return to part one
part 2 of 2 parts
Photo by Matt Taylor
August 2000 [link]
The promise
The TV program is also why I never went to collage [link]. It was to lead to a shocking revelation of what that experience was likely to be like. It can be argued that I never should have made such an important decision based on a single experience - it can equally argued that the perception was accurate: life for me in a 50s architecture school would have been hell. Fred Stitt [link] went through this process, taught at Berkeley and, ultimately, started SFIA [link] - where I part-time teach/lecture [link] and am working on my Master’s Thesis [link] - to redress what he considers to to be repressive environment of the architecture schools - then, and still today.

This design became my first work completed to the preliminary level. It was build-able then and, if done today, it would not be a disgrace to the landscape.

The problem solving process I employed became a basis of the Taylor Method. I set up what I did not know then was a primitive form of a Zwicky Box [link].

At the time, I never completely worked out the floor plan. I revised it later while at Taliesin. This version of it was done in 2001 when I redid the drawings which had been lost in the 1971 move. The basic idea of it is that the 3/4 footprint would flip floor-to-floor providing a two story balcony for each apartment. This, plus the fact that the park below (that in a typical subdivision at the time would not be there) is a short “drop” by elevator provides an amenity and closeness to Nature missing in most cityscapes. The plan, itself is simple and direct. It is in line with the post WWII notion of simple modern living. It was, in fact, 30 Eichler Homes [link] stacked on top of one another freeing up the landscape that suburban sprawl was, even then, in the process of obliterating.
link: Vertical Housing project
I had naively expected the reaction at the office to be different than it was. The project was a good piece of work and I had put months of evenings and weekends into it. It was my first serious self-tutoring in the process of design. It was also my first work to be taken to the preliminary level [link] of development. I was proud of the effort. The response at the office was chilling. Almost total silence. Not even criticism. It was as if it had never happened. There was no question that the majority of the office had seen the show. It was clear that I had become “other.” Now, there was no possibility of fitting in. And I thought that moving to Texas in the early 50s was a challenge [link].
Tallie Maule was a breath of fresh air. We became friends. He was in the process of setting up his own office and I helped him with moving, painting and some simple drafting tasks when I had the time. His support, energy and teaching was important to me - a lifeline of sorts. Sadly, I was to lose his friendship, not too many years later, when I took work in construction [link]. He said “you have gone over to the enemy.” How could BUILDING be the enemy of ARCHITECTURE?
The broadcast of the TV show was shot live. It was a wild evening and perhaps the most fun I had ever had in my brief life to this date. Tallie was a great facilitator and the presentation of the concept was dynamite. The story of the show is told in my “history” [link]. No sooner had the program finished and the phone started ringing. The program producers said that they had never had anything approaching this level of response. The Boy Scouts later re shot the program - it was not taped the first time [!] - as a training program on how to do the merit badge program! The reshooting was not as good, of course - the spontenaiety of the first take could never be recaptured. Of the many calls, there were two that bear noting: The Professor and the Real Estate Lady.
The Professor, who called first, taught at Berkeley. He was very excited. He would have been one of my professors had I gone there. He asked for an appointment to talk about the project. We made an appointment for diner the next week. At the appointed hour he showed up at my Mother’s and my apartment; I opened the door. From the entry it was possible to see into my room and the huge drafting board, that Lloyd Conrich had given me, to the Bay Window beyond that looked into the Pan Handle of Golden Gate Park (where the project had been conceived). It was a nice setting and the Model and drawings of the project were “placed” between the drafting board and the window. The Professor, with barely a “hello,” shot by me and skidded to a halt in front of the model - “you did it” he exclaimed; “I have been working on this problem for years and you did it!” This was not exactly what I was expecting. Besides, I could not tell if he was happy that “I did it” - or not. We then entered a tense conversation about what it exactly was that I had “did.” The Professor explained, in great detail, the architectural problems at hand and I showed him my (Zwicky) MATRIX. His problems - all of them - were in it. The matrix listed all the attributes I wanted and all the ones I wanted eliminated. The net out was the program for the design - simple. “Where did you learn this?” he asked. “I made it up.” Silence. At this point, the interview went South. Diner was a long harangue on the Professor’s part about the miserable state of architecture (I agreed with this), why compromise was inevitable (due to the unrelenting march of Capitalism?) and why Frank Lloyd Wright was not fair and was getting all of the good commissions and not leaving opportunity to the new generation of architects (I never did grasp the full logic of this position). We stopped by Tallie’s office after diner - my thinking was that this might get the conversation back on track. No avail. It was like something had switched the good Professor’s mind off and all that could come out was semi-organized pessimism and self pity. Tallie did not like him; neither did my mother [link]; and I decided that I had somehow gone too far in my education to waste 5 years in an institution for the architecturally insane. Tallie offered to send me to Yale but I declined. By the time I would have qualified for, gotten into and out of Yale, I had six years drafting experience and was building, as project engineer, a 22 million dollar project in NYC [link]. I could not wait; I had to learn how to build. I never did find out what happened to the Professor.
The Real Estate Lady was a personality of another sort. She blew into and out of my life like the hurricane she was. She had come up with this new idea called multiple listing of real estate and was creating a system whereby all brokers could see what real estate was available by type, price and so on. This was my first exposure to the idea and potential of information technology. I filed this away and ten years later it emerged as Cybercon [link: as we may (re) think] . What she wanted from me was to put my model in the store front window of her new office. She felt that what she was creating was very new (which it was) and that my project - which she called “science fiction” was an appropriate symbol and attractor for the front display of an otherwise dull office environment. I did not think too much about the science fiction part but liked the idea of my work displayed in the front window of a busy San Francisco street. I made up a display with threads running from the models and drawings to appropriate cardboard-mounted explanations printed large enough to read through the window. The display sat there happily enough for over a year. When I was ready to go to Taliesin I contacted her to remove the display for storage. She was happy with the result and told me several people a day came in asking about it and then she could explain her multiple listing concept. Then she dropped the bomb that totally shook my mind. She said that some months back an investor came in asking for the developer’s name and that he wanted a piece of the action. She said that it was just a school project of some kid and was not a serious idea. I asked her for the name but she had not kept it - apparently the investor was not interested in the multiple listing concept. I asked he why she did not contact me - surprised that I was upset she said “you are not serious about this are you?” There we stood... staring at each other in mutual, total disbelief.
Back at the office, Blackjack was my only defense. The chief draftsman, whom everybody feared, ran a poker game at lunch. The whole idea of it, to me, looked like a way for the Chief to supplement his wages. He controlled all the assignments and I was sure no one was going to get too good at taking his money too often. This was nichol, dime and quarter stuff but a good pot could add up to a sizable mid 50s haul. I took to watching the noon action. One day, with lots of winking and elbowing, I was asked if I wanted to play. Apparently “the kid” was about to get educated. Also apparently, none of these gentlemen had grown up on air force bases in the middle of fighting a world war. I walked away with a few dollars that lunch time and I was TOLD to “bring them back tomorrow.” So... I did. I proceeded to clean their clock for several weeks in a row. And, true to their command, I returned every lunch time with all their money in a cigar box (converted to paper as it soon would not hold the change). What they did not know was I had been watching them for some time. They also did not know I could count cards and I could pull cards out of the deck, place them and determine the deal. I cheated. They played a very simple form of Blackjack with dealer “takes all” (ties). Once I had the deck and could shuffle it the game was rigged. I placed the face cards at the bottom and when the deck was cut (they always cut it in the middle) then all the face cards and aces were on top. The dealer (in this case) me was always extraordinarily “lucky.” It all exploded one day when the five and ten dollar bills came out. There was more money on that table than I earned in a couple of weeks and it took a good portion of my cigar box to cover the action. The challenge was on. I shuffled very carefully. They wanted the deck to be cut twice but I had anticipated this. As the cards went out, there were many triumphant faces as two face cards came up for some and even a couple of Blackjacks. I looked them right in the eye, and never at my cards, as I turned over my own Blackjack. I was banned from the game forever and bought myself a couple of very expensive Frank Lloyd Wright books with the loot. How their money was spent seemed to make them madder than how they had lost it. Never a fan of ethical relativism, this was the first and only time I ever cheated in business. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. Since they were all accusing me of cheating and trying to figure out how I was doing it, I considered it a game of skill - of sorts. Was it not common knowledge, even in the dark ages of the 50s, how you distracted attention? They could not see what was going on right in front of their eyes! Poetic.
The Chief Draftsman was a big bury guy with a handel bar mustache, vest and rolled up sleeves with arm garters. He looked like he was out of the last Century - a caricature of the times when drafting rooms were rowdy places. He prized himself with his physical prowess and was extremely intimidating. He had a 75% solid 8 x 8 x 16 concrete block tied to a wood handel which he would hold out at arms length, roll up, let down (without touching the ground) and roll up again. I believe his record was 15 times up and down. No one in the office could come near his prowess. It never was totally clear to me what the utility was but, to the Chief, it was a mark of superiority and dominance. After his big poker defeat, he decided to take the kid on in the arena of physical manhood. Since he towered over me he felt he was safe in this realm. His problem was that there were two things he did not know. The first was that I worked on a dude ranch [link] in the summers and was actually in very good shape. If you ever spent hours moving three wire hay bales you know what I mean. The second was that will is greater than muscle if you are a student of it - which I was. He bet me in front of the drafting room a large sum of money that I could not match his record with the concrete block. To my credit, I demurred from the contest several times. He persisted, however, until it was impossible to ignore the challenge.Well, I cheated again. I had been practicing during afternoon coffee breaks when the whole troop when out. It was years to go before I indulged in the pleasures of this drug so I remained in the drafting room doing my tasks while the others went out twice a day - this also seemed to add to my disfavor, again to my surprise. I thought industry was to be rewarded. I took to practicing with the concrete block. So one day, I took him up. Standing on a chair (so the length of the roll up would be equal) talking all the while on the philosophy of architecture (a subject he despised), and making it look easy (even as my arms were burning), I exceeded his record by one and bought myself some more Frank Lloyd Wright books. I had found out that if I went very fast the total time was reduced and this kept me within my endurance limits. The poor man never figured out how a skinny little runt did him in. 235 pounds of muscle versus 138 pounds of will - sorry. The man was devastated and I actually felt sorry for him and avoided such kind of confrontations in the future as much as possible. It is not ethical, lacking a true compelling reason, to take something (or no-thing) away from a person if you are not in the position to facilitate a healthier replacement. This principle lives to this day in our work.
The Chief draftsman finally did figure out how to get back at me and in a most humorous and imaginative way. I told him one day that I had an interview with Frank Lloyd Wright (who was in town on the Marin County project) and that I had to leave the office a bit before noon to get to the appointment on time. Aaron Greene had told me that my time window was narrow and not to be late and waste the great man’s time. Well, needless to say, the project I was working developed a sudden deadline that had to be accomplished before noon. It required about three days of work. I drew furiously all morning to compete the drawings so they could go to the printer. I was wired - pressed between two mandates with no forgiveness. At precisely noon. just as I was drawing the last line, the Chief threw a large fire cracker under my desk. I nearly went through the roof! Everybody was in on it and we all had a good laugh as I ran out the door, now 15 minutes late, with drawings under arm to meet Mr. Wright. This interview, is another story. I had learned enough by this time to let him “win” this one and our last months together were marked by a greater ease.
Less you think from this narrative that I won most of the battles, I did not. In reality, I won none of them. They were of the kind that to “win” is still to lose. Many times I bravely retreated to the rest room holding tears that could not be expressed in a room full of men. The few who tried to help me did so on the sly - they coached me on ways to get along better. I was too young to know how to take their council and apply it with integrity and there was no defeating the overwhelming consensus of the place - at least in the Drafting Room. It was different on the first floor, the domain of management and clients. I actually was offered some sponsorship from there.
Nick was the chief architect and a young protege of Becket himself. He had hired me and, his duty dispatched to Lloyd Conrich who found me the job, sent me off to the netherlands of the drafting room to survive if I could. In these days I still occasionally went down to PAMA to spend the weekends with the Major and Howard [link]. While down there, one Fall, there was a fire at the Stanford Shopping Center. The Becket firm was an early pioneer of the modern shopping center and had designed the Stanford complex. Since one of my duties had been to clean up the archives in the basement - the Chief Draftsman having banished me to this dark, dusty hole in the ground (this was a Gold Rush era building on Maiden Lane) for a month for some long forgotten indiscretion - I knew that the original drawings for the Stanford Center were there. The building had been done by the Los Angles office before the San Francisco office was established. It is unlikely that anyone now knew if they existed let alone where they were. The next Monday, I went to work early and found the drawings. Subsequently, I received a call to report to Nick and, knowing what he was after, took the drawings to his office. He was surprised at this piece of anticipatory management and decided I had a genius for organization. I was surprised that he was surprised. This is hard? A fire at a major retail center just before the Christmas season. People will be in a panic - they will expect their drawings - and now, not a week later - or worse, “they have to be redone.”
Nick, with my urging, took the drawings down to Palo Alto that morning on the next commuter train. The client was astounded (remember, this was the 1950s) - Nick was pleased. The Practice was proud. He decided to check up on my progress in the firm.
One of my duties, as the most junior of junior draftsman, was to take care of the drafting supplies, the drawings organization and the process for getting prints made. When I was hired there was no system for doing this. I set up a supply area and kept it stocked, redid the drawing files and gave them a regular nomenclature; and, I set up a print desk and procedure. In addition, I found out what the different architects liked and made sure that their preferred supplies were on hand. I would come in early each day and check their drawing boards and restock them so they did not often have to go to the supply cabinet even as organized as it now was. This little service was greatly appreciated. To me it was simple. I was told to make sure that none of the 50 architects and draftsman were ever out of supplies - so I did just that. Given my prior experiences working on the ranch and stocking for 7 day wilderness trips for up to 30 people, this was a piece of cake [link]. When Nick asked about my performance he was given extremely high marks on my organizing ability. This and the Stanford experience convinced him that I could be his protege. He called me into his office.
“There are three kinds of Architects,” he explained. “Those that have their own firms, or a major position in a large commercial office, and therefore work with the clients, make the money and run things - they never designed.” “There were the designers, who were all prima donnas and necessary, but to be kept under lock and key as much as possible.” Then, “there were the drones that did not matter and are interchangeable - they did the drawings.” “Sometimes, rarely, one moved up from the drafting room.” “I had to decide” he said, “which career path I would choose.” And, it seemed, I had to do it now. “Clearly,” he said, I was not to be a designer, “because you are too organized and they, being artists, never are organized.” “And clearly, I was too intelligent to be stuck in a drafting room.” He said that I could come to work for him, that he was planning to establish his own firm soon and that I would be assured a career. I protested that I had always wanted to design and build buildings. “This is not your talent,” he said. So I was offered patronage and mentorship. An office on the first floor next to his, lessons on how to act, how to dress, be with clients and, of course, a substantial raise. Still, I protested. Nick said that he would send me to THE DESIGNER and he would explain it to me and that I would come back convinced.
So... This is how, at the tender age of 19, I was allowed into the inner sanctum to see how modern buildings were designed. What you are about to read, you will not believe. It is a true telling undiluted by time. The Office had just received a commission for a very large commercial building, at the time slated to be one of the tallest in San Francisco. THE DESIGNER, with the backing of Nick, had invited me to his office (next to Nick’s) to WATCH as he designed the building. I was to come at 3 pm. I was elated. Here was a chance to learn. I called home saying that I was most likely be late because a major commission like this was bound to take time. Full of expectation, I showed up at the appointed hour.
The Becket office was a “buttoned down” environment. This was serious corporate architecture and it was the 50s. We all wore suits and ties even in the drafting room. Coats were allowed off only at our desks and not when (rarely) clients were present on the second floor. These rules did not pertain to THE DESIGNER - he was an artist. I could tell this because he wore open collared flamboyant shirts (never a coat!) baggy, wrinkled pants and sandals. Sandals! Sometimes the shirts did not change for several days. His hair was wild and only approximated the location which was the top of his head. Head, hands and hair were prone to sweeping gesture.
I was told to sit and watch and not to talk. “My thought process is not to be disturbed but I will talk out loud so that you can follow my reasoning.” I agreed to these terms.
A large scale plot of the property was pulled out and taped to the board. “The code allows so much of the ground to be covered with these setback requirements.” A rectangle was drawn - the building shape and location was determined (!). “The client’s program requires this amount of floor plan footage and deducting a percentage for hallways, restrooms, elevators and storage, this requires 33 floors which is within the legal height limit.” The plot plan was quickly finished: service road, parking egress (with calculation for number of required underground floors) and “of course a fountain and landscape area.” A new piece of tracing paper was taped over the drawing and an elevation (rectangle times 10 feet height times 33 stories) drawn. “This will be a steel framed building, so the columns will be about 33 feet on center” quickly divided by the actual rectangle netted the appropriate module. “now, the real fun begins.” My imagination ran ahead - OK, we have the basic box now we can play with it: set back, jogs, cantilevers, openings... “the real trick here is getting the right articulation of the window and spandrels.” A fast set of further overlays with different combinations of opening and glass colors (from the handy box at the edge of the board; “yes, here we are, this will do quite nicely.” The elevation was quickly finished: delicate lines for the mullions, heavier one to “express” the structural columns behind, a touch of color for the glass windows and another more opaque rendering for the spandrel panels (Mondrian [link] would have been proud), clouds, trees, fountain and people at the baser and “we have to have a boy with a balloon, this is my signature - adds gaiety.” “There! “We are done.” “When you can do it in an hour, you are ready for the big time!”
I glanced at the clock: 59 minutes. “That’s it?” “That’s it.” “What about the interiors?” “The staff will work that out, I gave them the best module to fit the offices in to - that’s routine, I do the creative stuff.” “The mechanicals and...” “Is for the engineers.” I was in the process of watching this upstairs as the Kaiser building was being tugged and pulled and mutilated as the engineers, interior people and code folks fought over every square inch tuning a once clean plan into a maize - months and month of redrawing [link]. “What happens now?” I splash a little more color and ink on it in the morning and get it mounted. The client comes at 10:00 am.” “That’s 2% of several million dollars you’re looking at, boy!”
I did not sleep that night. I asked myself a question that I did not face up to for a couple of more years [link]. You see, the Becket firm was not some rinky dink practice from the other side of the tracks - they were considered to be the best commercial firm in the world with only one or two challengers such as SOM. This was as good as it got and as good as it was going to get for a long time. That building is still standing in San Francisco, today, and not one of mine is. My apartment building never made it past a fake Boy Scout Merit Badge show and a real estate office’s store front window. “You are not serious about this are you?” “When you can do it in an hour, you are ready for the big time.”
Nick asked me the next day if I understood now why I was not cut out to be a designer. I told him yes - “I do not want to have anything to do with it.” Nick was pleased until: “as a matter of fact, I do not want to have anything to do with any of it; this will never lead to ARCHITECTURE.” I was banished back to the drafting room, ungrateful dog that I was. They were not happy to have me back. It seems that I had committed some kind of sin that somehow reflected on them all. I started looking for an office where I could get the experience of drawing an entire building - end-to-end - myself. This is another story.
Some Conclusions:
It is many years gone since I walked into that office. And what is my assessment? A great deal has changed - and, so little. There is a part of me that has never left the foot of the those stairs. There is a part of me who has traveled many miles, and it seems centuries, since then. The Fire and Passion is unabated.
Today, the pull I feel to Architecture is just as great as when I started. Much of the innocence is gone and I do not know if this is good - or bad. When I design, the joy comes back as does the sense of an unlimited future.
Life, in general, “feels” very different now. I am not sure what this means. It seems natural that ones perspective should change as life is experienced and as one grows physically older. However, when I mentally return to these “younger” memories, I sense a loss. Is it the innocence? if so, why does this matter so much? Is it some other quality? If so, what is that quality? What is missing? I do not feel that I, personally, have lost something - it seems more like society has. One thing is sure, those years can never be relived and what is lost from them can never be retrieved. They could have been so different - the last half century could have been so different. Will it be seen as the greatest squandering of opportunity of all time? Think of the world we could have built.
For years, the practice of architecture seemed as remote and still close to me as it was that day standing in the sun looking at that door. I sometimes wondered if I will ever get to “start.” The quality that I seek, with architecture, sometimes seemed more absent in my life, as time progressed, than in the beginning. Today, I spend the majority of my days in environments [link] I have created and like very much. But, as worthy as this work is, it is not what I set out to do.
I am slowly getting to the point where I can build for myself [link], for Gail [link], for our company [link], as well as, some R&D projects [link]. These are small but important gestures - and, they lead somewhere [link]. These are thoughtful and authentic works and they will not be done in an hour; they are a beginning...
At the core of it - still - none of this experience makes sense to me. I simply cannot comprehend why the quality of the built environment is even a question, let alone, an issue. In this regard I guess I haven’t changed at all. I want to be clear about this. I have learned to engage in the debate about architectural quality and how to achieve some measure of it, but, I fundamentally believe I am engaging in a dialog that makes no sense. A dialog that no rational society would ever undertake.
In the United States, the vast majority of constructed buildings have been erected since I entered practice. I have not not built one of them totally from my own design. To me, this is a measure of my failure. The profession has changed. Offices seem more liberal, inviting and fun. They are much more diligent in the design process than my earlier experience. It is still a mostly closed club. Whenever we get even a small commission in one of their territories we are attacked like a foreign virus [link]. Fundamentally, I have not found the key to the door and the game remains mostly rigged. Again, the condition - not the problem. Important work is won my inside trading with rare exception. A new way of building is required [link].
Wright, and many who do “organic” work are now becoming accepted in ways that would both scandalize and amuse him - and perhaps, please him from time to time.
The arguments about integrity would not take place in the same way, today, and this is both good and bad. Good because there is greater tolerance for viewpoints - bad because no one seems to care that much one way or another. It has become a non issue. There is less dogma - and almost no philosophy. One seems to have gone with the other. There is a great deal more good work and, still, few truly great pieces. “Star architects” come and go with the seasons and grandiose works replace pieces of serious quality. How will this be seen in 50 or a 100 years?
The dream-killers are much more sophisticated now. The society is many times more open - innovation is now sought. But, I wonder if this really represents a change. It seems that utilitarianism still rules. Businesses are innovative now because they have to survive in a competitive world just as they demanded conformity a generation ago to survive in a relatively non-competitive environment. Innovation, the new conformity. Is this truly different? Does this translate to authentic [link] art - or authentic anything?
In architecture, “innovation” too often means outrageous or merely flamboyant gestures. Postmodernism. Deconstructionism - ism this and ism that.
Buildings should not brag - they are the background music of life not the feature film.
None of these distinctions are easy to sort out and it may not even be necessary - or possible. Perhaps, it is the act of asking (and from time to time, re asking) the questions that is important. I started this piece, in 1998, at a low point in the business of our enterprise. This autobiographical part of my web site has been an exercise to “find” sense in this lifetime of seeking a new architecture and a way of working and a self aware life. Today [July 2005], as I am “finishing” this piece, the work is re surging. But surely, the ups and downs of the market should not bias the assessment of a lifetime strategy. Nevertheless, there seems to be two “voices” as I reread this - one, a bit pessimistic, the other more optimistic. This is consistent with where I was in 2000 - and, there are questions I would ask Wright, Bucky, Bruce Goff and Ayn Rand, given the chance [link]. I am more satisfied today, not because “business” is better - it is - but because I have progressed with the task of defining my philosophy, documenting it [link] and objectifying it more clearly in the work that we do have. Intellectually, I resist success or failure being defined by social acceptance and financial accomplishment. I think both are fine and nice to have - when legitimately earned - but not something to judge a life on or to seek as an ends in themselves [link].
Myself, I never grew up and I don’t intend to as I remain an unrepentant idealist [link] - some people never learn. I have yet to establish an independent practice of architecture, as I set out to do, but somehow in the wake of what we have done at MG Taylor, is a surprising amount of quality architecture - and now, Taylor Architecture is an active division of the corporation. I have expanded the model of architectural practice “back” to design/build and forward to design/build/use [link]. Major design firms and furniture firms are seeking us out because of this scope of process-product integration. Today, it is getting impossible to trace the influence that we have had throughout several once disconnected professions and “industries.” 
Both the drafting room’s and my “predictions” were true in different ways. I have not built nor practiced architecture as I intended - yet, my work is impacting many of the large commercial organizations and design firms - the descendants of those who predicted my failure. Despite what I said to Nick and Major Nichols [link], I ended up building a business - something I never started out to do and that Nick said was my major talent (although I still disagree with his assessment). The Major wanted me to run a school and a great deal of what I do today is educational and a large portion of our work is for educational institutions. Had I accepted Nick’s offer what would have been the consequence? had I accepted the Major’s, I would have faced life and work as a rich man and could have pursued my art as a hobby (as he put it). As it is, my first works are likely to be self financed - is this what the Major was trying to say? It is interesting to note that that the first building of my design to be build (unsupervised and altered) was for him. Would either of these two paths been better than the one I took? Or, would they have been a disaster - or, made no difference at all? Fred Stitt thinks my major contribution will be made with students of architecture and that may be true - I find myself drawn to SFIA more as time goes on. How was a young man to sort these things out? How would you have advised him? How would I, today, talking to a your idealist full of passion and some growing talent? How can we help young people with practical advice yet stay clear of their right to shape their own path?
Architecture still stands at the core of what I do even as I have changed my sense (Design, Build, Use) of architectural practice [link] and, consequently, work far differently - employing team design and collaboration - than I anticipated starting out.
Somehow a “systems integrator” [link] of a Design, Build, Use [link] ValueWeb [link] grew out of the boy who stood at the foot of the stair full of naivety and dreams. And, there is great congruence between the beginning and the “end.”
To hold
an unchanging youth
is to reach at the end
the vision with which one started

Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged


You have to stand someplace

You may never build

The PROMISE is yours to keep

It may come out different than you expect

Listen to everybody - follow your own dream

It is heuristic, stupid

Outlive the bastards

The pain does not matter - nor is it noble

Stick to the dream, the essence of the VISION, and let the specifics recreate [link] themselves

Don’t confuse philosophy with life


return to: Part 1 OF 2

Return to INDEX
Return to Part One 1956
Return To The Second Decade
GoTo: Apartment Tower Project
GoTo: iteration6

Matt Taylor
June 15, 1998
Monterey, California


SolutionBox voice of this document:


posted January 1, 1999

Revised: July 6, 2005
• • •
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note: this document is about 98% finished

Copyright® Matt Taylor 1979, 2000, 2001, 2005

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