The Start of a Journey: Just Another Architecture Blog

'The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.'
Lao Tzu


First of all, I love architecture - a lot. I can't remember a time when I wasn't excited to be designing, sketching, or building a model for a project - dreaming of all the possible forms it could take.

There are certain cliches in the youth of an architect. And yes, I did (and still do) obsess over Legos, but that's for another time. The vast majority of the designers I've known in my life share similar stories of what brought them to architecture. Whether it was the invisible thread between a wide variety of interests (math, art, drawing) or the mystique of glamorous houses in movies and magazines, something unspoken pulled them towards the profession. But for me, I'm drawn (no pun intended) to architecture because it simply challenges me in all the best ways possible.

For most of us, we experience a rude awakening on the first day of college studio. Architecture is not for the faint of heart. It'll kick you in the ass from time to time to make sure you're paying attention and tease you incessantly when you can't solve a design problem at 4 in the morning. It's not that anyone goes into architecture and imagines, 'Oh, this will be a piece of cake!', but I also don't think anyone says to themselves, 'I think I'll pick a major where all I do is sleep (sometimes), go to studio, eat, return to studio, and repeat."

There's a moment when you have to ask yourself if you can handle the pressure. Studio creates an environment in which most will fall and only a few will thrive. I always enjoyed the studio experience though because it allowed me such freedom to explore and create. My personality immediately gravitated towards the opportunity to prove myself in the design gauntlet, and I accepted the challenge.

I didn't always have the most positive critique sessions (no one does), but for the times when everything clicked into place - every drawing was crisp, each model was evocative, and my words resonated with the jury, I was hooked. I had found the profession I would dedicate myself to from that point forward.


For some time now, I've wanted something that I can completely call my own. Don't worry though - this isn't a 'poor me' type of sob story. I have a wonderful life with my amazing, beautiful wife Jessica and our crazy, lovable animals. Dexter - the best goldendoodle in the history of mankind, Morpheus - the black cat who always answers when you call his name, and Maya - the white and gray cat who would rather that you leave her alone than even bare the thought of you touching her. That part of my life is spectacular.

I'm looking for an outlet, a way to share my thoughts on what it means to be an architect today. Our world is changing at a staggering pace that puts into question the architect's role in it all. New technology, experiences, communication, social norms, and digital advancements have placed a new burden on the architect of today that was non-existent 10 or even 5 years ago. In the end, what can the architect do to adapt and evolve? There is a so much to discuss, unpack, and uncover.

You should know that I don't want to preach about the career I've chosen. I just want to write about the fantastic journey, the cool things I've learned and the new paths I long to explore. This blog is an expression of my life in design.

If you're reading this, we're both at the starting line of a new journey. I hope you'll join me for the ride.

Let's get started.

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CareerMichael LaValley