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JANUARY 2022 – Trekking through freshly fallen snow remains one of my absolute favorite parts of this time of year. The snow covering the wooded trails makes everything feel brand new and like a completely different environment, renewed and welcoming exploration. And whatever the catalyst, whether it be the change to a new calendar year, a dusting of ice crystals on the planetary surface, or saying yes when opportunity comes to call, I think it is important to embrace reasons to galvanize your life for the better. And why not make today that day that you go ahead and take that next positive step on your journey?

Finishing the final quiet days of intersession on campus this weekend. I am rather fond of the different ebbs and flows of the seasons of academia and feel ready to launch into the Spring semester and see what it holds. The lull in the action has been great for reading as I’ve picked up a bunch of new titles and authors during break. To get myself amped up I read ‘Yes is More, an Archicomic on Architectural Evolution’ by Bjarke Ingels (and team), had heard about this book years ago while watching a profile on Bjarke Ingels on the program Abstract, which is fantastic if you haven’t seen it. Where he talked about how they made this book to share their design philosophy about saying yes to new challenges and trying to come up with inventive solutions to architectural design problems.

It was super cool to see the evolution of different designs (many of which haven’t moved from the planning stages into reality, as massive public works can operate in the span of decades, not mere days or weeks) and how they got to the ‘solution’ for whatever they were tasked to build. 3D modeling is something I’m new to and I admire the way they are fearless with what they create. And it also illustrates the importance of looking at the big picture and creating landscapes that are as imaginative as they are solid. The incredible freedom that 21st century architects have with an ever expanding toolkit of visualization processes and advanced building materials that allow the previously impossible to become reality.

Also read, ‘ABCs of Architecture’ by James F. O’Gorman, one of the absolute go to guides on the topic, it provided a nice refresher on terminology, as it has been a minute since I was last in a history class on the subject. Intended only as a 30,000 foot overview of the subject matter, it was written in a very accessible style and I found it meditative to read a bit each night before crashing. Have also been enjoying a lot of sketching of floor plans for hypothetical residential build projects. Where I take design and aesthetic ideas and try to figure out ways to downsize them into more economical footings. Negative space within building designs is pretty fascinating, and a big challenge to fully appreciate in 2D versus how those spaces actually live and breathe in the real world.

Lots to ponder and I hope this year is one full of action as well as contemplation. Going to make a point of helping it be just that for me. And here’s to you making this year into an opportunity for plenty of chances to say yes and continue on your path towards achieving your goals.

Keep after it!

~ CS