Saturday, February 22, 2014

Don't Forget the Other Stuff

Joshua Fowler here,
                There seems to be a pattern in the whole graduate architecture study that revolves around:
Thesis thesis thesis… wait don’t forget about history… wait is there homework for pro practice due tomorrow?… thesis thesis thesis thesis… when was that meeting…

                I am finding out that I prefer to work the same way I like to eat, one thing at a time and then tackle the next task. This however becomes complicated when I become so focused on one thing I forget to start the others. While I uphold my thesis as the most important work right now, I have to keep reminding myself that there is other work that must be done. This being said, I don’t undervalue the work in the other classes and find it interesting, maybe just not as much as my thesis. My architecture history class is a good example of this, I just learned about passive cooling techniques used in the middle east via wind scoops integrated into the buildings and urban environments.
Figure 1
 These techniques are very intriguing and can potentially be a precedence for architectures around the rest of the world. In my professional practice class we are discussing the ethics that surround the profession of architecture and the responsibilities that architects have to communities and clients that go far beyond traditional architectural practice.
Figure 2
Plan New Hampshire is a precedence for such thinking. Here is an excerpt from the writing I did for our most recent assignment involving analyzing leadership qualities of certain firms or groups:
                 The understanding of the four philosophical cornerstones and the process of the architecture of trust through the example of Plan New Hampshire, establishes the relationship between these two and creates a stronger comprehension of the architecture of trust demonstrated in Leadership by Design by Richard Swett. Plan New Hampshire is an exemplary case of architects leading an issue through the process of an architecture of trust and functions to serve an allegorical purpose in the assessment of the nature of leadership. Plan New Hampshire goes beyond the traditionally iconic purpose of architects, engineers, city planners, historians, etc. through a sense of pro bono design leadership. Each role exhibiting leadership through the acknowledgment of the responsibility they have with the services they offer in order to give direction to a community. These architects, engineers, city planners, historians, etc. embrace and promote the diversity of skills that each other has in order to create a better sense of integration and create a team of highly professional polymaths. This team, Plan NH (New Hampshire), had to define their goals, and then coherently articulate them to the communities they served. This was primarily done though three to four annual design charrettes, in which communities would compete for a charrette by submitting proposals to Plan NH requesting assistance in their communities. By listening to the requests of each community, Plan NH can responsibly chose which communities need the most direction and/or the quickest intervention. Through this process Plan NH can then form order out of chaos by stepping up to the plate and building a bridge of trust with the communities thereby creating new value in them.
                Plan NH acts upon receptive listening for each community they assist. They additionally exhibited empathy to accept and recognize fellow professionals for their special and unique abilities. They transforms the communities as well as themselves and conceptualize to dream great dreams. They feel they have a commitment to serve the needs of others and a commitment to the growth of people. The very essence of Plan NH practice lies in their belief of building community among those who work together and doing so pro bono. It is for these reasons and more that Plan New Hampshire is an exemplary case of a servant-leader group who has their sights set on what is best for the community.
This example of leadership demonstrated by the group Plan New Hampshire should restore and enhance the confidence in the effectiveness of the process of building an inclusionary and constructive architecture.
 It is these other classes that I have to remember sometimes while working on my thesis. So much work, so little time. Until next time…  

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