside, put it in a jar of water and have it accompany my eclectic decor. Is this normal? Are humans programmed to arrange things in this way? After thinking about this for a few minutes I came to the conclusion that good intentions only exist in the presence of bad. Although the image of a tulip amongst a bed of ivy is an interesting aesthetic, the epiphany is the dichotomy present in all. Light and dark, black and white, happy and sad are all examples to varied perception. Now, if I were to cut the tulip and bring it inside then it would have temporarily made myself and others in the vicinity happy, until its death of course. On the other hand, if I leave the tulip then no one will know it exists! If I had a third had it would be holding the key thought >>> it only exist in the bed of ivy. It completely loses it significance inside of the house but it will be awfully nostalgic. Selfish, isn’t it?

Serendipity

As I was rushing to the train platform this morning I finished a call and lowered my phone to my side and accidently snapped this photo!

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Movement in Architecture.

One can’t hold a conversation about the built environment without addressing form. Form is derived in many ways and has been one of the major reasons for movements in architecture throughout its existence. It can be heavily influenced by any number of things like emotion and program but I’ll spare you that dramatic list. The most interesting form generator in my book is function. The way a space is articulation through time and movement is important and that conversation can be navigated from any lens put on the built environment. An idea that begins by folding paper, for example, has the potential to become something real! With the continual growth in the popularity of custom spaces and places, architects are able to access the tools necessary to take this approach and articulate space based on core function rather than decoration. Our post-modern forefathers wouldn’t know what to do! This means that the things we imagine have a increasingly greater chance of becoming a reality and that’s pretty exciting!

Big Idea 2013: College Becomes Optional

Big Idea 2013: College Becomes Optional

After completing higher education at an art school in an extremely technical profession, architecture, I too have come to this conclusion. Much of the coursework lent itself to repetitive tasks to appease elder professors or for bragging rights about who has the best rendering skills. Statistically, there is a drastic decrease those who study architecture and those who go on to practice it.To me, this is an indicator that education models are not current and my personal experience speaks for that. I forced myself to break the mold by diversifying my studies through free online tutorials on topics which my professors knew very little about. I gravitated towards the most open minded individuals who were able to think and guide into an individualistic approach. This was the fostering of my innovation! I pushed my way into diverse collaborations between departments that rarely interacted which became an opportunity in learning how to manage various perspectives. I began to question current ethics in the profession I was planning to embark on and came to the inevitable conclusion that many designers in architecture are disconnected with the realities of the construction process. I began to fabricate based on one simple question [because questions are more important than answers]; are we evolving into a society that demands greatness but isn’t willing to identify how we get there? Technical educations seem to provide this basis because they are for the most part finite. When you complete a technical project you should be able to say “what you see is what you get” and that is not what I saw from my predecessors at large.

The fact of the matter is that, if you take command of your passion and work to succeed then you will likely flourish in whatever you do. My current position allows me to work on the other side of the grey line, where design and construction are blurred, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of architects and it’s seems to be clear, there is a tremendous lack of technical knowledge.

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Top down?

I’ve spent the over a year working on this project the involves physical computing and architecture. One major aspect of the endeavor was to express the freedom designers have in this evolving digital age. The project is the spawn of the open-source movement and is almost as simply radical. This evening I spent a few hours redesigning the circuit boards and toying with their placement in the device and I had a hugh ephiny….

I built it from the top down and it needs to be built from the bottum up!

+1 for C-Span Radio

 

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