Sunday, October 11, 2015

[cake decorating] to [citizen architect]

this months #architalks topic is [citizen architect]. for those of you not in the architecture field, the term [citizen architect] in it's simplest form is the idea that architects should use their skills for the greater good of the community. a way of thinking i fully believe in, and did long before i was in architecture.

growing up in rural kansas it's not hard to believe i belonged to a 4-H club.  although it's heavily based in agriculture, i was more of a city-type member, with activities including photography, model rocketry, wood working, sketching .....and yes.... even cake decorating.  i could write an entire blog on how i think my 4-H days directly led to my interest in architecture, but for now i want to focus on the 4-H pledge and how it relates to the idea of a [citizen architect]. before the start of every meeting we had to recite the 4-H pledge, a phrase i can still repeat from memory.

"i pledge my head to clear thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living to my club, my community, my country and my world."

not only do i feel this pledge is the reason i'm so passionate about being a [citizen architect] i think it helps explain exactly why architects should be more involved in their communities.

head to clear thinking

architects are basically problem solvers, it's what we do every day. we're presented with a situation that needs to be solved.  from site and code issues to housing individuals or businesses, we are paid to come up with solutions. not only that, but by nature we're creative, which i in my opinion is problem solving with flair.  we also have knowledge of how people live, work, interact and play.  skills valuable when dealing with a community.  we also know how to keep people safe. becoming a licensed architect doesn't mean you're the most creative, it means you understand as a professional you must keep the public health, safety and welfare at the forefront of your mind.  to add to all this architects generally understand the process of how local and state governments work, an incredibly valuable skill.  we have studied and trained to think about people, their environments and the community they live in. we have clear thinking.

heart to greater loyalty

i believe architects get into this field because of passion; a passion for people and their environments. a passion to make the world a better place. a passion to work on something larger than themselves. if they don't, they usually don't make it out of studio.  we love what we do and can get very passionate about our beliefs. we have heart.

hands to larger service

although we usually can be found sitting at a desk, we love putting things together.  through construction administration we know how buildings are constructed.  we may not be able to lay a straight row of brick, but we know how it fits into the larger project.  most of us also can't be in or live in a space we don't want to modify a bit. even though we don't often physically build, most of us know how to manage large scale projects.  we set, and hopefully met deadlines, organize meetings, take notes, coordinate and communicate.  all skills which can serve a community.  although we might not always get dirty, we have hands.

health to better living

most architects i know practice what they preach.  i don't know any leed accredited architects who work on sustainable buildings and would use or throw away a styrofoam cup. i think you'd find architects walking or using an alternative form of transportation before many other professions would. most of us want to live in a better and healthier community, country and world, and we live accordingly. we have health.

with all that stated, it's not hard to see why, as an architect, one should be involved in the community. it's important to have all the above listed skills sitting on boards, committees and voting in local organizations.  i believe that architects, through their schooling and training, have accumulated skills that need to be used for reasons other than simply collecting a paycheck; talents to be be used on something other than yourself.

be a [citizen architect] use your head, heart, hands and health to make your community a better place; go out and get that blue ribbon!

decorating an airport and runway onto a cake

first place for my airport cake!

please take the time to view the posts from the other architects in the #arcitalks community to get their view on [citizen architect]

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
Citizen Architect ... Seems Redundant

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Good Citizen Architect

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
What Does it Mean to be a Citizen Architect?

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
small town citizen architect

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
#ArchiTalks: The everyday citizen architect

Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)

Jes Stafford - Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
Architect as Citizen

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
My Hero - Citizen Architect

Rosa Sheng - Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
We are the Champions - Citizen Architects

Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Meet Jane Doe, Citizen Architect

Stephen Ramos - BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
Help with South Carolina's Recovery Efforts

brady ernst - Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Senior Citizen, Architect

Tara Imani - Tara Imani Designs, LLC (@Parthenon1)
Citizen Starchitect' is not an Oxymoron

Sharon George - Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Citizen Architect #ArchiTalks

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
Citizen of Architecture

Daniel Beck - The Architect's Checklist (@archchecklist)
Protecting the Client - 3 Ways to be a Citizen Architect

Jarod Hall - di'velept (@divelept)
Citizen Developer??

Greg Croft - Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Citizen Architect

Courtney Casburn Brett - Casburn Brett (@CasburnBrett)
“Citizen Architect” + Four Other Practice Models Changing Architecture

Jeffrey A Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
How Architects Can Be Model Citizens

Aaron Bowman - Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
Citizen Architect: The Last Responder

Samantha Raburn - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Inspiring a Citizen Architect

Matthew Stanfield - FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Citizinen Architect

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Citizen Architect

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