This April husARchitecture turned five and I nearly missed it among the rush of permit drawings, design concepts, and programming for husART but five years definitely deserves some reflection.
I started husARchitecture in response to a need for my own creative outlet, a need to be able to chase dreams as they became reality, and as a security in the post recession era. It sat quietly for a few years picking up a few side projects while I developed as a project architect at Holabird & Root and learned more about international business.
In 2012, husARchitecture became my life and I took off for China in hopes of starting a branch office. I wanted to form a company that could connect America to China and support both economies, hoping to bring a contextual design style to a place that is often seen as a blank slate. I traveled the country top to bottom and formed local partnerships. I learned about a beautiful culture full of love and excitement for its growth and worked on designs that eclipsed the scale of an equivalent American project and contributed to massive urban projects that were beyond my desire to impose. Upon reflection, I realized the elements of cultural incorporation and design control that were most important to me was a minor concern in China and I realized that to do the work my heart was in, I would need to focus on Chicago and my community as I understood it.
So I returned to Chicago, and shared my vision and theory through various art installations. Along the way growing a presence of small intimate projects that could look at how design functioned on the human scale. I am grateful for the conversations with my clients and friends that helped me come to understand who I am as a designer and who helped me grow the means and the confidence to continue with this firm.
It was through these experiences that I came to develop the husART Design Collective as a space for my office but as a place for exchange and idea growth and a way to share the limelight with other artists and creators. Through the events that have been hosted here in the short time we've been open, I've developed a new sense of art, community, and engagement and I am grateful to those of you who have participated to create these experiences.
Today, I realize that one cannot design in a bubble. It takes a network of contributors from consultants such as engineers, accountants, and lawyers; idea contributors and soul soothers by ways of friends, mentors, and confidants, and it takes believers of clients to trust this collective to turn their initial concept into a functioning reality. I thank every person who has touched my life and has helped husARchitecture make it to five years. It has been a wild ride full of ups and downs and twists and turns with adventure around every corner. I look forward to continuing this journey, growing and creating, bringing beauty and community to this world.