As many of my colleagues have posted to this blog, we attended a lecture by Peter Eisenmen. This lecture was supposed to make us think, that was his goal. He said at one point, “I am here and I want you here too.” This was in reference to him requesting that everyone put away their notebooks and just listen to his thought process and self-discussion.
I found this to be very profound. I relate this to both life and architecture. In today’s culture I find many things to be very impersonal. Generalizations are made to save time and money and people are over looked. Architecture is a client based profession where we must not only design for the present but the future for which that structure will still exist. Architects find themselves riding on the wave of present and the future, the cutting edge. It is important that architects stay in tune not only with current events but trends and fads. Equally prevalent to an architect is the past. An architect must exist at all times. They must be then and now in thought. How does the future effect the present and how did that past get us there?
Taking a step back from thinking about architecture is important for me. Hobbies are immensely important because they allow me to change my perspective on certain details or allow me something I may not have had influence from before. A few of my classmates skateboard, I myself inline skate and enjoy to roller skate too. The perspective of being a skater is outlined in other posts on this blog (Skate Break series by Ryan Northcutt or a couple posts by Nick Bosman) but my point is that hobbies allow you to look from the outside in. I really enjoy live music, hiking, traveling and hanging out with people who are passionate about what they do. All of these things are available to me here at SIU. I frequent Hangar 9 and the local music festivals here in Carbondale, Giant City and Shawnee are within a half an hour drive, I traveled with AIAS two or three times a year since I’ve been in architecture school, and everyone here is learning about their future professions… and not to mention there is some great food in Southern Illinois. My point is, I love architecture, but my life outside architecture influences my other passions.
One of my largest passions is music and dance. I am not classically trained and I’ve only had two classes in my life but music makes me move and I can’t resist it. As a dancer it is important that you listen to the tempo and rhythm so that you stay in tune. Knowing the previous parts of a song and other songs like it allows for you to predict the rest of the song. Your body is used as it is perceived in that moment as it hits each note and it is noticeable when you are not on beat. However, your mind is often moments ahead of your body. When dancing with a partner your bodies and minds must work together to collaborate on the beat. This is where the overlap happens. Architecture is a collaboration of people and elements just like dancing. The individual drawings that make up a building are the body and its parts. The music theory and construction is architectural history and precedent that leads up to your building. You and your partner are the people it takes to make a building; contractors, architects, draftsmen, clients, and everyone. The mindset is the same; it is in a constant state of past, present, and future. But when it all comes down to it you are only in that moment experiencing that one time. “I am here and I want you here too.” It is an interpersonal relationship. It is personal. Architecture is a personal expression.