I was recently lucky enough to attend a lecture by Santiago Calatrava at Georgia Tech. Calatrava went through his many different types of building all the while expressing how the art of this profession is the "art of building" . Every project started out with a picture of a sketch or watercolor he'd done for the project and I was lucky enough to see these in person in the Calatrava exhibit. As the lecture continue he explaining his idea of a "poetic idea" and how every project needs this. This idea is the force in which you express in a simple matter, Calatrava stated. Its about taking this structure (bridges and transportation hubs) and reaching the masses with this poetic idea and thus giving the right the right sense of diginty. Both the lecture and the exhibit reminded me about that passion and beauty that we sometimes forget in our day to day dealings with clients and contractors. An interesting fact about Calatrava, he doesn't like driving and in fact doesn't even have a driver's license.
For the past two years I have been working with ACE Atlanta to mentor high school students interested in Architecture, Construction & Engineering. Our group is unique to all the other ACE affiliates in that we are a "Skilled Trades" class working with Habitat for Humanity. The students spent the first part of the semester studying Habitat homes and their construction process. Their project this year is to design a shed for Habitat to offer as an option to new homeowners. They are now working on building the shed using a variety of construction tools from chop saws to the new palm nailers shown below.