January 04, 2007

Architects Anonymous

In all the past weeks of turmoil, I’ve been wondering to myself “Why didn’t it ever occur to me that opening my big mouth and spewing big ideas might cause someone to actually take me up on them?” I just spit them out there with hardly a second though, not even a modicum of caution. Why was that? I finally realized what happened – culture change.

I’ve spent the last four years of my life in a culture which encourages, demands really, big ideas. It’s the nature of the game. Architects do more than just build big buildings, they work with big theories, big concepts, big paradigms, and they have big expectations. Not to mention, big ideas. I’ve spent those years around professors who demand to know what’s my big idea and, once heard, proceed to rip it into little itty bitty pieces before moving on to the next big idea. You get used to it after a while.

A big idea is just an idea, one of many, and always subject to criticism, revision, mutation, hybridization, abridging, or discarding on the slightest whim, but certainly, certainly NOT embracing. Certainly NOT backing or supporting or sponsoring. It takes licensed and experienced architects years to advance a concept or theory even worth criticizing, let alone endorsing. That takes a miracle. It seems, the rest of world does not live quite so abstractly.

“Hello, my name is Monica, and I’ve been in touch with reality for two weeks and two days.”

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