I believe building is inherent to us as a species of self awareness. Through the means and confines of our environment and as an extension of ourselves, we are driven by necessity (the mother of invention) to build. Such structures manifest as an initial compromise between man and nature, in the form of nomadic shelters. During the agricultural revolution, settlements are established as this tribal practice quickly morphs under the weight of the peoples into a trade, ergo the first ancient cities are born. To coincide with the progression of technology the "chief builder" would emerge, and later the vocation of architect would gain a foothold. The industrial revolution would also spur exponential growth throughout the world and the world's architecture would follow suit. As we navigate the digital era the practice has acquired a global mind set while remaining rooted in its local application. Throughout the ages, the one aspect that has not changed since its conception, is that architecture continues to facilitate the implicit design that propels humanity towards its goals.
The architectural vocation deals in the realm of the mind and in that of physical reality, and must employ a type of grace in order to render a connection between the two. My studies at SUNY Buffalo's architecture program bestowed upon me the thought process necessary to make those connections. The various courses taken at the university emphasized critical thinking to achieve a conceptual flexibility.
My experience in the architectural field consists of a bachelors of science degree in architecture from the State University at Buffalo, and four years employment at Gallagher Homburger Gonzalez architects pllc., located on Long Island. GHG architects is where I gained my first real world exposure to the practice, and an insight into how a small firm operates. I enjoyed the people and had accrued an indispensable knowledge of the vocation, though the experience had revealed an apparent contrast to that of the academic atmosphere. When the time came I would decide to go in a different direction, but was always certain that I would maintain the perspective of an architectural mind set. After moving to central New York in the fall of 2013, I took on some some independent projects and became moderately involved in the trade of carpentry. More specifically I was working with my father at his window restoration business and as an assistant to various local carpenters. In tandem with my education in design, the craft would become an outlet to respect and experiment with the materials at hand as an expression of creativity.
In the summer of 2014 I began working part time at a civil & agricultural engineering firm, where I would be traveling to location to survey the land and/or to inspect construction. Obtaining some exposure to civil engineering within the context of the agricultural industry would change what the words "dairy farm" could mean to me. A. Weiss Engineering surveys, re-designs and engineers farming establishments, primarily dairy farms, with a secondary unconditional objective to help the farmers conform to the EPA's requirements. This entailed the application of earthen and/or mechanical techniques needed to control and isolate any hazardous byproducts from clean runoff. Throughout this process I had come face to face with construction means and methods, and was now involved in critically thinking about the undulation of the land pertaining to watershed and soil makeup in relation to the sites proximity to natural waterways. My observation of the enforcement of state criteria had led me to understand the impetus of what I had unknowingly gotten involved in, which is our states governmental role in the reduction of pollution in our water and the protection of our environment.
The past four years of various hands-on and site oriented work has helped me to become better rounded and more aware of the efforts that go into any given project. As one grows more familiar with the tactile aspect of the linkage between concept, conception and fruition, one can be more resolute in the initial understanding of what he or she is trying to accomplish. This should foster efficiency and the confidence to explore new methods, techniques and tools. More often than not, this will implement the advantages that the tool of technology provides us.
Technology is one of the conduits through which imagination can come to fruition. It is an avenue where creative solutions can be pursued as an idea then forged by "the process". In the late 20th century a new technologically fueled concept was added to those within the compass of both form and function, the consideration of sustainability. To satisfy a modern ethos a building should be constructed in the manner of "universal" design that is objectively ecologically conservative. So if by necessity, the mother of invention should force our hand once again, and sustainable design becomes essential to our survival, the most efficient methods should be adopted as a global vernacular. The resultant of this implementation would display the agenda of a society that has progressed through a perceptual threshold to value a symbiotic relationship with the earth.
On the surface, I would presume that an architect’s obligation would be to his or her client, but my suspicion is that an architect's unspoken agenda is an ode to the people. By striving to deploy each effort with benevolent intentions the stage can be set for a positive commonwealth. Within their sphere of influence, architects, engineers, urban planners, Industrial designers, fabricators and designers in general have the opportunity to help make this world more hospitable. It is inherent to these practices to pursue the innovations and developments that make a positive impact on our community. Though the discipline of architecture in all its forms, is not necessarily set in stone, the vocation is firmly anchored to its relevance in society. It contributes to the platform from which we conduct ourselves and the inheritance that we leave our children.