“Why”, what do you mean by that?

Written by: Chad Glenn

It is so often asked and yet so seldom understood.

To simply ask “why” does not go deep enough into what brought a person to their conclusion. It doesn’t get to the underlying thought process. That’s because; concepts are limited to one’s experience and preconceived notions.

Each team member brings an area of expertise to a project, We are to listen, sift through the information and help come to a conclusion. The more each team member can understand our process or the background of how we came to our opinions, the more the team learns and is able to suggest ideas or concepts that may be more in line with the final goals of the project.

Never assume you know the “why.” Understanding the “why” involves verification. Even once verified, leave room for adaptation- allow, it to change and grow as you learn. The answer to understanding a “why” never comes to an end.

Our senior thesis in college was called an Academia of Truth. My direction or concept was that the journey to truth was more important than ascertaining the truth. Even going so far as to propose there are no absolute truths in this world. The reason to believe there are no truths is to continue the quest for knowledge. If one thinks they have come to the end they stop. If however, they think there is more to learn and understand, they continue to grow. The journey is where the experience lies, where we learn, where we grow.

Architecture is not stagnant, it is experiential. We create the spaces not to be the end, but to be the means through which others experience, travel and interact. To ask “why” is a good gateway question, something that should lead you to more potent, life-changing, mind-altering ideas. But it is not the absolute truth you seek. Take it to the next level understand the answer. It is one thing to stand at the top of a mountain it’s another thing to appreciate the experience of climbing that mountain. The journey will be more exciting and rewarding than the answer.

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