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Parenting

Making Space

When my youngest daughter doesn't get what she wants she likes to pout by rolling herself up into a little ball. As a parent I can be frustrated by this behavior but as an architect I cannot help but be impressed. When Darcy tucks her head into her knees and tightly hugs her legs she is making a space that blocks out the outside world.

In a very fundamental way she is creating architecture.

Seeking shelter is an innate human desire. At its core architecture is about creating that shelter: keeping the bad things out and the good things in. That shelter can be created with wood and steel or arms and legs. That shelter can protect you from the elements or from a bossy big sister.

For now

The creation of a building is ultimately an act of unbridled optimism.  Any designer who is worth his or her salt always begins work on a project believing it will turn out well and in some small way make the world a better place.  But buildings are complicated and bringing one into the world is a intricate task that requires the skill and expertise of many different individuals across many different disciplines over an extended period of time.  Sometimes despite everyone's best intentions, things do not turn out as well as hoped.  Sometimes there are problems that design cannot fix.

Although parenting and architecture share relatively few similarities, raising a child is also an act of unbridled optimism.  And while there will no doubt come a time where I cannot fix all the problems nor ease all the pain that my daughters will face in life, for now I still can.  And so when Sammy inadvertently kicks her soccer ball into the San Antonio River, Daddy can use his design abilities to engineer a way to fish it out and make the world right again.

Thank goodness for that.