“Leave your ego at the door”. This is a phrase I have heard many times before, and it wasn’t until recently that I finally started to understand the truth behind it.
Architects are confident creatures. This confidence comes from an education that continually emphasizes the need to defend and intelligently justify every move we make. Some might call it “arrogance”, I call it awesomeness. But regardless of what you call it, architecture students coming out of school are full of it, and it is never more apparent than when they enter the office for the first time.
In architecture school, countless hours are spent perfecting the craft of archispeak*, constructing seamless basswood models, and refining exposure values to achieve the most photo-realistic rendering possible. We’ve all been there before. And don’t get me wrong; these are invaluable skills to take with you into the professional realm of architecture. But the thing to remember is that there will always be someone who knows more than you do, someone who has had different exposure than you – and this is the best possible situation to find yourself in.
The key to maturing professionally is to stay grounded, keep that arrogant flair at bay, and take all you can from your peers to develop your own personal knowledge and skill sets. Kind of like a sponge. An architect-y sponge.
And above all else, please leave your ego at the door.
*Archi-speak(n.): a language spoken by architectural students and professionals alike, usually laden with hyperbole and understood within (very) small circles. Common words typically contain the suffix “ism”.
*Superman image courtesy of Comic Vine