So as I was leaving the house Sunday morning to come to work my wife left the house to go walk the dogs. I thought, I should really go with her, but I need to get back to the office. It occurred to me that most people work during the week and stop, end, or quit on Friday afternoon to come home for the weekend. Architects don’t ever stop, end , or quit, we just take breaks. All this started from the first day I stepped foot into Cowgill Hall, the architecture building at Virginia Tech back in 1974. We didn’t attend a four hour design lab, close our books and wait for the next design lab. From day one, the professor walked in and said “I want you to design a beautiful cube, bring it back at 8 o’clock tonight”. From the gitgo, I was working from 8 AM till 8 PM from my first day. Yes I had other classes and other homework, plus I had to eat. For twelve hours my mind was constantly on my first architectural project. So as in any architectural design lab, our projects went from a 12 hour problem, then they expanded to a couple of days, then a week, then a month and finally in my 5th year to an entire year. There is never an “off” switch when in the creative design process. We may get breaks, or some may call them distractions, but it really never ends. We finally realize by 5th year the design process is never ending so we decided that our projects were finish when we simply quit working on them. This constant thinking about our designs solutions can wear a brain down and sometimes we just have to go “off grid” to refresh and rejuvenate our brains. Some of my best times in college were on a Friday night when a group of my fellow architectural students would go to Greeks II about 5 PM and get a large pizza and slowly drink some pitchers until about 11PM. People would come by and ask what we were talking about and the typically answer was “architecture”. They couldn’t comprehend that. They would wonder why if we were in that lab all day and all night long, why would we talk about it on our time off? If they were architecture students they wouldn’t have to ask. So I have conflicting feeling about I should have gone on the walk with my wife, but I also think about what I needed to do today. Trying to avoid a late night I decided to come in.
I realize that some people may think they have things they take home too and think about pertaining to work, but it is different for architects. There are things like the codes which one could master and know backwards and forwards, but design is different. No one will ever obtain total knowledge of the architectural design past and present. There is just to much information for us to obtain and comprehend. I wish I knew everything about the history of architecture, but I don’t. I wish I knew who all the current popular architects are, but I don’t. I wish I knew all the current innovations in architecture were, but I don’t. That doesn’t mean I don’t come in and read everyday and learn new things in and about architect and that is the point. I could spend 28 hours a day ready, exploring, and learning about new things in architecture and I probably still wouldn’t have enough time to absorb it all. I think most architects are very curious and inquisitive, therefore alway wanting to learn more. I find it hard most of the time to break away from something I am researching. I not saying architects are obsessive, but I could be wrong?