last year, i applied and was accepted to uli’s young leader group mentorship program with close to zero involvement in the young leaders group hoping to learn a difference facet of the industry— the development side.
little did i know, one year later i’d be literally immersed in the organization and contemplating a possible career redirect.
applications for the 2013 year are up and as i was reviewing my app from last year and also the placemaking initiative council app that i applied and was accepted to in the middle of this year, it was interesting to see the evolution of my direction.
i read an article by the minimalists about the importance of direction sometimes versus goals and that once you reached the surface, or the base of yourself that a direction was more important than a target. that allowing yourself to sometimes be a student of the process was a better track. i believe it. it has resonance with everything i believe in about God’s plan and not ourselves being able to guarantee the results. one interesting thing i learned from the sermon was the analysis of the phrase in the “Our Father . . ” that says “give us this day our daily bread.” notice it doesn’t say weekly, month, or any further than the end of one day. so that we rely on Him each day.
so with that, i guess i don’t have an end goal. what i want is to the ability to learn and adjust my path accordingly in the event that i find something that really resonates in my bones but know that i will take the things i choose to take on with complete and sheer love for the craft … nothing else.
a verse i came across recently said, “for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole word and forfeits his soul?” (matthew 16:26) precisely my view on doing things for anything other than craft and imparting it simply as a labor of love for others.
anyway, i’m working on my bio and cover letter to reflect the stage in life that i’m in and what i hope to speak to is the continuation of my process to have my work make a positive impact in the quality of the built environment. here’s my draft:
to whom it may concern:
my first application for this mentorship program stemmed from the intrinsic desire to be part of the entire building cycle from development through construction to redevelopment and my hope was to cultivate information from other aspects of the building cycle and inform how i proceed as an architect, and to facilitate a more collaborative process with other members in the industry.
as i have proceeded through this program and others like the associate american institute of architects program and involvement in the international interior design association, i felt that more responsibility should be demanded of architecture than simply function and a stunning aesthetic and its power lay in the ability to create experiences in the built environment. that as louis kahn put it, architecture is a service profession.
a theme in a multitude of discussions lately has been to define community in the context of public space. my thought is that it isn’t constrained simply to physical proximity and i always bring it back to my experience in dolores park in san francisco as quite possibly the largest surrounding of strangers and yet the most commune i’ve felt with others in a public space because of the mutual respect for people’s existence. that is one of the experiences that has catapulted my passion for placemaking.
when the opportunity arose to join the ULI placemaking initiative council, i seized it and was awarded the position as the young leader representative because i too believe that placemaking is key to the well-being of the community at any socio-economic level.
my involvement in the mentorship program and the placemaking council has inspired a strong interest and possible career shift into urban planning, placemaking, and public interest design.
as a candidate for this program, i’d like to continue to infuse my own passion and insatiable curiosity into making this experience a positive one if given the opportunity to participate. my exposure to the program and insight i’ve gained from my involvement in ULI can be a valuable asset in the peer to peer exchange in a group setting. feel free to contaft me at … (insert contact information here).
thank you for your consideration.