About 3 years ago, I was laid-off from my position as Senior Interior Design Manager for Middle East Projects  for Emaar Design Studio, the US design-office of Emaar.  Emaar is the international developer / construction company, headquartered in Dubai, responsible for the recent tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.  At the time, the economic “crash” of 2008 was just becoming apparent.  I was privileged to have the opportunity to attend school full-time while receiving unemployment compensation.  I decided to return to the study of architecture, a task begun in the 1970’s at the University of Minnesota.  Living in San Diego, I decided to enroll in the NAAB-acredited NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSA+D)  B-Arch program.  This blog presents some of the work in the final steps in the process of completing the B-Arch curriculum at NSA+D in the hopes of soliciting public input for my thesis.

One could question the logic of pursuing a degree in architecture following the unfortunate financial circumstances leading to my having time on my hands.  Might it make more sense to get a degree in law, or perhaps a medical specialty?  My longstanding love of architecture and interior design won me over, in spite of the precarious financial challenges of architectural practice in these times.  I long ago learned that it is possible that one’s success is not limited by the surrounding conditions; but rather by one’s internal conditions.  My study of architecture in these precarious times is predicated on that learning.  That, and an awareness of my own skill and promise in the field, propel me forward.  As a professional interior designer, I have some insight into the challenges and opportunities of the profession and architectural practice.

While in school, I work  in the office of Lord Architecture, Inc. in Rancho Bernardo, a community of San Diego.  In this way, I learn the many things that an architecture education cannot teach; and that is a huge amount.  I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and for the leadership of R. Bennett Lord and Kathy Lord, AIA, LEED AP.

My comments here do not reflect the opinions of  my teachers, either in school or out. The opinions represented here, are mine, and mine alone; and those of other authors are cited.  Having achieved a level of professional success and the ASID professional designation, I have a unique perspective among students in my cohort. It is my hope that bringing this perspective to bear upon the unique circumstances and conditions of the profession of architecture and its practice will result in a new awareness.  Ultimately, an opportunity for constructive evolution for both the profession and the practice is the goal.

R. Lyle Boatman, ASID

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