By: Daniel Roman
Last time I wrote about the transition I went through from going to a community college to a four-year university. I did not really mention the importance that it was for me to change my living location and how that helped my architectural knowledge.
When I was in community college I had a professor that was very out spoken, said what was on his mind and usually was right. He became a mentor for many student for which he was always happy to assist anyone that reached out to him. Professor John Madsen, he is originally from Detroit Michigan, he went to Lawrence University, during his time, you where allowed to obtain an Architecture license with a bachelors in architecture. He had many sayings, one that designated with me was “get out of the hood” which was his way of saying to get out of the city and go explore. Many people in our studios had never stepped foot outside the metropolitan area of Chicago, let a lone some had never left Chicago. He always stress the importance of going out and exploring other locations, for these adventures made you realize many different things and allowed you to grow as a person but more importantly as a designer.
Professor Madsen was all for student transferring to Southern Illinois University, he approved of the program, and teachers. He encouraged students to the idea of moving six hours away from Chicago and explore different location even if it was still in Illinois. I had a very strong idea that I wanted to come to Southern Illinois University eventually, but I was nice to have reassurance that I was making the correct decision from someone that I trusted.
It is now that I realize how important it truly is to move around and explore other locations. Even though it is only six hours away and still in the same state, the cultures are different, and most important the architecture is different. Architecture truly evolves with different locations, it changes, it changes the way the architect may think of a project just by location. I truly believe I have grown as a designer by simply, “getting out the hood”. This has allowed me to feel more comfortable and willingly to take a job in almost any location in the country, having that drive of wanting to travel and learn more. The idea of being able to learn new designing tips due to certain climate changes, or ordinance codes.
Something that I have romantize about doing for a long time, was to do a grand tour of Europe and its rich architecture. Visiting the great pyramids of Egypt, the amazing infrastructure from Roman and the beautiful buttresses of the Gothic Cathedrals. Professor Madsen saved his money right out of college knowing that he wanted to do his Grand Tour during the early stages of his career, and once he had the money he went and accomplish his goal. He talks about how inspiring it was to see these amazing structures and how inspirational many of them where even though they where hundred and thousands of years old already.
At this point in time I have taken every opportunity I have had to travel and see a new town, city, or village, and I plan to continue to explore in search of new knowledge that will benefit me and my designing capabilities.