[architecture] letter of intent

While looking for something I wanted to add to my portfolio, I received a healthy reminder of the importance of perspective. I found a card my mother had written to me quite a while ago for my confirmation. It was an encouraging note – a coming of age memento. In the note, she commented on my name. I was named after her father and my father’s grandfather. She had kind words about both of them because their legacy of generosity and compassion is something to admire. Both men had great character and a unique way of measuring worth. We each have different scales of viewing this world. We each have different methods of measuring what is valuable. I still treasure and ponder their response to this world and life.
My undergraduate degree is in Geography with an emphasis in Cartography and Photogrammetry. Geography is a crossroads of so many different disciplines: geology, history, economics, and sociology. Cartography is an effort to communicate graphically the interaction between place and countless other variables. Geography, at its foundation, is spatial; it is about space. I have come to realize that geography is more a gathering and communication of data. Its strength resides in its power to inform and understand. Cartography is beautiful art, but its creativity and influence remain limited, as it should.
I am a visual person; I communicate visually. I find it comforting to have a camera in my hand. My minor was Graphic Communications (Drafting, Printing, and Photography). More recently, photography has given way to other creative forms. It is now more common to find a pencil or brush in my hand than a camera. Although painting and photography are very important to me, they remain a more introspective vehicle to me. I have also explored building on a small scale. Designing and building, in its nature, is more utilitarian. Architecture provides an intrinsic opportunity to benefit others (protect, inspire, gather). For years, I was involved in a youth camp in central Texas. Living outdoors has helped me tremendously. Simplicity is an underappreciated gift. My desire to connect with people was a large part of remaining involved with the camp for close to ten years. Ultimately I have learned that I desire to interact on a 1:1 scale. It is an obvious fit for me to want to interact with people (knowing, understanding, and giving) through a means that fits me.
I want to integrate my geography, my creative/visual perspective, and my desire to interact with and help people. Our scale changes along with new information we receive. It is not static. Sailing, for me, was an example of this. Years of studying about the Pacific was nothing like seeing it: how vast, how deep, and how dark. Swimming in the ocean and sailing to different coves reconfigured my mental cartography. That’s what life does. My awareness of space and place, but with recognition of the human involvement is a valuable aspect to the creative process. I want to couple that with creative expression. I want to offer meaningful solutions to the complicated problems of today.
When I was younger, I used to be put off by the concept of responsibility. I see now that our collective well-being is influenced by us all, for better or worse. The responsibility for change rests on those with the potential to effect change. My vision is a global one and therefore predicates a broad architectural perspective and education. I desire a multi-national perspective. I desire dialogue with individuals who are responding to the spatial needs of today. I want to see how others are gracefully using what comes naturally to them to help others. I want to study the intersection of people and space- not just one place or one people, but people who are of different economics, heritage, cultures, building techniques.
On the front of the card my mother wrote to me was a ship, its many sails swollen in the sky. It is a coming of age card, measuring life and the scale at which we see the world changes. It must. There is vastness which we travel upon and by, its magnitude, it is new and new again.

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