Friday Variables and Whether to Build

August 20, 2021

Just a minute to write, thinking through this week, and Friday tomorrow. We like to put deadlines on Fridays, working toward a goal, checking things off the list, leaving clients satisfied somehow over the weekend. This week has been more juggling than finishing, Not sure if we're leaving clients satisfied, but I hope theyre enjoying the show.

Project in Mount Pleasant under construction, being sold before it's finished. That's a sign of the times, a certain symbol of success. Were adding saleable value during the design and construction process, no need to wait for the finish date.  The value is apparent enough for the appraisers.  All this changing hands and changing priorities. In general, it's for the better - more scope, more return, more value added. But all this change is a symptom of uncertainty, it's harder to predict, it's testing our systems, testing our patience, testing our vision statement.  But, in general, its positive, its testing us to expect more, and be ready for another layer of investment.  We're writing our additional services letters as fast as we can, trying to get our books up to date, and asking our consultants and our staff to enjoy the ride (they're not always convinced.)

We enjoy our work deeply, we enjoy our opportunities to design, to imagine. The common narrative is that design is our highest ambition as architects, that to re-design is twice as nice. We love to draw, to dream, to imagine. But, I suppose we don't enjoy the re-calculation that comes with re-design. The re-evaluation, the re-scheduling, the re-presenting, and the re-promising of what could happen if all parties kept the course from here on out.

Seems that there are more variables than we remember now.  What if we can't get concrete, or appliances? What if the code officials change? What if our property gets re-sold, will you transfer your contract to the new buyer?  Of course we'll work with the new Owner, congratulations on selling the project.

Keep the ideas coming, tell us your ideas, tell us your intent. Our accounting system will keep up with us.

In all this changing and variable environment, we still need to build.  This is the sentence that even I stutter around.  We draw and imagine - in order to build.  Construction is resolution.  To build in this season almost feels like an accident, like the one unforseeable moment when all the pieces come together, the one holding the hot potato when lightning flashes is the one who pulls the permit. Construction is when the city actually charges, when value of ideas actually becomes the fabric of the future. Those old theorists who never built their ambitious ideals, and taught us raw concepts - there is some value in the academics of unbuilt work, and there is less liability, and the realization of intent is never sure. 

So far anyway, we're still accepting only clients who intend to build. Maybe we should restructure our proposals.  I'm not saying I won't.