ArchiTalks #29: Homecoming

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series (led by Bob Borson of Life of an Architect ) where a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. This month’s theme of "Looking Back / Homecoming" is brought you by our fearless leader himself, Bob Borson. A lot of other talented writers who also are architects are listed below this blog post. We strongly encourage you to visit the other blogs that are a part of this themed blog roll.

Homecoming, in 3 parts.

Unless it's at the very end of something, like somebody's life, or before something is seriously no more, IMO homecoming is overrated. That's not to say I don't appreciate them, or that I haven't had any of my own, but I look at my life and can estimate I've lived about 1/3 of it now and think I'm probably being way too dramatic to envelop myself in my homecomings. This is probably why "Looking Back," is a better way to put things. In any case, I've had some homecomings as I look back. 

Part 1: I've already had an (my) architectural homecoming. If you've kept up with my blog posts and know a little bit of my background, you know that I've already had an architectural homecoming. Long story short, I Yellow Page (what's that?) cold-called several architects in my town while in high school and the person that invited me to come observe and learn is the same guy that I'm working with now, and for the past 5 years or so. He's signed off on the majority of my IDP (now known as AXP) hours for experience development and has served as a mentor in areas even outside of architecture. While it was weird and to come back as an architectural adult and work with him, he extended the invite and I'm glad I did it. It's been sort of an unconventional path, but I've been able to reap the benefits as well. 

Part 2: Korea. I perhaps even bigger homecoming was going to live and work in Korea after graduating from college. As a Korean American, I immigrated with my parents to the states in 1988. Up until this point, I had never gone back to Korea to actually live there, though I had visited very briefly a few times for funerals, family gatherings, and what not. I had an opportunity after my last year in architecture school to go back to Korea and work for an architect who had some Americans on his staff. It was an amazing experience and opportunity for me to live in the country I was born in, and also learn a lot about the profession of architecture and approach to design.  

Part 3: Giving back. I look forward to another architectural homecoming of sorts, if and when I am ever to be called back to my alma mater to teach. I have such wonderful memories from architecture school and have many professors to thank for my time there and giving me the strength to push forward and graduate on time ("on time" being 5 years since it's a 5 year program). Almost 10 full years into the profession since graduating from college, I'm very often I find myself saying, 'that would make a great architecture studio project.' In fact, I've gone so far as to even start writing class syllabuses for several of these projects. 

In conclusion, I've done it again. I started out by saying 'homecomings' and 'looking back' is overrated, and yet somehow manage to write about it in 3 parts (2, since the 3rd was more about a future homecoming?). As much as I appreciate the past (architectural history is damn important) and my own past for that matter (not as important), I look forward to the future much more so. Future projects, future opportunities, future clients, and future relationships. Now go check out the other blogs below.


Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Coming home as an architect

Jane Vorbrodt - Kuno Architecture (@janevorbrodt)
Looking Back Through the Pages

Matthew Stanfield - FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
Coming Home to Architecture

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
looking back i wonder

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
9-11 -- A Look Back

Michael Riscica AIA - Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Homecoming & Looking Back

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Letter to a Younger Me

Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Is It a Homecoming If You Never Left?

Mark Stephens - Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Homecoming