This post is my contribution to an international blog series called #ArchiTalks. Each month, dozens of architect bloggers from around the world publish a post on a specific topic simultaneously on the same date. Scroll to the bottom for links to posts written by all of my #ArchiTalks friends.
This month, the #ArchiTalks theme is “Then and Now” and we are all sharing how our lives in the profession differ (or not) from the lives we expected to live when we decided to pursue a career in this profession of architecture. Enjoy.
The Biggest Surprise of My Life as an Architect
When we launched our architecture firm Fivecat Studio, my wife (and architect business partner) and I structured the firm based on our strengths. Annmarie would design. She is amazingly talented at creating beautiful architecture and we learned very early in our courtship that we could not both hold that position (without killing one another).
Subsequently, I would run the business and manage the projects. I enjoyed business, and the direct feedback of working with others to find solutions fueled me. I would manage the front of the house and Annmarie would handle the back.
The biggest surprise of my life as an architect is that, today as an architect, I don’t actually design buildings.
My “Destiny” to Become an Architect
I decided to become an architect when I was 10 years old. I embraced my inner-artist all my life. Throughout my childhood my love was drawing. When I learned that architecture would allow me to draw, and get paid for it, I was hooked.
My vision was clear and I set my goals on becoming an architect.
I was so determined to reach this goal that I never looked beyond that 10-year-old’s passionate, immature decision. Any possibility where an alternative career could have possibly shown itself, I manipulated my life, and the influences upon it, to always indicate that architecture was my single unquestioned destiny.
My future was clear, I would design buildings. I would be an architect.
My True Passion
Looking back at the last four and a half (plus) decades, my life as an entrepreneur was so obvious. Notwithstanding my consistent attempts to suppress anything that may deter my vision to become an architect, my strength as a leader and advocate for others always guided my true path. As I pursued my “destiny” I was not aware of this pattern and I never sought leadership. It always found me.
When I finally reached my goal to become an architect and I finally started my own firm, my passion for entrepreneurism and quest for business success could no longer be ignored. My position in the firm as the Partner in Charge of Operations forced me to embrace my true strengths. With my goal to become an architect fulfilled, I then allowed myself to seek knowledge from others on how to succeed in business; how to succeed as the entrepreneur that I had unknowingly become when I launched the firm with Annmarie.
I had found my true passion; my undeniable God-given destiny. I was an architect AND an entrepreneur.
Not All Architects Are Designers
Today, in addition to being a successful residential architect, I am an advocate. My passion is to inspire love (of other people and the profession) by learning what I don’t know and sharing my wisdom and that newfound knowledge to help others advance.
No. I don’t design buildings, but I am very much an architect. I am an Entrepreneur Architect.
Question: What is the biggest surprise of YOUR life as an architect?
Visit All My #ArchiTalks Friends
Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Where It All Went Right
Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
From Then to Now…Residential Architect
Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Well, How Did I Get Here
Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
then and now
Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Then & Now…and the middle
Nicholas Renard – Renard Architecture (@dig-arch)
15 Years of Architecture
Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
then and now: #architalks
Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Then-Now: A Schematic Story
Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
then and now
Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
Big Ass Buildings
brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Pens & Fizzy Drinks: Or How to Set Measurable Career Goals
Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
How did I get here?
Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Reflection on My Wonderful, Unexpected Career
Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Being the light in darkness
Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
The Joys of Being an Architect
Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@thatarchstudent)
Then and Now
Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
Career Path: Follow Your Heart
Nisha Kandiah – TCDS (@SKRIBBLES_INC)
Then & Now : Still Chasing the Dream
Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
The Reluctant Code Guru
Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
10 Lessons Learned from a Young Architect
Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
#Architalks 22 – Then and now
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Nataliia Zhekova