The Time is Upon Us.

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

So we have begun yet another year. I find that I always become strangely nostalgic and emotional at this time of year. Before I had children, I would sit and watch a multitude of end of the year retrospectives. This always made me emotional. As I look back over the previous year, I can only come to one conclusion; 2011 was mean. It was a tough year. I watched as it sucked the life out of many my fellow architects and friends in the AEC profession. It has some nice moments to it, but mostly it was cruel and unforgiving at large. So let us punch Janus in the backwards looking face and move on towards the forthcoming twelve months.

My 2012 goals are simple and can be summed up in one word. EXPAND. That is all I want to do in this coming year. With one exception, I do not have any desire to expand my pant size. Otherwise, expansion is what 2012 is all about. This may not be in the sense that many of you are thinking, so let me break it down. What follows is my plan for expansion…..

Expand my KNOWLEDGE. This is not something that is new. An architect expands their knowledge with every project. I want to expand my knowledge beyond my projects. I want to gain knowledge in areas that are not commonplace in my everyday practice. But expand my knowledge into areas that I WANT to become my practice. This is a longer term goal, but one I feel I must put more effort towards in 2012. I have let it linger in my mind for too long. I also want to expand my knowledge of a few other things like photography, a second language and visual presentation. I will also travel a bit more for educational purposes.

Expand my REACH. I mean this in a physical and digital manner. I am not meaning my reach as measured by Klout or any other online algorithm of my “true reach”. I mean craft some real relationship in the digital world and move them into the physical world. Try to meet some of these mythical people behind the avatars and icons I interact with on a daily basis. Reach out to these people and make some real connections. Expand my network into something that is just a bit more tangible. This should be a bit more fulfilling and in the end, more meaningful.

Expand my INVOLVEMENT. This pertains to all areas of my career. I will be more involved with the organizations of which I am a member. Sure I pay my yearly dues and read the monthly newsletter, but now I will move to action. I am on several state committees and I am now in the second of my 5 year stint as an officer of my local AIA chapter. This year its treasurer; look out! So this effort started to gain some momentum in 2011, but 2012 will see more in this area. Also I will vow to be more involved in my digital community as well. Sure I post on this blog, but not enough. It will happen more. IT WILL! I must make the time for such things. Also I will share my knowledge (new or old) within the community.

Expand my PRACTICE. I want to expand my practice and my office. This may not mean actual growth in size, but in portfolio. I will expand our range of work this year. Be it in project type or scope or another new service altogether, the practice needs to expand. I will get my license in other states (via reciprocation) and get some work in other states. We will move into a new project type or move into a larger scope bracket. This is a change that could bring about all of the other goals on the list or be as a result of the others; One way or another.

Expand my SKILLS. Visual, technical and communicative, all of these have room to grow. I want to be able to communicate all of my ideas in better, more exciting ways. Whether they are architectural, personal, or just random, I want to be able to convey them in a plethora of ways. To have the ability to choose a new method for every idea would be great. This could be through photography, graphics, spoken or written word. This should grow in adjacent to the knowledge portion of my goals. I shall continue to increase my BIM knowledge. I will make the steps to move into a new level of not only proficiency, but extrapolation from the BIM models I am currently creating. I will move towards the utilization of that tool. This should aid in several to attain several other items on this list.

Expand my LIFE. This one is the least definable. But I want to live life a bit more in 2012. Get out from behind the screen. Travel, learn, photograph and absorb the world around me. Keep all things in balance as much as possible. I think this could possibly help all of the above goals at the same time. Also I want to be a bit healthier. Decrease my pant size; aim for the opposite of expanding there! I want to continue what started in mid 2011, before my knee surgery set me back to zero. Keep up my health and be active so that I can ensure many more long and interesting years ahead.

So that is my summary for the expansion of the coming year. I hope to accomplish all of my goals as stated when I look back a year from now. Time will tell. As will my efforts. I know that many of these are goals and not actual resolutions, but they are, at a minimum, a call to action. Bring on 2012.


This post is inspired by the blog series “Lets Blog Off”. This series provides a topic and bloggers each create a post that relates to the topic as they perceive it. All the blogger then post their blog on the same day and provide the links below to other participating bloggers. If you want to read other posts on the topic, please click a link below. This will update as the other bloggers post. So it may not be full now, but will increase as posts are made.