Rebecca Johnson, Bronze Medalist (2014)

Experience and Architecture

rebeccaExperience is exposure to life.  It is the sum of all the moments from which we learn and draw meaning.  We are influenced by the people around us, by context, by history and, perhaps most importantly, by our own choices.   For the aspiring architect, every study of precedent, every experimental iteration, and every challenging critique is an opportunity to gain experience.  It is through this process – through trial and error, success and failure – that we gain wisdom.

Wisdom derived from experience is a hard-won possession.  Only through extensive and varied participation in the realm of architecture can a designer obtain a complete perspective on all that the profession entails.  The experience gained is well worth the effort: the more the architect learns, the better he or she can serve others.  Experience grants the architect an instinct towards what is proper, successful, right, or beautiful.  It grants a fullness to his or her thinking, allowing the architect to better understand and address the variety of problems he or she may encounter.

Every choice and every action both derives from and contributes to one’s experience.  There is no real division between where schooling ends and experience begins; the experiences gathered from architecture school are merely the first steps in a lifelong education.  As I reflect on all that my time at Judson University has taught me, I am grateful for each opportunity I have had to learn, both about architecture and about myself.  I look forward with excitement to the ways in these lessons will continue to inspire my architectural experience.


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