The State of the World - For Real This Time
Working in groups, on projects, in college, sucks. This is my fifth year of higher education, so I have had this experience a lot. It's next to impossible to coordinate 5 young adults with jobs and full-time class schedules and social lives and try and get them all to make space in their schedules to sit down together and fight about how the project should be. Ok, usually it's not arguing. Usually one or two people take the lead, dictate how the project will go, who should do what, and the rest of the group are too complacent about the assignment in the first place they're just glad to have someone else doing the thinking for them. Usually that leader person is me, and usually because it's so hard to get people together, I pick up the slack and just do a lot of it myself. This time, however, I was lucky enough to have an awesome group who were easy to meet with almost every week and who took the initiative and who all genuinely cared about the outcome of the project. So in short, this group project was the best I've done. However, that's besides the point I think you're looking for.
The project itself. I think it's important to get us into the mindset of giving back. It's definitely important to get us thinking about what's going on in the world. Especially in a field like architecture it's important because it is a field that can be used for good or for evil. A lot of people might be going into this field to build mansions and design megamalls and sell their skills to the highest bidder, all morals aside. It's so important to learn about the state of the world so that we can see that changes need to be made. We can grow up and build buildings for good, refugee camps, low income, build for morally responsible companies that will give back to society. If we grow up in a bubble, however, thinking only about money and prestige, the minds of these architects can be used to furthur the exploitation of the environment and people of the world. I learned a lot from these presentations and my eyes were opened to things that I might not have thought about, especially if all we ever talked about was the different types of columns used in classic palaces. I am a firm believer that all the situations of the world are connected, that even if you don't involve yourself directly in a solution, the mere habit of keeping your eyes open to those sorts of things can help you to think about the situations you are involved in. A moral and helpful mind is a powerful thing to have, and instilling that in us at this crucial time in our career development can help to start us down the right path. It can also weed out those people who might be getting into the field for -- what I consider to be -- the wrong reasons.