Greetings, Members of AIA Baltimore!
I’ve been watching a bit of the Olympics coverage over the past two weeks and have been, as always, impressed by the commitment, stamina, and enthusiasm of the athletes. The sheer amount of time and energy that they put into perfecting their performance is inspiring, just not enough to get myself off the couch. Not only are the events themselves physically and mentally challenging (but over in sometimes seconds), but they are the culmination of years of hard work and training long before that.
And while watching many of the events, like gymnastics, diving, and swimming, it’s the commentators’ focus on the ending of the competition that interests me. Following two minutes on the uneven bars, did they stick the landing? After a dive including multiple flips, and twists, did they enter the water without a splash? We all know that it’s everything leading up to that final moment that’s really important, but it’s the last that leaves the final impression.
As architects and designers, we too, do a lot that leads up to that final constructed building or plaza or bridge, but it’s the final result on which we’re judged. It’s the training, the collaboration, the review of precedents, the study of details and materials and massing and light and shadow and on and on, that all inform that built work. But none of that matters if the end result isn’t what our clients, the public, and our own sense of satisfaction deem worthy. This is what drives us as architects and designers.
Stick the landing!
Scott A. McGovern, AIA – 2021 President – AIA Baltimore