The Gestalt of Design

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    The Times They are A'changin

    By victoriapham
    May 12, '14 3:58 AM EST

    I like books. I read to know things, know people, places. For me, I have to empathize to create, be inspired, and to dig into my thoughts.

    So I recently finished a side reading of mine: The Master Builders by Peter Blake. To backtrack a bit, I took an amazing course on everything Frank Lloyd Wright at my university and as part of the class, did some research. While I used this book for the research, I didn't have quite the time to actually sit down and read it, so I waited until I could.

    For those who do not know, The Master Builders is a three part story in which late architect and editor Peter Blake gives the audience his condensed biographies of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright, all respectively a master in Form, in Structure, and in Space. In short, Blake did a great job. I loved it and read it within two days. Couldn't let go of the darn thing it was that satisfying (which is what books are supposed to be!).

    Going off of what I read, I found it very... frustrating to hear how these architects, as well as many other handfuls of that time, seemed to become what they were in a quick amount of time. An easy example is FLW. He built his famous Oak Park Studio/his home when he was 22. His success only grew from there (ignoring how his social life affected his professional life, if we could separate them).

    Understandably, I and probably a few other handful of my peers are in no way, shape, or form as ingenious as these given three, as Blake illustrated, however, it is awfully interesting how much we have to do post-grad in this day and age. (Note: FLW didn't get his Bachelor's, and Mies didn't get his high school degree, let alone a college degree.)

    I don't know if it is me, but it feels as if we take all this time to survive schooling, to prove ourselves so that we can be licensed, and then worrying if we can step up to the plate when we do get it. All these tests and hours and lack of sleep and hooplas. It can be frustrating.

    But at the same time, I respect how far we have come. Le Corbusier, Mies, and FLW had their place in their time, and now, we are starting to make way for ours and the future. The new innovations that we constantly come up with, our amazing knack for adapting to change, and even the way we utilize technology to streamline our progress, projects, or performance. A bit obvious, but it has been a long way since the late '20s!


    I am a big Bob Dylan fan (I apologize in advance if he keeps on coming up). Times are a'changin and it is a mix of love and hate. This is all the ebb and flow of life in respect to time.

    Four years ago I walked into the RISD Bookstore and found this gem:

    Here I am wondering if I did okay, you know? Did I change gears when the recession happened? Am I any more creative? Did I flow with the currents, where I might hit barriers but feeling confident enough to carry on? Will I be able to brace the next four years of my life, and more importantly, will I have learned from my mistake so that the rest of my life does become the best of my life?

    It's going to take a while to find the answers to everything, understanding that being the best is not everything, and knowing that all will straightens itself out in due time.

    So maybe I am not FLW. I am no one but myself, yet, as Lord Alfred Tennyson states in him poem Ulysses, I am also "part of all that I have met." ■


    • Olaf Design Ninja_

      Nice post and sounds like a great read. I would like it but cannot and a comment is more legit. Last Friday I met my buddy who is a professional actor/comedian with a day job that is related. Ended up talking about Rob Hubard's bio, if you want to pale in comparison.... at Some point I said -"I am over learning new things, just going to start saying things." He double checked how old I was - 35. You have plenty of time.

      May 12, 14 8:35 pm

      I definitely understand where you are getting at, since 20s is a young age. Sometimes I just worry about everything when I really shouldn't, you know? In the general scheme of life, we all are constantly learning and growing, no matter how much we wish sometimes to stop. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      May 13, 14 5:22 pm

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I am a current undergraduate student in the field of Architecture and Design. I collect quotes, explore images, and write about all the good things that I like. Here is where I bridge them all together.

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