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Fresh water fish

For reasons that have yet to be revealed, earlier this year I was invited to a design conference in Chicago. +/- 25 Architects from the US and Canada were in attendance.

The invitation to this came as a total surprise, seemingly out of nowhere, and the timing could not have been better. It was great to be around design professionals talking about creating architecture and the design of things. Very inspiring at a time when meeting in person was, risky.

One evening, five us gathered over drinks at the hotel rooftop bar swapping experiences.

At that moment I was frustrated, consulting with a large architectural firm in Portland OR, trying to understand their process. Which seemed to toggle between what they did on the last project and pictures they could find online or in magazines to copy.

Yep, copy…clearly not understanding the difference between copying and stealing…if you know the difference, then you know.

I was raised as a young architect to create and invent…not copy.

Explaining this to the group I got the usual and predictable, have you tried this? That? You know, the usual advice. I had made a strong connection with a young, African American woman that spoke in a seductive Cajun / Creole accent. She had amazing insight and a unique point of view.

She listened intensely as I ranted about my current situation and simply said.

"Baby, you a freshwater fish in a saltwater pond…they don’t see you, and they never will.”

She was spot on.

Thank you for the perspective…moving on…to create.


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