Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Where am I?

So I decided to give my post a bit of an overhaul and post the thesis I wrote for the Fall semester (previous post). Aside from work and the leadership course, I am about to finish reading a book called "Changes in Design" by NBBJ. I am also half way done with an oldie that I am very interested in, but always put down because things come up, that book is "The aberrant Architecture of Diller + Scofidio".

Both of these books have given me many things to reflect on and for me to try to organize thoughts in regards to future practice. I have visited a few Architectural school sites where my interest is comparing what's been taught at some institutes vs. what's been theorized in the World.

I need to keep researching, but there seems to be a gap where the Architectural gestures proposed by students is not necessarily in tune with what the real intent is. There is a lot of Architecture proposed with a porous language or skin that looks like a structuralism proposed by Calatrava. Most of the studies I have seen online appear to blend better in the sterile environment of the digital world, like Greg Lynn's work, beautiful and exciting, however it does not appear to be mature.

I use the word mature because I start to wonder if we all start to pursue this sort of language what that will do when trying to design for an institution that is to resemble power, solidity. What if the client was the "Prudential" trust fund or "John Hancock" mutual funds, there are portfolios at stake, so how could these new forms assure the consumer their investment is safer than ever?

It's sort of like limbo, not believable enough and not convinceable enough. I can't help to wonder that if their time is spend only on theorizing about these forms, what happens when they try to get a job upon graduation. I think the Architect could push design if he/she posses knowledge in multiple disciplines (structure, materials, methods, M.E.P., sustainability). Then there is Phylosophy, Antropology and Sociology. Regardless, I appreciate the effort to pursue that sort of language and not assume we should be copy cats.

Why Create Poetic Architecture?

Architects have utilized Architecture to implement poetry as a shaper of our cultures, buildings, cities and societies. Why do we as people want to buy or build structures that are similar? The Poetic experiences solidify the argument of breaking the functional box and utilize Architecture as a tool to continue developing humanity and the spaces we use.

Architecture was first born from the need to provide shelter. The World Atlas of Architecture, edited by Mitchell Beazley states, “The hunter-gatherers at the end of the Pleistocene era and the beginning of the Holocene era had used the very small amount of space provided by the natural shelters”. [1] Then The Ten Books of Architecture continues, “It was the discovery of fire that originally gave rise to the coming together of men”. [2] It’s important to acknowledge that Architecture has evolved since those early times and Architecture today does not need to be limited to shelter or agglomerating to remain warm.

Through times, Architecture has evolved; typologies were developed as a result of agriculture and ownership of land. Systems of loyalties and defense such as Feudalism, I believe, played a key role in the development of these typologies. In Feudalism, the land belonged to the king and everyone else leased and lived off the land. The building typology, in layout and building complexity, depended on social status. Buildings typologies and structures have advanced, however, there are still Architects and builders who do not challenge the standard because the concern that something new may be considered irresponsible and will not be adopted.

I envision Poetics in Architecture as the creation of spaces that challenge the imposed typology and its utilitarian use as derived from those early needs for shelter. Most importantly, Poetics is the creation of space that creates individuality for the user as space is occupied. The utilitarian or functional, limits the potential for the user to explore and find individuality. The Architect creates Poetic space through the restudy and exploration of Architectural elements and its applications.

Interestingly enough, the general definition of Poetics as described by Anthony C. Antoniades in the Poetics of Architecture: Theory of Design, is “Poetics comes from a Greek verb that simply means to make”.[3] However, Poetic Architecture is not solely about creation. It should allow the user to celebrate joy, delight, mourn, love, meditate, show compassion and feel anger. It is important as social beings to be able to express ourselves freely within places of comfort. The freedom of expression and openness to a new Architectural language permits the individual to break away from the mass production of repetitive spaces. In essence, this individualism of Architecture is the creator of different Poetic experiences; every church is unique and every house is a home.

Poetics in Architecture is often represented in Mimesis and the Contemplative. Mimesis is defined as deliberate imitation, while Contemplative is rooted in metaphor and provokes reflection, the ability to learn in silence, passion, love and meditation. Furthermore, the contemplative is a way of living, a way to lead and interact with each other. I argue that mimesis lacks Poetics and that the contemplative is the engine that drives us to develop individualism and therefore create the true Poetic.

An example of contemplative space in poetics is the “Chapel of St. Ignatius”[4]. This chapel although created for a specific religious denomination, challenges the ecclesiastical, yet is still respectful, and permits the user to occupy the space from the moment you arrive the site. The place of worship is not concentrated at the footstep of the altar, but in the gardens, corners and light reflections from the walls.

This leads then to the question, can Poetic exist without the functional? I believe the answer is still no. The functional plays an important role as it justifies the reason for the need of space. However, it ideally would not dictate construction of a church for a specific denomination or a museum is still produced as an enclosed temple with a certain typology and program. In order to reprogram the utilitarian space we must stop the certainty that a type of Architecture must have a specific language in order to perform its use. There is Certainty and Uncertainty in Architecture. How this applies to Poetics in Architecture is by creating Architectural spaces that exceed a single function, thus allowing us to express ourselves in ways that are representative of the current place in time.

Let’s analyze what technology has done to the new office space. The flexibility created by the wireless connection and electronic file sharing is making the Architect rethink the new office space as it no longer needs to incorporate the standard 8x8 foot cubicle. Wireless communications are eliminating the need for land lines and the need for a fixed space. As a result, the new office cubicle could be at a step, bench, park or the beach. The new office building becomes a large lounge with flexible space to be defined by the inhabitant. The box could then be twisted, shaped or tailored to our favorite spot. This type of freedom in Architecture invites the occupant to occupy the space differently, no longer required to be behind a desk and no longer restricted to the length of the telephone cord. The animation of the space generates a sense of poetry.
As Architects in the creation of the Poetics we cannot begin our thinking grounded in reality or the pragmatic, we must first envision Architecture with metaphor and the surreal. It is this kind of thinking that allows us to create Poetic space. The Poetics within a metaphor is a tool that helps us create individual space, just like a work of Art that is created to be interpreted individually. Why is it that Van Gogh did not try to duplicate "The Starry night"? Or DaVinci "La Mona Lisa"?Artists do not create a beautiful sculpture or a painting solely with money on their mind; even if they are commissioned, an original is created. Every expression of Art holds individuality. While it can be argued that great works of Art are frequently duplicated in order to be shared with the masses, Architecture affords the unique opportunity to engage many people without the dilution of its singularity.

So, why do people want to buy or build structures that are similar? I believe it is the uncertain that makes people uncomfortable and therefore they continue to build what they know. In most cases we build structures to provide a function; it holds purpose to the owner. I think this is because we see buildings as an investment and as a result we are afraid to risk the unknown. People assume the position that the real estate market will not welcome the idea of selling or buying something out of the ordinary. The builder in this case envisions ownership or occupancy as transitory, and therefore Architecture looses the purpose for individuality by requiring that the design cater to the masses. We as Architects should design Architectural individuality for our clients with spaces that allow our communities to occupy it. We should be encouraging, for example, the building of the family room with retractable or removable divisions between the indoor and outdoor to be in touch with nature to make it individual. Build to occupy spaces anywhere as if they were your own, and don’t simply build to sell.On a colleague's blog, our Studio professor Ted Galante said, “A building solves problems; it allows me to move from here to there. A piece of architecture does this and so much more. It allows me to consider my place in the world, in history, in urbanity, and any number of situations".[5] Building structures designed and inhabited in a utilitarian manner limits our ability to express individuality; it is no longer a destination to enjoy, but rather to take care of a specific need. Life is so much more and therefore our building structures should embrace our special moments. Architecture through Poetics should speak of itself or a space, tell a story, have individualism, and push Architecture to something more than just solving a problem. Why do we as Architects try to design Architecture that is unique? This question is to challenge the Architects’ desire to design something new and apply their touch to the project. We think creating a new scheme generates the ultimate structure or space that has never been thought of before. What is interesting about this is that in our designs we are still using the door as the object we push or pull to open, or we still use the stair to travel vertical. We are still mimicking its original use. At some point in history these elements were Poetic, but mimesis and the mass production have weakened its existence. The goal is not to re-invent the wheel, but rethink it to return its uniqueness. In today’s world a window is still interpreted as a rigid frame that with glass allows us to see the other side and yet be enclosed. A door remains as a batten element that swings or slides to provide entry or exit into a space. What if the door instead was to become a Canopy when open or the stair a bench or a bed? If we were to practice this way, we would be creating more opportunity for Poetic Space. Often the unprecedented is questioned and therefore Architects face the challenge of the public realm finding this disturbing and uncomfortable. This is something that as creators we will have to responsibly explain and show to the user the advantages of doing so, whether is physiological or functional in nature. I believe if we push Architecture with Poetics that we could eventually break out of the typologies and mimesis we have built. When we create the space of the future we should not be restricted or limited to a particular typology and single use.

The Pompidou Center in Paris, France is a representation of Poetics and the way humans use space as new generations evolve. If we were to create or continue mimicking the existing we will never learn about ourselves or humanity. Pompidou Center and its plaza are used differently if you are a Parisian or a visitor. However, the creation of the Poetics in the Architecture, its circulation and the plaza allows the visitor to experience life as a Parisian as they occupy it. There are performers, Parisians sunbathing, sketching, talking, dancing, and listening to music and museum goers traveling vertically on the escalating tubes. The Poetics of movement and inhabiting of the space animate and make you participate in the local culture. Although the Parisians disliked the new museum at the onset, the Poetics of the building were so powerful that as more and more people experience the spaces they were able to accept and embrace it. The new museum was a breakaway from the temple-like structure typical of a museum; the circulation experience is Poetic in the sense that you don’t take an interior enclosed masonry wall to travel to the next exhibition. In this museum the exterior escalators were placed for the person to experience the site and the City from a different perspective during their upward travel. Perhaps the use of the escalator in this instance was to bring the body to a still and join the body to the mind. When the riders concentrate on the ground plane that they are leaving and the approaching skyline, the exterior view is an ever changing canvas. The Architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers created outdoor terraces and water features elevated above the ground level. These outdoor spaces with elevated views of Paris presented the visitor with experiences and vanishing points where the City is seen as Art and Poetry animated by its visitors and habitants.

When we create unprecedented Architecture we are able to present to the public realm new ways of interpreting what has become the norm. For example, Frank Lloyd Wright placed elements in Architecture such as doors at different locations from what was assumed to be typical. A roof sometimes was not only a roof, but a terrace that at the same time that provided shelter and an overhead canopy, it became alive and allowed the user to use it and see it differently. The large windows Wright created in the Usonian homes to connect with nature, would never have been possible to evolve without the Architect to push to break the certainty of the glass divider. Today we are able to completely open spaces by removing that glass divider with the use of retractable glass doors, therefore creating new meaning to that inhabited space. That broken barrier allows the family room to be the outdoor room and therefore creating a space to be occupied differently.

If we look at the Architecture of the world, the Architecture created during different eras has shaped cultures, societies and cities in one way or another. Some have used Poetics in Architecture to revitalize their dying economies; such revival of cities could never be achieved without the Star Architect and their implementation of poetry. Bilbao, Spain and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates are perfect examples of countries and governments seeking unprecedented Architecture as a conduit to find a second life that speaks of their future. My statement of the Star Architect is not intended to establish the inclusivist Architect as the path to follow, but as an example of the Poetics they create by investigating a style. They create unprecedented space where the human factor completes the place and strives for the future.

Alternately, the super chain store is the result of infrastructure Architecture, the convenient warehouse to shop in one place for 50 items at a time. This type of assembly occupancy has forced the occupying businesses to rely on designers to define their otherwise impersonal spaces. I believe the virtual world of shopping will eradicate these places and eventually become only the place where items are picked up. We are already starting to see this to take place; the Sears chain store, among others, provides the option of buying online and picking up at the store. Media and technology is bound to change the face of Architecture within the next few years. Purchasing over the web and eradicating these mammoth places could be a positive move; my feeling is that people would be willing to visit the smaller or personal stores as the place for interaction that the virtual world lacks.

Another inherent challenge to Poetic Architecture is that “the public tends to speculate that building spaces that are out of the ordinary tend to cost more”. [6] I challenge this and would like us to think about materials in general, from recycling to specifying things that are not overly elaborate or extremely ornamental. It is the Architect’s duty to inventively place and use every material specified in a building. We could specify the finest, most expensive acoustical ceiling tile available today, but if not placed with thought or in a way that responds to the building and its user, then the quality is not well used. We could have accomplished the same if we had bought one lesser expensive. My intention is not to sacrifice quality and aesthetic, but rather to prove that good design with Poetics in mind does not need to cost more. At the same time, we as Architects need to be cautious when fusing Architecture and Materials together. When Architects use an Architectural language such as the Avant Garde or the high- technology style, we must consider the limiting age the building material may pose on the overall language. The use of stucco on this type of structure will hinder the sharpness of the style and therefore prematurely date the building. I mention this because Poetic Architecture, as I see it, should have longevity - just as the great pieces of Architecture of the past. A good building should become part of history.

It is the job of the Architect and the client to work together to create Poetics of Architecture to break the box and the common acceptance of the whatever. The joint effort of the client with the Architect is to educate and learn from each other. The education lies on the task that the Poetics challenge the established and breaks all previous assumptions that an object must look a certain way to perform its job. Clients are the sponsors, the shapers of our societies; there is a large level of responsibility by both the Architect and the developer/builder.

Architecture, although reflective of our current place in time, should not be designed to reflect our present fears. I strongly believe that if we do, we are accepting limitations and accepting defeat to whatever is challenging us. An example of accepting our fears is reflected in today’s U.S. civic places. Should our Civic spaces be designed like fortress structures built in the ancient times of Mesopotamia? I pose, should courthouses be built solely to keep inmates in and the mentally disturbed out? Implementing Poetics will challenge the civic process and present the felon a courtroom that is no longer hiding behind thick walls and well secured places. Perhaps the courtroom of the future takes place in a garden where the Poetics present a metaphor to the accused that life is indeed worth living and the civic process is an opportunity for them to redeem themselves and come back to society.

What if instead of assuming severe weather conditions are bound to restrict us to fortresses, that we design new structures where the air conditioning is no longer needed because the space is a breathing organism? This could potentially be a step to eradicating global warming. My point is to challenge and not to accept, make the space yours, design spaces that provide poetry as they are occupied.

This acceptance of fortress Architecture could be overcome by implementing contemplative space created with Poetics in Architecture. These new places for reflection could allow us as individuals to overcome the negative challenges that are presented everyday.

This is of particular significance in a society as complex and diverse as ours today. The desire to live in peace, the need for local identity as well as the need to qualify as members of the civilized community, and the expectation of arousing the chords of aesthetic emotion in all people, visually as well as spiritually, call for particular attention to the poetics of our focus.[7]

The Poetics should be spaces that strengthen our existence.

The concept of Poetics becomes available to everyone. This is because it challenges established typologies by creating spaces that are completed by the user and hold no regards to gender, race or socio-economic status. Poetics does not rely on the quality or cost of materials, size or place, it can be achieved with a little imagination and a departure from the customary. The Poetics is to break away from the mass production culture, the globalization of a product and therefore bring us back to individuality and the contemplative. The individuality is created by treating spaces and elements that have been assumed before as the norm with new interpretation, in some cases these elements are now inhabited spaces.


Mitchell Beazley, The World Atlas of Architecture is the English edition of Le Grand Atlas del’ Architecture Mondiale, New Jersey: Crescent Books, 1994.

Vitruvius. The Ten Books on Architecture. Trans. Morris Hickey Morgan. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1960.

Anthony C. Antoniades, Poetics of Architecture: Theory of Design, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.

David Streebin, “Streebin – BAC Studio Blog”, Turning the Stairs..., 15 September 2007,, 17 (September 2007).

Charlie Rose, The Future of Architecture, An hour about the future of architecture with:Peter Eisenman, You Tube website. 24 August, 2007.

El Croquis, Worlds I, Steven Holl: Chapel of St. Ignatius, Madrid: El Croquis Editorial, 1998, 212.

James Howard Kunstler, Home from Nowhere, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Phillip Jodidio, Architecture Now – Volume 2, Koln: Taschen GMBH, 2002.

NBBJ, Change Design – Conversations about Architecture as the ultimate business tool, Atlanta: Greenway Communications, LLC, a division of The Greenway Group, 2006.

Witold Rybczynski, City Life, New York: Touchstone, 1995.

Richard A. Etlin, Symbolic Space, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press,1994.

Plato, The Dialogues of Plato – Volume I, translated with analysis by R.E. ALLEN, Connecticut: Yale University, 1984.

Kenneth Frampton, Labour, Work and Architecture: Collected Essays on Architecture and Design, London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2002.

Rollingbay Works, Contemplative mind I: Essence, You Tube website. 15 May, 2007.

Rollingbay Works, Contemplative mind II: Application, You Tube website. 15 May, 2007.

[1] Mitchell Beazley, The World Atlas of Architecture is the English edition of Le Grand Atlas del’ Architecture Mondiale, (New Jersey: Crescent Books, 1994), 103.

[2] Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture, Trans. Morris Hickey Morgan, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1960, 38.

[3] Anthony C. Antoniades, Poetics of Architecture: Theory of Design, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992, 3.
[4] El Croquis, Worlds I, Steven Holl: Chapel of St. Ignatius, Madrid: El Croquis Editorial, 1998, 212.
[5] David Streebin, “Streebin – BAC Studio Blog”, Turning the Stairs..., 15 September 2007,, 17 (September 2007).
[6]Charlie Rose, The Future of Architecture, An hour about the future of architecture with:Peter Eisenman, You Tube website. 24 August, 2007.
[7] Anthony C. Antoniades, Poetics of Architecture: Theory of Design, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992, 4.

Monday, September 17, 2007


So I continue with Poetics in Architecture. As the research evolves and I try to filter through different books, I stumble upon the definition of Pragmatism (concerned with practical consequence).

I thought about the role pragmatism has in what new Architecture and the creation of the unprecedented in Poetics should be. In the creation of the Poetics we cannot think about the reality or the pragmatic, we must envision Architecture with metaphor and the surreal. It is this kind of thinking that would allow us to create poetic space. The poetics within a metaphor is a tool that helps us create individual space, just like a work of Art that is created to be interpreted individually. On a thought on individuality today I was thinking about Art. Why is it that Van Gogh did not try to duplicate "The Starry night"? or DaVinci "La Mona Lisa"?

I still don't have an answer, but a thought is that they don't create art with money in their mind, okay maybe not all of them, even if they are commissioned something new comes out. Every piece of Art is different from one another, so why do we as people want to buy structures that are similar? Where is the poetics that the individual structure will create? Where I live I have heard stories that people are more comfortable buying a spanish revival home because they know is familiar. How do they know they are not missing out on something.

On a colleague's blog, our Studio professor said, "A building solves problems; it allows me to move from here to there. A piece of architecture does this and so much more. It allows me to consider my place in the world, in history, in urbanity, and any number of situations". I think what he said is brilliant, because is exactly what I have been trying to say about why sometimes the meaningful becomes utilitarian, a building should not just solve problems.

A house on the side of the road with four boards up is nothing more than just shelter, it sure has meaning to the occupant, however when anyone just builds or we allow developers to build repetitive structures then its use is nothing more than the house on the side of the road. To some, protection from the rain is enough, but life is so much more, so why settle for this. Even the cave formation was different.

Architecture though Poetics should speak of itself or a space, tell a story, have individualism, push Architecture to something more than just solving a problem. Here is a question to ask yourselves, Why are we trying to design a store that is different from anything else in the square? Why not take Trinity Church, duplicate it and call it a store? Do you as an Architect visualize a smile from a toddler experiencing your store or do you think it looks like that because its cool? From the walls to the screens, everything is important.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Meaningful Architecture - then and now

At our final intensive assignment Herb wanted us to think about the implementation of the NCARB IDP process and our thesis statement. My thesis statement on “Why create poetic or meaningful Architecture? From the xs to the XL” had a question raised by a colleague. The question was “How Architecture becomes meaningful? I think Architecture is meaningful to everyone in many different ways. It depends on how we occupy the space as well as our place in time of living. From the origins of humanity it was for shelter, to recognize death, protection, and then religion, so on and so forth.

On my quest to explain “Why”, I started not by defining the poetic, but by thinking about what is the meaningful part. Perhaps because this question was raised, otherwise I would probably have gone straight for the definition. Meaningful Architecture can be very broad and I don’t think I will ever be able to cover all the reasons why and how we occupy our spaces depending on our cultural backgrounds.

From the thinking of what meaningful is, I ended up in Why was Architecture ever created? Shelter is my first response, was the cave man inspired by the cave itself in the rock formation? The first “Hut” or “Igloo” was generated as a result of the need to relocate, agglomerate or necessity of space. Time passed by and humans created tools for hunting and defense; therefore Architecture evolved. This exercise of developing tools for defense seems to be still implemented in today’s world. Items such as stainless steel and microwaves were invented as a result of defense necessity. I wonder what came out of the present war (in relation to technological advance only). Google earth?

The ancient world of Mesopotamia and Babylonia with their monumental Architecture created by settlers evolved the earlier agglomerations of settlers into our first fortified villages.

On two of my recent trips this year I visited Jinotega, Nicaragua and the town of Sandwich, Massachusetts. These two towns had different types of meaningful Architecture.

In Nicaragua, the outskirts of Jinotega had many little structures along the side of the road. They were mini houses occupied by local peasants. The walls were constructed of horizontal wood boards and corrugated metal panels, soil floors, no bathrooms, no electricity or running water. The forest and single latrines are used in lieu of toilets, water creeks are used for water consumption. Some of the more sophisticated structures had electricity and satellite TV, but no hard floors, this was unsettling to me.

The town of Sandwich has an original house erected by early settlers from Europe. The dwellings were shaped like their saltboxes. The kitchens provided heat, cooking and space to gather. There was no electrical power or running water. The settlers shower only once a year, mainly in June because the season is warmer. Therefore people were only clean during this month. The Story tellers claimed the tradition of June weddings are a result of this.

Meaningful Architecture in these two experiences is similar in that they both provide some type of shelter, and that was important to the dweller. In Nicaragua, the dwelling, aside from sheltering, was also located to provide access to the road to get to work and to be off the Town grid (cost of city living). In Sandwich, the dwelling was a symbol of ownership and prosperity.

According to the local town history early U.S. settlers erected structures that took a bit of time to build, a year or so after working everyday. They also had thought about a layout that was functional to all of their occupants. The little structures in Nicaragua seem as they were put together in a short period of time, four walls, a door, a roof and called it home. The early U.S. settlers could have built just four walls as well.

What’s also consistent in Architecture, regardless of the occupancy, is that people create spaces or places to make them their own. By this I mean the body occupying a space. The argument I like to present is that Architecture should not be about just putting up four walls or to say who we are and declare our social status. Architecture should create Poetic spaces that allow inhabitants of all races and cultures to interpret and define their own space.

Poetic Architecture should allow the user to celebrate joy, delight, mourning, love, meditate, feel anger, compassion, etc. As Herb commented, this definition of Poetic Architecture is expected to change, grow and become more enriched. Already a bit of research and comments from colleagues have provided me with more inquiries into how it was in the past and where we are heading. The current heading of Architecture is what troubles me, the past is done.

Because “Meaningful” can be many things to many people, the challenge then becomes creating meaning for the structure's intended occupants – versus defining "meaning" in one vast proverbial bucket.

Outskirts of Jinotega, Nicaragua

Sandwich, Massachusetts

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why create poetic or meaningful Architecture? From the xs to the XL

A research to establish an argument on why to break the box and a personal definition why I want to pursue this. Personal frustration with society and their acceptance of whatever.

Research recommended:

Christopher Alexander - A pattern language
Alain de Botton - The Architecture of Happiness
Fine Homebuilding - magazine
Pride of place
Life-cycle cost
Client education
The Geography of Nowhere - James Howard kunzler
Google - "the role of the critics"

I will be revisiting a good old book titled "Poetics of Architecture - Theory of Design" by Anthony C. Antoniades.


How can you infuse your vision into every element of professional practice?

Pictures are worth a thousand words! This was an incredible exercise, especially after we all gathered to review each others thoughts. It made me think about the different levels of how, when and where meaningful Architecture occurs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What's on my mind?

The label "intensive cohort" is definetely being squeezed to its limits this week. As students pursuing a Master in Architecture we are being challenged both intellectually and physically. More by choice than by someone forcing us to do it. I mean, we all have choices and could pursue the challenges we are presented rather comfortably. Instead, we are choosing to be competitive in some sort of way with one another and with the challenge presented. I relate my experience with the question: What type of Architect do we want to be and what type of Architecture do we want to create? What could we do as professionals to further develop our careers and to keep pushing and advancing the field of Architecture. Architecture is so much more than shelter or a mere building to be occupied. Without us, a building will be lifeless. No animation.

I don't see creating typical structures or designs that mimic what's existing in order to blend as been the norm. Somehow our structures reflect where we are heading, whether that's right or wrong. Who is to say what is right or wrong, they both exist like good and evil, but how do we judge or admit what's right.

Previous readings on Duncan and Bickford have made me think deeper about the importance of our societies, economies and politics as an important role on what we create. I never saw the vulnebarility of the word "place" previous to reading "The narrative form of Place and Place relationships" by Herb Childress. It made me think about other things I did not see, like the word "Celebrate". This word on my project take two different meanings: Celebration as a personal emotion at the point of arrival as well as to celebrate the existing Architecture. Readings such as the narrative of form again, have made me identify or place this in the context of a City.

Although a bit exhausted, I look forward to my next challenge and more enlightment of so many things we are learning. Meeting everyone has been a great experience and a return to what a humble experience it is to feel that strangers of a few months ago are all helping and looking out for one another.