One of the most powerful tools that designers and architects use to communicate their ideas is freehand sketching. This simple act of putting pen to paper allows the architect to translate thoughts and words into forms and abstract visuals. These visual interpretations build and refine until it works within the given parameters and combines the primary conceptual ideas. However, I've found that many young architects are afraid or not used to developing their ideas through sketches. Here are stories of my old fears with sketching and how I gained the confidence to sketch at all design meetings.
Now, without further ado, here is this week’s Friday Four!
1. Lesson of the week – Allow others to speak up and be confident
Now that I’m at a point in my career as an architect where I meet with some of our clients and take on different roles as a design architect, production, and project manager on smaller projects, I often find myself stepping back and presenting opportunities for others on my team to speak and share their ideas. I make this choice because I know that many new graduates who join architecture firms are afraid to share their ideas at in-house design meetings and at client meetings.
This week, my team and I were working hard on a large scale conceptual design project directly under one of the principals at the firm. We were pressed for time and had to develop a design concept for a series of buildings. During this time, we had several design meetings where everyone contributed and shared their ideas. Whenever someone in the group was afraid to express a negative thought to the principal, I would listen and convey their concerns at another meeting.
Ultimately, this led to the group being more open and honest about their design ideas and opinions about the project. We were able to develop some fantastic designs and everyone had a chance to present their designs to the clients. The meeting went exceptionally well and we’re all excited to continue moving forward!
2. Best moment of the week – Being asked to meet with old students and friends
After teaching several architecture studios at my architecture school, I’ve had the opportunity to watch each of the students grow from their freshman year to graduation. Now that many of them are done with school, they’re applying for jobs and thinking about their future. Similarly, a lot of my friends who are my age or older are also thinking about their futures as well. I’m humbled and happy that my students and friends reach out to me to meet and chat about what they’ve been up to and ideas for their future!
3. What I’m currently watching – Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard Commencement Speech
Every year in the summer, I take some time to research the different commencement speeches that were given at universities all over America. This year, one of the commencement speakers was Mark Zuckerberg who gave a speech at Harvard. In his speech, Zuckerberg spoke about luck and how some people are fortunate enough to attend school, graduate debt free, and have the safety net of their family to pursue radical ideas. Whereas, others are not as fortunate and are unable to attend, let alone afford, college. Zuckerberg’s commencement speech at Harvard University was fantastic and relatable to a majority of millennials. I highly recommend listening to his speech!
4. 30x30 Project Update – Putting projects on hold until my workload lightens up
This week, I planned to work on project 12x30, which is the micro housing project in China. However, with all of the projects going on at the architecture firm, it’s difficult to constantly stare at my computer screen at the office and again at home. So, I’ve decided to put my projects on hold as my team and I work hard on several projects at the office. In the meantime, I’ll brainstorm other projects to continue my 30x30 journey!