Wednesday, April 27, 2011

just build it

I recently attended an awards ceremony for the AIA high school design contest. Our niece, Natascha, won honorable mention, #5 out of 93 entries, and the only girl in the finalists. We are of course very proud of her!

As I people-watched, some thoughts came to mind:

These are parents who really push their kids.

These are kids who do not spend a lot of time in front of the TV or video games or Facebook.

These kids are using their minds far past the level of their high school classroom.

One of my favorite parts of the evening was listening to the speaker, John Moores, architect at Gensler, who told a story about how he became an architect.

His family relocated and he had to transfer schools in the middle of the 7th grade. He took what classes were available and ended up in Home EC class, sewing. His mother was a 'sewer' so he knew the territory.

After completing the assigned pillow, he had time to spare and decided to come up with his own design. He started with the trapezoid shape and ended up with a quilt - justifying the 'unmanly' endeavor by thinking of it as a construction project.

Just like in building, you cut the pieces, you put the pieces together, you get to use a machine (!), and with an end product in mind you work toward that goal. His Home EC teacher recognized his talent and asked him if he had ever thought of architecture.

I spoke to Mr. Moores after the ceremony, told him I loved his quilt story, having made quilts myself and being married to a builder, so I could relate. I asked him if he still had the quilt and he said yes!

We are all working on something, it might be a quilt or a building, a relationship, career, or a family. Whether it starts with an idea or a sketch or a twinkle in your eye, you gather what you need and build on it until reaching the goal in mind.

My second favorite part of the evening was when walking out, looking at the twinkling Atlanta skyline, grandson Kyle said, "I think I could do that!"

So what is it that you have always wanted to do? Just build it!


Gypsy Quilter said...

What a wonderful achievement for your Natascha! Tell her I'm proud of her too, being a quilter and having a dad who was a designer/builder. Big congratulations are in order.

Linda_J said...

Woohoo on both counts.

What fanastic stories---Home Ec to architect! And Kyle can do anything he wants---he would do well to take after either you or Buddy.