Not long ago I posted on my facebook status that I had acquired a lawyer. It’s a telling comment that all the people who responded assumed that there was some sort of problem — that I was getting sued or that I was having to oust my tenant. Some people who know me really well thought I might have needed to post bail. The truth is that the lawyer is a good thing (even if her fees were not so much): since I hired her last week she has set up two companies for me. I am now officially an LLC as an architect and an LLC as a product design firm.
Nothing is all that different. I’m still sitting at home working on three different projects. I’ve worked as a consulting architect for a few years now; my estimate is that I’ll launch my first product in February; and the competition I’m doing makes me feel like I’m back in grad school (check out http://www.shiftboston.org/). And yet.. everything has changed. If I can make a good enough income from the product design business, I can focus on competitions and doing hands-on design-build to practice the minute details of building that you just don’t learn in architecture school or even in most jobs with firms. I have friends who’ve been in the business for over a decade who have never built anything.
I have never desired to be a theoretical architect; in a lot of ways I’m more practical: I want it to do what the client needs it to, I want it to stand up and not leak, and I want to make a really solid try at beauty and poetry. That’s not a very compelling manifesto — not the sort of thing that makes it into anthologies of Important Architectural Theorists… though has anyone noticed that most of these people don’t make sense? There’s an oft made fun of flair in the architecture world for fancy phrases that fool those whose talents lie more in the visual than the verbal. I don’t have a lot of patience for verbal masturbation in any arena. I would rather do something than talk about it.