The only constant is change

It has been stated in many ways, by many people, over many years. From Greek philosophers to modern authors, the concept “the only constant is change” has been a source of deep thought and discourse; something we can all relate to. Over the past year or so this has certainly been the case for me, both in my personal life as well as my professional one. I have, or better am learning to, embrace this “constant” for what it is: opportunity.

We all go through certain stages of life as individuals. Generally speaking, we are young, we grow, we learn a little, we grow some more. I was married at 28 and honestly, that didn’t produce a great change in the way my life seemed to unfold. My wife and I had dated for a few years and, for the most part, knew what to expect. We had largely worked out the bugs. We had our first child this past year, which has been a far different experience. Perhaps it is this fact that I now find myself pondering change?

In 2008, when I married, if I had a deadline for work that I had to meet, I might have had to put off dinner with my young bride. Today, with the little man around I find myself balancing deadlines with soiled diapers and urgent crying. Ok, maybe just urgent to a young (and new) dad, but urgent all the same. Even as I work on this post I can hear my wife trying to put him to sleep and I know she could use my help preparing a bottle. Thank God for great mothers!

Life as an emerging professional in architecture comes with many challenges. Change is certainly going to be high among these. If you don’t believe me, ask one of the senior architects at your firm about what it was like to practice just 30 years ago. Today, we are faced with ever changing aesthetic winds, more and more complex technical solutions and market demands that seem to dictate changing solutions faster than you can draw them up.

Even our very mode of delivering our professional services seems to be evolving every day. What was that latest AIA Owner/Architect agreement? I know the DOJ revised Title III ADA regulations in 2010, but the latest ICC A117 is 2009…right? WHICH VERSION OF REVIT ARE WE RUNNING ON THIS PROJECT AGAIN??? It is just about enough to make your head spin. That reminds me, I think I’m short some CE hours…I need to make those up.

Architecture changes at the speed of light, and as EP’s we are expected to not only keep up, but in many cases, lead in the evolution: “Hey guys, we all need to update our GPU drivers in order to use transparencies in Revit 2013!” For a time, architecture concerned itself with aesthetic ideals, then expressive solutions, then environmental innovations, and now it seems to revolve around social interests.

I’m sure this “constant of change” will continue far into the future, both in architecture and in life. So we might as well embrace change as evolution; as our opportunity to make our mark.

4 thoughts on “The only constant is change

  1. Congratulations, Adam! And remember, there is no higher calling than that little one in the next room. In some strange and wonderful way, they provide a special, “earthy” and immediate balance to the more ellusive challenges of our profession.

    Mother of 2.

  2. I have to agree with Nan, being a mindful parent trumps all of our training as a responder to the unfolding nature of design…sense of deep connection,wonder, childish play, deep listening(not always on the part of our children but required by us),forgiveness, and the perfection in imperfection.
    In your spirit of unending change Adam, we are sending our 18 year old son off to CCA for design school and will be “empty nesters” for the first time in 35 years…yikes! I trust this will just lead to more discovery in the nature of CHANGE.
    Best to you,
    David

  3. Having been in high tech for most of my career, I got used to the sense of ever-accelerating-crazy-change. But I certainly can relate to the disorientation this causes. There’s something inherent about the human experience where we only want change that we initiate ourselves, not any that’s imposed from the outside.

    Here’s an interesting thought: Your experience with having a child is quite similar to, oh, humans back to the dawn of time. I sometimes envy that the human body can predict a 9 month schedule that accurately. So even though this experience is new TO YOU, it’s actually a very old and stable thing. What’s changed is your connection with it. What a joy that is!

    Carl

  4. Pingback: Mobile Me (and other dilemmas…) « AIA Colorado EP Blog

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