As a graduate of the University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design, my professional experience has been in commercial design build, residential design build,
entitlements and corporate architecture. Each workday, my goal is to employ my diverse skills, analytical methodologies, and strong work ethic to the benefit of future peers, emerging professionals, local community, and extended networks.
The event this year have offered ample time for reflection on the paths I’ve taken since graduating from Architecture school. In nearly a decade of praxis, continuing education, and apprenticeship in design, I’ve noticed a steep learning curve. As far as preparation for the practice of Architecture, Architecture School is just the “tip of the iceberg.” So many of the skills and approaches I know and use daily couldn’t have been learned in Architecture school. Why not? Essentially because the academic core training is focused on imparting a unique set of traits that help anchor future practitioners on the institutional seas of the profession.
How fitting that out of the myriad lessons I’ve gleaned at great and small expense that can improve the lives of Architects - whether they’ve just set sail into a career or have spent several years braving the tides of this discipline - being mindful to look for opportunities to lead through service has been paramount. So, as projects come and go, ideas wax and wane, budgets grow, and shrink, each new endeavor, new acquaintance, new avenue for influence, is an invitation to recall the privilege having known many mentors. These mentors have come in person, remotely, and even across time through books and publications authored long before my career began. Regardless of whether or not my apprenticeship was personal, I appreciate their stewardship and generosity with which they discoursed wisdom that comes from experience. My voyage in Architecture has been a community effort.
Can you think of someone who gifted the service of mentorship to you or made a deposit into you Professional life that is still paying dividends? If so, I dare you to commit to a kindness goal of service to a co-worker, colleague, or even a competitor. As an agent of change, you can make the difference in the professional and personal life of someone around you and take action today to recognize the importance of community. If you can't think of anyone or never experienced that, reach out to Studio Zeren we'd be glad to hear how we can help. Architecture has been given many definitions, but it should always be an institution centered around a resource more precious than ever, People; I believe firmly that Architecture is the business of People.