Architecture in my past.

The Art and Architecture Building at Yale

Part of my peculiar perspective on things comes from the way I think. I was just reminded today while discussing a mathematical problem at work. When explaining what I was thinking I was thinking visually and three-dimensionally. My colleagues didn’t have a clue what I was trying to communicate. They wanted formulas – their way of understanding and solving the problem.

I explained that I had a formula but in my head it was a three-dimensional diagram. Then came the odd looks. Anyway we worked through the problem, created a formula and gave me some insight for a better solution to what I was doing.

I was a serious musician in my younger days and considered myself artistic – as in drawing – and to get to my point here spent four years of my life studying architecture. I think that I was trying to bring together my math skills and art, although it was my parent’s opinion that I was just not ready to work for a living. I pretty much think they were right.

First of all, I got out of architecture quite soon after graduation. The economy was not good. Every week they were threatening me with a layoff. And to top it all off, I was getting barely over minimum wage with a masters degree. So much for my fantasy of becoming another Frank Lloyd Wright. I because an urban researcher, eventually got an MBA and became a pricing manager for a utility company.

Anyway, this reminiscence happened when I saw this blog post about Paul Rudolph’s Art and Architecture Building at Yale where I spent those four years. My class was the first first year class in the new building (1963). It is a remarkable, quirky building. It is not necessarily functional (art students in the second basement) but nothing in it is predictable.

I haven’t returned to New Haven since graduation but I would like to see the renovated and enlarged building again. The linked post is an interesting comparison of the A&A with a new architecture building at the University of New Mexico. While not at all alike at first look, there are some striking similarities. I am certain that designing a building for architecture students brings out all the creative juices of an architect.

I am posting this look back because it is interesting how you can set off in one direction and end up in another. In my case, the twists that were not my deliberate decision created a result that was quite different from what I had originally planned. I wouldn’t go back and do things differently even knowing that I would never practice architecture because a very important thing happened during my years at Yale. I met my wife of 37 years

Did your life lead in a different and unexpected direction after you planned it?  Or did you not plan at all?  Share anything this post  brings to mind.  I would like to hear.

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