© Copyright 2021, Michael Lewarne. All Rights Reserved
“The importance of pedestrian public spaces cannot be measured, but most other important things in life cannot be measured either: Friendship, beauty, love and loyalty are examples.”
– Enrique Peñalosa
As Enrique Peñalosa observed, many of the things we value, friendship, beauty, love, loyalty, are unable to be measured. What we value in architectural practice is equally unmeasurable. We can’t measure the joy it brings us or the skills we utilise in practice. We can instead build better strategies, develop existing and learn new skills and design a better architecture practice. One that brings unmeasurable joy.
I see the world differently, from a parallax viewpoint. I worked in architecture for over 25 years, both as employee and 14 years in my own practice. I understand architectural practice from the inside out. Now I’m working from the outside in, utilising my intrinsic architectural skillset and years of dedicated learning about and application of human skills, such as leadership and empathy.
So what experience do I have?
[As apposed to what experiences I’ve had, which frankly is far more important.]
Please read on…
The dry bit…
I graduated in Architecture at the University of Sydney long ago and Industrial Design at the University of NSW, almost a decade after. I’ve undertaken a variety of shorter courses including Seth Godin’s altMBA, where I now coach. I’ve taught variously in the Architecture Faculties at UTS, UNSW and USyd.
My first significant architectural adventure was at Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects where I worked for 9 years. Following, I co-founded Redshift Architecture & Art where I remained for 14 years until taking this stroll out on the edge of architecture with unmeasured.
As a committee member of the Association of Consulting Architects (NSW/ACT), I facilitate the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum and support the architectural profession in whatever way I’m able.
I graduated university in 1994 into a recession. Rather than denting the ego knocking on doors, tracking down architectural work, I instead spent my time learning and making stuff. I explored what I might be able to do to develop my skills and indulged my curious mind. I studied small business, learnt to make jewellery, built architectural models professionally, was an assistant manager at a fine wine shop and joined an artist studio where I started to make art. I was also lucky to find an opportunity to work part time with a brilliant sole partitioner, keeping my architectural skills sharp and continuing my architectural learning in the process. What these diversions did was to allow me to see the world from outside the professional silo, from a different perspective, revealing new insights, and helping me build new and different skills. It was invaluable and to this day effects and infects my work.
A philosophy of sorts…
Curiosity has served me well, drawing me into the pursuit of greater insight, service and opportunity beyond architectural practice, even whilst embedded. The additional study I’ve done gave me breadth. Industrial design broadened my knowledge of design, materials, technology and industry. Seth Godin’s altMBA was about learning new skills and just as importantly to facilitate escape from the architectural silo and its particular way of thinking.
In all I do, I’m unceasingly seeking to expand the nature and boundaries of our lives & work, in a style that is creative, critical, constructive and contributes to the way we navigate the challenges of the world.