I have been asked a number of times about why I started this blog. I have no particular expertise in architecture. I have no particular desire to enter the profession. So why muse on the topic? Why do anything? Inspiration. What follows are mine.
1. The Fountainhead -- one of those game changers. A novel about human tendencies, values, and idealism wrapped in an architectural blanket. This novel taught me that philosophy and architecture are intricately intertwined and that it would be foolish to view the two as mutually exclusive. Like Roark and Dominique, two of the most fascinating characters in literary history, I struggle to give credence to my idealist notions in a world dominated by realism. Perhaps, Gail Wynand provides a better model then for how to navigate such a dilemma. Either way, Ayn Rand clearly proves that architecture provides the ultimate framework for discussions of philosophy, politics, economics, ethics, egoism, art, and the human mind. There is here is no greater joy in the world than when you meet someone who gets the proverbially "it," and these people are few and far between, but anyone who has read the Fountainhead has gotten at least a glimpse of the mind of someone who has.
2. Art and architecture history - my interest in the art and architecture world began with a class in postmodern architecture taught by one of those great professors who actually made you look forward to attending lectures. That class led me to minor in the subject with subsequent classes in Greek art and archeology, Renaissance architecture, etc. It is now a true passion of mine.
3. Brain War -- In a struggle between my traditional right brained notions of myself and what I have only recently begun to learn about my personality, this represents a small but important victory for the left side.
4. Travel - To learn another culture is to open doors to the past, present, and future. What better way to understand a people and their values than to observe and interact with the structures and spaces in which they live.
5. The spark -- remember 7th grade social studies class when your teacher taught you the underlying causes of the American Revolution (French and Indian War, colonialism, taxation without representation), the principle causes (Stamp Act, Tea Act, Boston Massacre, Intolerable Acts), and then there was the spark (Lexington and Concord). Well, think of the above as the underlying and main causes. The spark, however, was a brief moment of zen. It came during a conversation with a friend from college about how to incorporate your true hobbies and passion into your working life. Naturally, my friend had successfully remedied this problem in his own life as he is currently employed by the Bronx Zoo as the guy that operates the sky ride. When the conversation turned to myself, I could not answer the question so easily. I think it would be cool to write about architecture, I said. So why don't you. Good point. Here I am.