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You know, I always wanted to be an architect. Do you suppose the world is better or worse for not having achieved that goal?

Cleaning my office last week, I ran across—almost literally—a pile of drawings I’ve done. And you won’t be surprised to learn that some of them were drawn as long ago as 1968! They’re a motley accumulation of stuff, mostly ink on paper; drawn for academic credit or just for fun. [Actually, they were all drawn for fun, but don’t let my past instructors know that.] The really odd thing about this pile of paper is simply this: I’ve kept them for as many as forty-five years but I have also made no effort whatsoever to preserve them with purpose. If they have survived, it was in spite of me, not because of me.

These drawings represent me in a role that, I suspect, few people see: RHLMR as designer. I spent seven years trying to get through a five-year program that should have led to a career in architecture, but somehow that didn’t happen. Instead, I’ve spent the last forty years talking about the work of other designers, rather than making my own. 

So, I decided to finish two of these early projects—both of them from at least thirty years ago—and hope to complete one of them for display during the department accreditation visit in three weeks. I look at this stuff with emotions that are mixed but nonetheless strong. And I prepare them for display with curiosity, wondering how they’ll be received.


  1. Anonymous says:

    This is really exciting. Congratulations!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The more important question to ask yourself is – do you love what you do?

    The reality of the practice of architecture is not necessarily fulfilling, and sometimes makes me wonder if all the work to get here was worthwhile. On the other hand, the *study* of architecture WAS fulfilling for me, as I’ll bet it is for you.

    Please don’t look back with regret for what might have been. You may have chosen the better path…

  3. Jeremiah Johnson says:

    I am excited for these projects, but I must tell you that you have had a more broad effect on the world of architecture through your teaching and involvement than the vast majority of architecture graduates ever could hope to achieve. You are truly one of a kind.

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