HAPPY NEW YEAR

It’s the new year! Time to reflect on the past twelve months and prepare for the twelve to come. I thought I’d start by looking at my 2013 To Do list. What were my priorities then and how have priorities developed now?

GET A FULL TIME JOB
After a difficult choice between a small boutique residential firm and an international commercial firm, I successfully passed a three month probation period to secure a permanent position as a graduate at the latter. Over the past twelve months there have been times (usually during or after conversation with contemporaries who are gaining different experience at smaller firms) when I questioned my choice. I don’t see this questioning as a negative, rather a positive awareness in what I am doing with my days and consequently my career. Each time, I am assured that I have made the right choice for me. For where I want to be later in my career and the experience that I need to get there.

LEARN SPANISH AND IMPROVE FRENCH
At primary school we studied basic French for a few terms and while at university I attempted to pick up where adolescent me left. The interest in Spanish was inspired by an intended trip to South America (I’ll expand on this below). A language that I had not included in this list was Revit. While unfortunately I have not mastered the Spanish or French tongue I can say that I am now competent in the language of Revit. From early fears of breaking the Building Information Model (shortened to BIM never BIM model) just by opening it, I am now confident in producing sketch documentation packages and finally understand what the techies are talking about on the BIM forum. Kinda.

IMPROVE GUITAR CHORDS AND LEARN AN ENTIRE SONG ON THE UKELELE
Another intent to revive a skill from the past and expand on one similar. So I got as far as buying a new fender acoustic and hardwood ukelele but they gave way to my dancing shoes. A friend has been going on about Swing Dancing for a number of years now and one fateful Sunday evening I went along to a social Swing’n’Soul at the Belgian Beer Cafe. It was love at first sight. From that week, I’ve been attending classes once a week and almost every Sunday social. I might even start going to Friday nights at the Mustang too. My dear friend has been so patient with my initial reluctance. Now I feel I must come off as a Swing Dance missionary the way I bang on about how wonderful it is. I guess I did find my beat. Haven’t given up on the guitar and ukelele yet though.

TRAIN FOR ROTTO SWIM
Who knew you need a team of four AND your own boat complete with support crew?! I’ll try to be better prepared next year. For now I’m content with my new surfing hobby. Summer is here and the waves have tamed so my new goal is to swap my 7 foot foamie for so something fibreglass by winter. If not a proper board then perhaps a mini mal. Even if I can’t manage to hang ten or even two I love splashing about in that wonderous blue ocean and feeling alive.

PLAN SOUTH AMERICA DESIGN BUILD TRIP
Before and after graduation really are two different lives. Before graduation I feared that I would be itching to get back on the road/in the air in search of new life lessons. Now, 15 months into my first graduate position, I feel that there is still so much to learn staying put where I am. Especially being on one of the biggest projects in Australia today, or dare I say to date! I think this sort of situation calls for a reassessment and reshuffle of plans. Let’s say South America 2015. Perhaps the World Cup frenzy will have died down by then…or new issues may have developed…

So that was what I set out to do and what I actually did. There were a few things not on the list that I sort of fell into without protest:

BRIGHT LIGHTS SMALL CITY
A commercial exhibition of works by young Perth artists. Somehow I managed to exhibit a set of three ink on paper illustrations.

GO AWAY COME BACK
An architecture, travel and research exhibition at the historic Moores gallery in Fremantle. This project allowed challenging discourse with contemporaries whom I hold in high esteem and the opportunity to experiment for the first time with stop motion film making. I was very happy with the outcome.

MERGE COMMUNICATIONS
When I commit to something I do so whole heartedly. My thoughts on architecture extend beyond my work desk and into the community. Somehow, with a changing of guards at Merge (the Australian Institute of Architect’s network for emerging architects), I find myself in the role of communications. This means ensuring all Merge news and activity makes its way to relevant audiences and beyond. After all, architecture exists all around us. It has no limits.

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE
I received the honour of addressing the audience at last year’s Duke of Edinburgh Award Ceremony at Government. How many can say they were introduced by the Chairman of the board or acknowledged by the Governor General of Western Australia. Nice guys.

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH GOLD AWARD PANEL
The aforementioned speech lead to an invitation to join the newly formed Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Panel for Western Australia. It is another honour to be offered the opportunity to work with inspirational go getters out of my immediate profession.

So 2014, here goes:

CHIP AWAY AT MY LOG BOOK/WORK TOWARDS ARCHITECTS REGISTRATION
IMPROVE REVIT
LEARN SPANISH AND IMPROVE FRENCH
ADVANCE TO LEVEL THREE IN SWING DANCING/MASTER THE SHIM SHAM/LEARN AIR STEPS
IMPROVE GUITAR CHORDS AND LEARN AN ENTIRE SONG ON THE UKELELE
BECOME A BETTER (PROPER) SURFER
TRAIN FOR ROTTO SWIM
PLAN SOUTH AMERICA DESIGN BUILD TRIP
FULFIL MERGE COMMUNICATIONS ROLE
NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE CONFERENCE 2014 ‘MAKING’ (FRINGE COMMITTEE)

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