From Humble Beginings
-a passage through architecture-
Graduating with a degree from architecture is not as predictable as it may seem. You are travelling with baggage from an architectural heritage that you have to find sense in its establishment. It is not your sense; indeed it may even be arbitrary; both the names of the architects and the forms they attempted to achieve that proved to be a step towards the formula of any personal academic recognition. So you look to the professional world for experience and gather offers from a skeletal curriculum vitae that can, even by your choice of the job, remove you from the opportunity to take the gown and mortarboard and receive your certificate. It came by post; BA (hons) Arch. By which, I was in Chicago, in a staunchly corporate environment, caught up in a British Judaeo conundrum looking at the architectural development of business districts in London. An intern, with only the knowledge to draw and an incumbent desire to know; ever trying to be helpful and naive enough to be taken in. This was down to an academic wing attached to the firm; an institute exploring a polemic for architecture that had me independently delving through tomes of books from the firm’s library that were seemingly unread; perhaps a folly of the injustice played within the workplace. Six months of this and then some more in London. I was addicted; blindly dedicated and had almost forgotten that my real education had to go on. Instruction is not necessarily an advisable pathway for anyone; you need to draw from the signs and support those that you feel you can trust. The idea of being without work is not an advisable playtime as the root of your chosen profession challenges that as an unbelievable lifestyle more suited for Playboys and Lotharios; let alone thinking what your mother might say. Well it had to be done; some personal self discipline, without a family and then resort to finding yourself at the very best architectural school to find more and develop yourself; to communicate with your peers and professors and pretend you know more. Same treatment; a diploma with your name on without any ceremony while the burn for knowledge pushes you into the nether regions of the dark world to make the impossible possible. Berlin. Where do you start? This path has already been followed. Its the path that makes architects. Not that I have met them but they were in books talking from the grave and making us believe that when times are hard they were able to make good. Success! Or not; the shadow of the Judaeo question rises its ugly head again with the remnants of a damaged city that architecture was attempting to both replicate and repair. Can those words even be paired; the critical reconstruction, but of what? My sense of professionalism turned me into an unwanted warrior looking for a place to rest my perceived knowledge without the determinism to make enemies. Needless to say all my efforts were simply reduced to a walk in the park. So what of architecture? What is it now? Trite! Or is this the political malevolence that has an induced a society of non-architects to exemplify as the end user. We are not happy with the population that occupies architecture, nor shall we ever be, or perhaps I was in the wrong place altogether and had mistranslated my surroundings as dystopia’s utopia - The Paradigm.
Seemingly a dream can be valued for its imaginative wealth. It takes a degree of persistence to make it real. A wanton toil of disruptive misguidance through other nightmares that you assure. Do not move from square one; do not pass go; do not collect £200. A square is a beautiful thing and it must be served. So back to work as an unrecognised architect collating the tools of warfare to influence my wage and wreck havoc upon myself. A lot of work and a lot of loss and guided without spirit or verve; broken friendships and the spate of technological advances that makes architects like me on the verge of being cavemen explaining the reason for our nuclear holocaust. But buildings got drawn and built with a little bit of verbal contention amongst the ranks until they could face no more of my imaginative skill that I protectively held back on. So how to get better? How to be on the same playing field? A bit more study and building for myself did not interest the academic fraternity that had upgraded their status for the unwitting parents of the polytechnic era. But it was a start, where perseverance was embedded into my soul. I required the art of subterfuge and cunning to boldly go where no man had gone before. To serve the square once more in my own terms. Yes, I am in London, treading the square mile and working architecture; everyone's architecture, without flinching from my guard and yes its good.