I think we have all had that period of time, that stage in our life, in which we want to do everything and even think we can do everything, especially when we just graduated… I know that I came to feel that way. It is a stage of overflowing emotions that cloud our sight and mind and do not let us see or think clearly.

Time has helped me to realize that the secret of success of an architect and any professional in general is to become specific. It is often said that the best way to approach perfection, is through practice, the more times we do something, the better next time it turns out.

That is what means success through specificity. To the extent that we acquire professional experience, carrying out projects of the same type, we perfect ourselves in that area, which means that every time we will create better housing,

or museums,

or parks,

and so on.

We must find our place in the profession, that place we like, in which we feel more comfortable, and that brings out the best of us as creative people. That is the ideal way to achieve the creation of better cities, designed by experts rather than by enthusiasts’ architects and planners.

Do not misunderstand me, enthusiasm is good, very good actually, but it must be accompanied by specific knowledge of specific subjects.

I have always thought that the most outstanding architects among the rest are those who have that extra capacity to get into the minds of the clients and to decipher their hidden desires and needs. However, in order to be the best, we should not just conform with this, not only do we have to get into the minds of our clients, we must also be able to get into our own mind; to discover what we love and devote ourselves in an endless search of the object of our passion; and do this, of course, without being misled by agents or external needs. I am referring to this, because there are many times when our mind plays us tricks and if we are not careful, we could end up dedicating ourselves to an area that is perhaps the most lucrative, or which give us recognition, but not necessarily the one we are passionate about.

We will always be better doing what makes us happy, what does more for us as professional and people. These projects done with pleasure are the ones most remembered over time, which end up placed first in our portfolios and the ones we refer when we are asked about what we do.

I know that the economic crisis has led us to distance ourselves from specificity and we have started to accept almost any project that comes our way or fall into our hands. It is logical; in difficult times, we must solve on the spot and reinvent ourselves to survive. But the economic crisis will not last forever; eventually, things will get better, and then is when we shall remember what we must do to excel.

Let us be specific…

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