Genetically An Architect

My paternal Grandfather was a baker. He had a baker’s shop on Fortune Green in West Hampstead. Each day in the early hours of the morning while London was asleep he would be awake to start work.

There were ingredients to be prepared, dough and pastry to be made, each batch of bread to be individually baked, and cakes to be finished by hand; as well as getting the shop ready for customers. By the time it was light and the first customers arrived he had already done a solid day’s work.

There may have been easier ways to do it, but they would not have given such good results, and that’s tough to accept if you are dedicated to your craft.

When a customer came in to the shop and asked if the bread was fresh it must have been difficult for my Grandfather to bite his tongue. ‘We are not in the business of serving stale bread here madam’.

You won’t find many architects who aren’t familiar with this idea in one way or another. Putting in more effort than is strictly necessary may be the main lesson that most of us take from our training. And it’s a good one. It can be the only difference between ok and great.

The other day a potential client asked me if our drawings are accurate. I bit my tongue too. At least I know I’m cut out for the job.


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