Uniqueness is a word we have mixed feelings about, us architects.
Who wouldn’t want to be known as a unique architect? And yet, how scared we are of being labelled as weird, funny or rash!!
We carry this burden(the opinion of other architects usually), on our shoulders, starting as early as our college years. There is the peer pressure to be a part of a group, with affiliations to a brand (famous architect) or a style (the new modern, etc.) We often suffer under the pressure of not having a different, non- conformist opinion.
Why is it important to us, the others’ approval?
Because we judge each other. Facing a jury is a part of our academic process. People, who seemingly know better than us, judge us. We are expected to look original even while we are guided to fall in line with the acknowledged and accepted ways of the masters.We look good, at best, when we look like someone else.
We are also constantly searching, seeking both within ourselves and in the world for the original.
The young architect waits for the day when he will be accepted, acknowledged for his uniqueness. He works under the influence of the known, waiting to discover the unknown.
Does his passion wear off ? Will he sustain his zeal for originality? Will it continue to be a part of his aspiration?
What is it about being unique anyway? Is it an ego trip? Does one really need to break away from the proven path, will it fulfil a higher cause or is it simply a selfish pursuit, a glory for oneself?
Uniqueness, for me, is an expression of truth. It is a statement of our beliefs, unwavering, unspoilt by influences. As we grow in our profession we develop an understanding, we gain perspective and we express ourselves. The courage to do so while keeping the humility to accept our limitations defines us.
We then realise that true creativity, a quest for uniqueness and our search for the original in us is a transformation of the knowledge of our forefathers, finding a new spring.
It is truly the only way to be. To be alert, to be honest to oneself and strive to reach a value,one of integrity.
by Samarendra M.Ramachandra
Featured image: Cat in a hat quotes ft. Dr.Seusss