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Hey everyone… how’s everyone doing tonight? I hope all is well with you and yours. There’s been something that I’ve been thinking about lately… it’s the simple question of progress. Are we making any? This question has a pretty broad scope so, I’m going to narrow it down for everyone. Hopefully, make it simpler. Most of the nation enjoyed the Super Bowl today, [Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers]. During the course of the game, there were a few records that were broken. In this small scope, progress is can be easily seen. When records are broken, its clear there has been some advances in a particular field. With the (generally) always entertaining commercials, we can see advances in technology among other things. Here, progress is evident. In other particular fields of interest, progress isn’t so clear….

For my focus tonight, I’m specifically talking about Architecture. Has architecture made progress? When we study architecture it’s about epic works of art and major forward movement. We hear stories of Louis Sullivan, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright, among others [merely selected for their popularity]. Was their fame and greatness given to them during their life time or after their passing? Was Le Corbusier helmed as one of the best architects to ever live or did he get that after he passed away? Who can say who is going to be truly great? Who is the next big name in architecture? Who is the next “Sullivan,” “Wright,” or “Mies?” Is it Rem Koolhaas? Is it Adrian Smith? Is it Frank O. Gehry? Or is it someone who isn’t vastly known right now, only honored among architects like Douglas Garofalo. Furthermore, who determines who is truly great and who is just a member of the rest of the crowd? The problem with these questions, I believe, is there is no way to answer them. How do we define greatness? Are we only remembered when we are dead or gone? I would love to be admitted as a truly great architect, but it’s not my top priority. My top priority is to be heard. I would prefer that my messages through my architecture echo louder than those that I place here on this blog, but those are all in the details. [Although, I would also love if my blog receive recognition… but like I said, it’s not necessary.]

Wow… I’ve kinda diverged from the actual question of progress. Have we made progress in architecture? In technology… yes, what about design? Does it merely change with the times? In architecture, we can look back and say “hey, that’s classical” or “that’s gothic.” How do we determine what is modern? How does something like post-modern exist? And if the term modern applies to a certain time period (from this year to that year), what do we call our type of work now? What is our style in this time period, what will we be called when it’s looked back on? I suppose this post isn’t so much about progress, maybe it’s just a question of what type of era we are in. Funny question about time… how do we define it? Maybe it’s only useful as a 4th dimension of labeling things.

I remember a time when Tupac Shakur was alive, when Notorious B.I.G. was leading the east coast rap. Did I take them for granted when they were alive? Are they great now because they were taken away? Why is it so difficult to cherish something that we have, when we have it? Maybe if that doesn’t relate to you, how about Troy Aikman… inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Hmmm… that’s a pretty good example; after he retires he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame. Or Jerome Bettis, who announces his retirement at the Super Bowl… here’s a better example, Hines Ward, the MVP of tonight’s game. He’s never the guy to show-off, he just does he job. He did his job in this Super Bowl and was recognized as the MVP of the game. Will he be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Seems like it’s up to a committee to decide on that question. These little defining moments that separate what is truly great from those that are members of the crowd are slim and slight. Fame is a difficult honor to chase. I think the right way is to go after something you truly believe in, and not to chase fame. If there’s a message you want to give the rest of the world, give it. If there’s something you’re begging to scream at the top of your lungs, scream it. I’ve noticed, among other things, that when something in kept inside a person it only leaves to destruction of that person. As a human being, I’ve been given so many different opportunities to express myself… I plan to use them all.

How do I know I’m right? I think we’ll save that for another time.

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