Friday, January 31, 2014

Moving Forward...

By Randy Thoms

           Thesis time is in full swing. So what does it take to keep moving forward?  Passion?  Drive? Committee Chair?  Debt?  Ego?  Nothing better to do?  The list could on for 440 more words left to meet requirements of this blog, now 430 words.  Yet all of these words or concepts do not necessarily fill the need to keep going, but they do allow for many different avenues to drive one's project.  As the ideas begin to surface from the flood of research; reading, reviewing, searching, requesting, meeting, talking, thinking, the more one could get pigeonholed into a singular thought or process.  Not just out of fear but to perhaps stop the madness of too many ideas swirling all around one's head.
            As my chair asked after I revealed my "design" two weeks into a 15 week process, "come back with six plans,"  it was back to the drawing board and trace paper.  The further I stretched my preconceived notions of what was best for my site, the more the ideas and configurations began to flow and develop.  They all had a same basic premiss, but they were beginning to expand and grow into a liberal mix of possibilities and outcomes.  Where is the sun coming in?  Where is the sun going?  Who will be walking where and why?  Do I really need seven levels?  Can or should I design this with the bones of wood rather than concrete and steel?
            The exciting part of doing all this work, other than the long nights and cups of coffee, many cups of coffee, is the process.  While working through the multitude of distractions and the synthesis of research a project begins to take a life of its own.  Some may liken it to an elephant lumbering along  pushing its way and weight around to get to the watering hole for a bath or a drink.  Others may see a cheetah fast and sleek as it takes down its prey from behind.  On the other hand I try to relate the process to a Red Tailed Hawk sitting in a tree facing the sun, warming itself while observing the land listening, watching and thinking only to soar up into the air, hover then dive down and grab its reward.
            So, the process of the flood waters building up behind the dam of inspiration allows for the burst of creativity to have some semblance of order to produce a final project that not only works, looks good but has a well thought out design and functionality benefiting the client as well as the community at large interacting with the built environment on a daily basis.  This pushes one forward to keep producing better ideas and hopefully better communities in this service industry we call....Architecture.

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