New Year resolutions for Architects (and myself)

fireworks_anthony cramp

This is my obligatory “New Year Resolution” post. Starting off 2014 without one just wouldn’t be right.

The new year signals a time of change and a time for fresh starts. It’s kind of like the “Ctrl+z” command for the previous year, except it typically takes more than a few keyboard strokes to see it through. With that in mind, I decided to outline a few New Year resolutions I would like to adhere to in the coming months. These are personal “goals” I have set for myself that apply to both the personal and professional realms of day-to-day life. I’m hoping that actually drafting them out will leave more time for other things later, like updating my Twitter feed or catching the new season of “House of Cards” on Netflix.

(1) Tackle every new challenge head-on. Change is exciting, and without challenging ourselves we are destined to remain complacent. Challenging yourself opens new doors to grow and to learn, and who wouldn’t want that?

(2) Follow through on all promises made. Nothing validates your character and credibility more than following through on the promises you’ve made to yourself and to others. It’s so easy to talk a “big game” when it comes to most things, but difficult at times to see them through to completeness. But, you’d be surprised at how much respect you’ll gain by actually acting on your own words.

(3) Keep your friends close and your co-workers just as close. In a profession like architecture, the expression “everybody knows everybody” seems to hold particular relevance. Maybe it’s because we have personalities that no one else could possibly begin to understand or tolerate (see: obsessive compulsive action and/or frightening attention to detail), or maybe it’s because we find ourselves immersed in a profession that thrives on seeking out and fostering relationships with others. Regardless of the reason, nurture any professional relationship possible and never burn your proverbial “bridges”.

(4) Please, step away from the computer. It’s a big world out there, and although the “cyber” world has a very seductive allure to it, it will always, always pale in comparison to the real thing. There is a lot of architecture and other cool places to see out there, and there is no time like the present – so get off your ultra-modern swivel chair and go experience it.

(5) Become one with “SpongeBob”. The only way to develop as a professional in an ever-changing industry is to continually soak up as much as possible from your peers and always seek out current trends and technologies. Better to be one step ahead than two steps behind, so try and keep up – it’s going to be a fast and exciting ride.

And please, we’ve got to stop designing buildings that resemble human genitalia.

Happy New Year and as always, happy designing.

*image courtesy of Anthony Cramp’s photostream on Flickr, used under the creative commons license.

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