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“The difficulty lies not in defining the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones.”
John Maynard Keynes, economist
Designing the built environment puts us at a unique intersection. We span technology, economics, local and global regulation, environmentalism, and the health and wellbeing of society. We craft the stage where lives – billions of them – play out every day.
The privilege, magnitude, complexity, and responsibility of this role can sometimes feel daunting. With every innovation, every development in how we work, and each impactful project, the need for more, better, newer seems to follow. The world feels fast, vast, and often out of control. Despite the pioneering developments they may feature, when projects take years to come to fruition, it can feel as though there’s always more that could be done.
So how do we combat that overwhelming feeling? How do we even begin to make changes that keep pace?
Exploration requires boldness. The kind of boldness most of us had before adult life beat it out of us. Bold discovery is thrilling – a chance to test boundaries and flirt with uncertainty.
Remember the joy and freedom you felt when you roamed the neighbourhood as a child, or last stepped out into an unknown city as an adult. There was a little fear of course. There was uncertainty… You probably slipped up at some stage, or questioned your confidence.
But you persisted. The thrill was too irresistible.
The brain’s reward system means excitement can overcome concern. It can galvanise action.
2020 is the first year in what will be the decade of change: we have less than 10 years to preserve our planet, to reverse global warming, and secure a positive future for generations to come.
For some, it’s a bleak, demotivating truth. So, let’s get excited about it instead! It’s our chance to change reality, to be the best ancestors we can be. When we’re enthusiastic, when we see opportunity rather than obstacle, we become the engineers of change: confident in what that future could – and will – be.
Cover photo courtesy of Liz Hoppin Photo: Pal Hansen
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The future belongs to the curious.