Monday, December 7, 2009

Advice to a Young Architect

The brilliant and somewhat adorable, Ma Yansong, 34 year old Chinese architect of renown, and founder of MAD architects, was recently interviewed by DesignBoom. Ma's career is nothing but remarkable. Trained by Yale and Zaha Hadid, he seems to be creating the future with each new, amazing structure. When asked what advice he would give to young architects, he responded:

Don't hesitate.
Make a decision fast. Follow the first 5 seconds instinct.
If you think you need to compare and you hesitate,
then it must be a wrong decision. As in your life one
decision comes after the other and if you realize you do
something wrong, you know it is because of a previous
decision, which was a mistake. I think everyone should
follow their heart. Robert Stern, the Dean of the Arts and
Architecture at Yale says this to all the students on their
graduation day : 'You should forget everything you learned
from school and start on your own. No matter who said
what, you should believe only in yourself'.
We thought this suggestion that one have faith in one's instinctual response was particularly good advice in these cautious times. This "5 seconds instinct" taoism-like exhortation, could also reflect the kind of twitter-world we live in. However, judging from Ma's work, he is at the peak of his some fabulous 5-second increments. We are passing his advice along, on an impulse.

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