I tried a small experiment the other day. I was waiting for a friend of mine to meet me up to grab some grub, and I decided to swing by Border’s and wait there for a little while. I wasn’t looking to buy any given object, nor was I interested in focusing on any particular book as I meandered through the hallways of books. In retrospect, this was a great little exercise that identified what exactly I was interested in.
I first gravitated to the magazine racks and headed to the business and politics section. I skimmed through The Economist, that had a feature of Germany’s role on the EU; then proceeded to pick up a Fortune magazine that outlined the “Top 100 Companies to Work For.” They rated the quality of their facilities, their extra-curricular endeavors, their benefit packages and opportunities to grow in a company. It became quite clear that no Architecture firm was on this list. I’m guessing the niche-ness of this profession kind of steers non-architects away from this mode of analysis. I skimmed through a couple more magazines and then proceeded to the Home & Garden section.
I saw this odd-looking magazine that didn’t look like a magazine at all. In fact, when I opened it (sad I can’t remember its name), it was more of a portfolio of Urban Design Strategies in cities like Copenhagen and Munich. And it was in French. I was happy for my find, considering I was at a Borders in Pittsburgh PA, looking at a porfolio-like magazine in the magazine rack under Home and Garden. It was amusing to say the least.
Enough of magazines, I told myself. I changed directions and proceeded to the travel section to look for a solid book that could aid in my next travel plans (i’m going to Germany to go learn German and then proceeding by train from Berlin to Istanbul…. kind of following the Orient Express). I wasn’t so lucky finding my exact trip, but what I did find were a few examples of places that I’d like to go visit along the way, (like Dresden). I felt my heart race just slightly at the thought that May 29th is a little over 2 months away. I’m quickly realizing there’s a ton to be done from now ’till then.
I left the travel section and headed to the architecture section. I found this little amusing book that was titled something like “101 things I learned in architecture school” and i flipped through. I came across this page that talked about the parti being the central idea or concept. For some reason, leafing through the random books at Borders and navigating my way to the things I discovered, was merely an exercise of putting definition of the Parti that is me.