When I started this blog a couple of months ago I had, as a stated goal, intended to spend some time writing about the field of architecture and its importance in my life. But the past couple months have also left me rather uninspired about my chosen profession to the point of avoiding the topic as opposed to tackling it head on. It’s not surprising that I hold this grudge right now. Many factors are currently playing against me getting started on the subject.
The economy for starters has left many of us in the construction sector a little on edge and regularly peering over our shoulder. Blessed to still be employed is one thing. Finding and landing work from clients who aren’t scared into a corner or projects that have been eighty sixed by tight financing still remains a needle-in-the-haystack adventure.
The dead of winter proves to be another factor adversely affecting my interest in the topic. It is, traditionally, the slowest time of the construction year. However, it is the best time for those clients interested in starting a new project in the spring to be meeting with their architect to get the planning phase complete. More often than not it is the first warm day in late March or early April when the phone starts to ring in earnest with clients saying, “Hey, let’s get started.” The voice in the back of my mind is quickly replying “where were you in December????” Of course we always seek to do our best to accommodate these clients despite the initial let-down they get when we explain the amount of planning that must be done in advance of actually scratching dirt.
The biggest hurdle in front of me right now though is what I like to call the Paperwork Pyramid. That endless pile of paperwork that needs sorted through, shaped, as you have already guessed, like a pyramid to keep it from flopping over onto the floor.
For the last year I have been working diligently with a local community on one project for a new municipal complex. And in the beginning it was great! As an architect there is nothing more inspiring, no greater thrill to propel me out of bed in the morning, than to be able to sit at my desk and create space. To take a list of rooms from a piece of paper and fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle into a unique, cohesive, attractive plan that will, someday, rise from the earth and bring joy to the masses. The problem is, once the plan has been hatched, the paperwork starts. And you’d be amazed at how much paperwork some people can create in the name of construction. Some projects could be built with the reams of paper used in the administration end of things. If e-mails could be used as beams and studs…
So that’s where I’ve been for the last several months. And it’s sucking the lust for this profession right out of me. So, consider this a cry for help to those of you out there ready to undertake a new construction project. There’s an Architect waiting here at the other end of the line ready to answer your call. Ready to pour his creative soul into your new project with a fevered zest. Because this paperwork can always wait until tomorrow.