August 14, 2020

Kanye West at Graduate School of Design, Harvard University (photo by Virgil Abloh, West’s style advisor, @virgilabloh, edited by Anthony Poon)

Startling the 2013 architecture students at Harvard University, musician Kanye West showed up and riffed on Oprah Winfrey, “utopia,” and “self-realization.” Young ears perked up when Mr. West proclaimed, “. . . everything needs to actually be architected.”

List of Verbs (from eslgrammar.org/list-of-verbs)

Traditionally, the word “architect” is not used as a verb. But “Let’s architect this” has become both commonplace and trite in commercial jargon. Similarly, “architect” as a noun has been appropriated and misused outside the venue of state licensure, such as in technology and the “software architect” or in government and the “architect of economic reform.” (Back to musicians, Dr. Dre does not have a doctorate in medicine, and Queen Latifah is not of royal lineage.)

Regardless, if we want to “architect” our projects, goals, and total existence, let’s have some fun and view the letters of A-R-C-H-I-T-E-C-T-U-R-E as acts of engagement.

Studies for the American University in Cairo (Anthony Poon with HHPA, Sasaki Associates and Abdel-Halim CDC)

Analyze your site. Study your sit(e)-uation. Evaluate your circumstances.

Respond and take a position. “Compare and contrast,” as your high school English teacher requested.

Material studies at Poon Design (photo by Anthony Poon)

Craft your options. Edit, edit and edit—and form a hierarchy of ideas.

Sharpen your attitude. Refine your judgments.

John Lennon (photo by Fleur)

John Lennon stated, “Imagine all the people living life in peace . . . Imagine all the people sharing all the world.”

It’s about trials and tribulations, examination and analysis, and successes and failures.

Take big risks and reach as high as you can.

Colored glass shelf on anodized aluminum bracket system set in ledge-cut limestone at the Beverly Hills Visitor Center, by Poon Design (photo by Poon Design)

Remember the human hand and the artistically created, instead of the machine-made and mass-produced.

Style, shape, and personalize into bespoken results

(photo by Lacie Slezak)

Put it altogether—fuse and coalesce.

Buddhist Temple, Natural Bridge, Virginia, by Poon Design (photo by Anthony Poon)

Let it all season. Let the wine age. Have patina and flavor.

Relish the outcome, and be prepared to start again.

© Poon Design Inc.