- Spend the right amount of time in studio. I've realized the risk of not putting enough time in studio, but I'm overcompensating, spending all my surplus time in studio. Studio becomes home, the socialization place, rather than the working place. 'Come in, work, leave' is the way it needs to go. My productivity slid last semester and went straight to hell this semester.
- Make models. My craft is good, I'm most intuitive working with physical models, and it ultimately moves me to where I need to be. People relate to reality much more intuitively. I need to be making models from the beginning through the end. Model making as a methodology.
- Abandon Revit. It's a great production tool and is one of the industry standards, but its a production tool, not a design tool. You try to design a shark, you end up with a refrigerator. It has its uses, but not in the first 2/3rds of the semester.
- Embrace Rhino. This is the software I should be blazing fast with by now, a software flexible enough and graphically sophisticated enough to design.
- Embrace Everything. Studio is the time to learn all new software, techniques, methods, ideas. Forget your snobby elitism about bullshit formalism. Grasshopper can do more than just make cool looking objects.
- Find your passion. Studio instructors don't really care about what position you take architecturally as long as you can defend it and are passionate about it, because in the real world, passions really do take you where you want to be. 2012 might not bring the end of the world, but I'm not as hopeful for 2112. There's no time to not do what you care about the most.
- Exercise. 2012 is feeling like the year my metabolism seriously turns the corner. I need to bring back walking, eating healthier, socializing, and sleeping.
- Take action early. This was one of the years I was most disappointed in myself. I let myself down in studio (see above), I let the student body down in my office in the graduate architecture council, and I failed so secure the international internship I'd sought. All of these failures are attributable primarily to my failure to make a plan early and act early.
I can do better than 2011.
But there were bright spots too in 2011, as well as other key moments in my life.
- Two consecutive semesters without Saori, which is like living without sunlight, taught me how to live with myself again, and moreover, how to be happy with myself, how to go out with friends, how to be sociable. Made a lot of friends.
- I helped mom and Tay move out of Phoenix and road tripped with Tay and Saori and Suki from Phoenix, Arizona to Bloomington, Indiana.
- I traveled to amazing new destinations including New Orleans, Shanghai, Helsinki, Aland, Edinburgh, Orlando, and three separate trips to London (new years 2011, summer, new years 2012).
- I had a great spring studio with a very rigorous professor, who was very difficult to work with, but who pushed me to do a lot of good work and I finished with a really great project.
- Despite living as frugally as possible (with the notable exception of travels, see above), I ended up spending everything I'd saved for college during my three years of working. The bright spot is that I'm actually feeling better about the future since I've worked out a way to survive, pay bills, and tuition without increasing my student loans. No, it doesn't involve selling vital organs, bodily fluids, or standing on corners downtown.
- I learned a new craft of bookmaking. Really enjoyed it and it feels like it will bring me great rewards as I develop this skill and combine it with my love of writing and design.
- 2011 was really the year of family- I spent every holiday with local and extended family, and summer helping family, and winter with both sides of the family.
- I tried hot yoga. It was ok but I got dizzy and had to sit down for awhile.
- Fundamentally, I'm still doing what I set out to do- I'm going to architecture school in one of the top schools in the country, I'm making the grades, and finding time to travel while living in a place almost to myself. If I were Christian, I would say that I was exceptionally blessed- my intention matches my reality, which is a lot more than can be said for the vast majority of mankind.