Push

Every thing in my life that is worth doing I have needed someone to help push me along.  Whether it’s hesitation in the beginning because I don’t think I’m qualified to apply to school, waning faith in the middle of working that I understood the question clearly enough to develop a solution, or frustration during the all-nighter before it’s all due I always find myself needing a push.

I think that’s the way it is supposed to be.  We are social creatures after all.

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Temporary Permanence

I’m 22 years old.  In those years, I’ve moved somewhere around 19 times.  Yes, I’m an Air Force Brat; it’s to be expected that transience was a major part of my life.  Growing up in this way I came to value adaptability and independence in myself over the dependence on a community of neighbors or friends.   (This is perhaps counter-intuitive to some people who see the military as a tightly-knit group of families, but in my experience that is not always the case and besides that I have – for most of my life – been a fairly introverted person.)  My temporary existence in any one space led me to see the location where I happened to live in a very detached manner – it didn’t necessarily stir any feelings of pride or empathy but perhaps made good stories to tell people when I got to the next place.

It is a given that time breeds investment.  So having spent very little time in one place until my recent adult years I think it is safe to say that I have a keen understanding of the human need for investment in place.

Now, I am an architecture student.  I am learning to be a designer of spaces that people can invest in: PLACES.

But I find myself challenged with questions.  Who are these people?  Who invests in their neighborhood?  Who invests in their city?  Why would you invest?  Who is allowed to invest?  How do you define a cultural investment?  How do you define an architectural investment?

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Brevity

On the geologic time scale, a human lifetime is reduced to a brevity that is too inhibiting to think about. The mind blocks the information. Geologists, dealing always with deep time, find that it seeps into their beings and affects them in various ways. They see the unbelievable swiftness with which one evolving species on the earth has learned to reach into the dirt of some tropical island and fling 747s into the sky. They see the thin band in which are the all but indiscernible stratifications of Cro-Magnon, Moses, Leonardo, and now. Seeing a race unaware of its own instantaneous in time, they can reel off all the species that have come and gone, with emphasis on those that have specialized themselves to death.

John McPhee,  Annals of a Former World