I have recently begun the torturous endeavor of attempting to learn how to golf. Why would I talk about golf on a blog I am attempting to start about Architecture? Well, sucking at something this bad has given me a lot of time to think about how much I sucked at most everything else I began.
I am not a natural. I am not ashamed to admit that either. I honestly can not think of one single thing that I have ever attempted to do in life that I was just inherently better than other people at. Whether it be sports (such as baseball, football, wrestling and now, golf, which I have all sucked at at one point or another in my life), the arts (such as drawing, photography and music which I have been painfully slow at improving in) or, my very life calling in Architecture, which I have never considered myself to be particularly gifted at, progress has always been slowly marked by an obscenely long struggle to improve.
Golf, thankfully, has gotten me to begin thinking about this and I suppose that Architecture really is the perfect profession for me because of this. In all (most) of these various endeavors I have found that if you just keep trying, it will always get better. I really enjoy the struggle and being able to see the progress. I guess all of this fits into something larger that I have been thinking about lately: that being a great Architect may not be about your ability to design as much as it is your ability to be a great leader. Architecture really is all about leadership. There is a perception, probably perpetuated the most by the legend of Frank Lloyd Wright, by most people that the great buildings of this world are the result of the incredible skill of a lone-genius dreaming up works of Architecture. I really do not think that this could be any further from the truth. A building is the result of so many different collaborations between different groups. At the end of the day, the most important part of any project may be having the right leadership (in a traditional contract arrangement this comes from the Architect) that allows for individual team members to stay on task, stay organized, stay in touch with one-another and that promotes a sense of inspiration, collaboration and, most importantly, wonder for what a remarkable process the birth of a building truly is.
So, I still suck at golf. I think I'm getting more ok at Architecture.