2016 was a big year. I finally passed all my exams and could introduce myself as an architect. I left my position of 17 years to pursue the post of project architect at a firm 1/20th in size. I became a contributing writer for Portland Architecture and Oregon Home Magazine. I interviewed a handful of architects for the Architectural Questionnaire series and launched the PdxC collaborative movement to connect architects with local makers.
Last year the word that I chose to inspire me, guide me, was "intentional". The word consistently reminded me to make thoughtful, intentional moves to create the change I wanted to see in my life. I remember several years ago, during a performance review, being told that it was apparent that I went along with the flow with no agenda. I know it wasn't meant as derisive, just this person's perception of me, but it made me furious. I was mad because it was true and this path was getting me nowhere. As much as I would love to be carefree and relaxed, I've never achieved much without a plan. So, I had to embrace my inner Type A and get shit done.
So, 2017. I'm hitching my wagon to the phrase "Show up!". I have high hopes this year, and I need to be engaged, present. I'm still new in my position, there's so much to learn and mostly I feel like I'm only scraping the surface. Always on my mind is the idea of meeting client expectations, keeping on top of design trends, knowing how things are put together and staying curious throughout the design process. How can I do it better? How can I do it more efficiently? What can inspire this whole process so it's a joy to the client, as well as myself?
This year promises to be a momentous year for many of my friends. I'm surrounded by people that are in transformative times in their life: moving to a new city, changing jobs, questioning their careers, making the leap into entrepreneurship. We are all searching for the right fit, that fulfillment we feel entitled to after decades in this career but if 2016 taught us anything, it's that we can't do this alone. My most important goal this year is to show up for my friends, colleagues and community. Do my part to intentionally support and promote collaboration in 2017.