Technology is cool.
I am sitting at my desk looking at the treasured relics of my architectural ancestors – rolls of sketch paper, at least 15 scales (or rulers), and a stack of orange triangles. These items share the precious real estate of my work area with more modern architectural tools – computers (hardware and software), 24″ monitor and at least 5 music speakers.
This is my desk - it’s not so much a desk rather than a work surface made up of medium density fiberboard attached along the entire length of two walls of my office but it’s really good at taking all sorts of abuse and it contains items that I use all the time. The thing is, some of these things are from my father’s generation and some are the beta versions of things that are coming. I’m not sure what I should be keeping and what to replace.
We have discussed the need to be relevant in our office on several occasions. This can be related to current design trends but in our case it has more to do with how we go about doing our jobs. Do we keep doing things the same way and can we expect similar results if we do? I don’t think so but the speed at which the technology of my profession is changing, I can’t keep up. I already work a lot of overtime (and not always because I have to) and the thought that I need to learn another type of drafting software, build a web site, to blog or not to blog and how (in progress), evaluate rendering software…..it’s an endless stream of new technology, most of which will most likely need to be updated to a newer version by the time I finish typing this sentence. Meanwhile, I still need to call 5 different contractor’s, schedule the meeting with the MEP engineers, get an interpretation from the planning and zoning department, and figure out how I am going to put together a design competition on children’s playhouses for the CASA Parade of Playhouses. When am I going to learn how to weld?
Soon I will pull out a roll of tracing paper, a stack of my favorite sketching pens and pencils, and retreat into solving design problems the old fashion way by drawing by hand. For now I will ignore the way the younger architectural interns look at me with a look of befuddled amusement because I can’t discard the “technology” of the past. That’s okay, I think I see them checking some door hardware schedules in the very near future.
Maybe this is more about evolution than simply leaving the past behind.
Finding a place that is somewhere in the middle is exactly where I think I’m most comfortable, not very exciting but I’m happy to think I have a place in what was and what will be.