July 15, 2013

Talent & Capability - I think it can be honed.

With my previous controversial article on Good Grades does not (necessarily*) a Good Designer Make , I got some strong reactions: new facebook likes on my fan page and posts and even an architecture student sent his rebuttal to try and provide his views on why good grades do make good designers.

* ok, yes, I probably should have added "necessarily" to the title

In the end, I believe the argument really boils down to how does one view talent and capability. How passionate is one individual to pursue their interests if they are not as naturally talented as the next guy. Is being talented something that you are gifted at by birth and can run a life of great success once your realize  your capability and strengths? Is it your natural ability to just own it and succeed through school and life without failure and act like yous a boss? Are you talented by ultimately a gaining and honing skill that needs practice in order to strengthen your ability? I stick to the latter of the spectrum and believe that it is ultimately based on ones drive, passion, and commitment to be willing to grow and push their limits. It takes years to build an architect up with the vast amount of knowledge you have to acquire, apply and master. Does a curriculum define your own measure of personal and professional growth? for me, probably not. If anything it provides you the foundation to build your career. Ultimately, the most important question lies in where you will take your education and college experience beyond the studio and into the professional life that you want.

I'm not gonna lie, it is naive to think you can be the best at something and work towards being the best and it is easy to brush away that we all have limitations and it can max or peak but even the most successful celebrities and writers and actors and professionals we have seen were the crazy individuals who showed that you can defy ones views of ability and talent. For that, I guess I am a bit naive and a dreamer. I am a strong believer of a hard work/protestant work ethic and the "American Dream" story  (I'm Canadian by the way). Just because you realized later in the game that it`s time to become more serious in school and work your butt off does not necessarily mean you should be stripped of that chance because you failed a course in my opinion. Even the hardcore straight a students began hauling their butts off at the beginning. I`m a bit more compassionate for the architecture student making amends. I know, at first hand, that it is much more harder to catch up if you fall behind later in your degree. The amount of things expected from you is like a rolling snowball.

Not everyone will shine as quickly in the prescribed curriculum that they are in and not everyone will tap into their potential and purpose by a definitive time. For life is about constant exploration and reflection. And some designers do not hit their strides in the calculated and quantified measure of times since everyone in different and everyone has different struggles, challenges, and abilities. Which is why my blog stands up for the underdog architecture students. There is hope if you are willing to stop slacking, willing to iron out your priorities, and even willing to opening and committing yourself to personal growth and lifelong learning. Ultimately, I believe passion is key if you want to succeed in any career field - a friend said to me once if you don't like the game you are playing, then you can can change it - every experience is informing something about yourself in which to move forth. Passion combined with a good work ethic - I believe builds the recipe for success in where you want to take yourself in school and in your career and wherever you go during and after architecture school. whatever field you are in.

A good friend has taught me that talent can be honed and if you are passionate and willing to work hard in this industry and learn quickly once you get your foot into a design firm. You can be a valuable contributor to the Architecture Profession in your own way and your marks might not necessarily reflect that.


Good Grades does NOT a Good Designer Make
Be Fearless by Failing
An Evening on Failure

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