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Architect's Self Evaluation // Jared Hagadorn


As architecture students, all we ever hear is the word more. We often say, “I wish I could have done more here” or “I wish I could have had more time.” Professors, thinking of Mies’ famous conceptual jingle, “Less is more” now tell us, “More is more” and “yes is more.” When I think about all of the times that I have been told to think about doing more with a project, this becomes the stigma tagged to a completed project. To a student of architecture this suggests that a design solution may never produce total satisfaction. More will always define a piece or art or architecture because it is never complete in the mind of the designer.

No artist is pleased. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

-Martha Graham 


Artists state that a piece of design work is never complete, but in the field of architecture this is not true. At some point construction is completed and design work must be finished. Does this mean that an architecture project is always just an incomplete piece of art? As someone who has never seen a project through completion, I feel nervous that there will always be a level of dissatisfaction. Is the satisfaction of a happy client enough? Will we only be able to see the faults of a project instead of seeing the positives? Does this mean that a project always needs more to be complete?

These ideas begin to make me think about student projects. As a fifth year students, we are beginning the process of job searching and creating a portfolio to accommodate this goal of finding a position. We must look back and critically evaluate the work from our past college years. For many of us, we are deciding upon which projects will be useful in portraying our design capabilities. This can be difficult because thoughts of doubt enter our minds evaluating our own work. We wish we could do more or in some cases redo this work. This idea makes me think that throughout our career, we will always be able to reevaluate and improve upon our works of the past.


This notion is written in the book entitled “The Shape of Time” written by George Kubler. Throughout the book he discusses the working capacity of an artist and their effectiveness as a designer.

Hence the working lifetime of the man of art may be put at about 60 years, of which probably only 50 are spent at full power. We may take 50-60 years as the usual duration of an artist’s life, rather than any figure over 60. It’s four periods—preparation, followed by early, middle, and late maturity—each lasting about 15 years…

Our professional careers will always develop and there will always be more. Every quarter of our career will encounter new challenges and knowledge. We will be able to evaluate ourselves from each time in our life to the next. There will always be more out there. We will discover new solutions to design, detail, and direction.

Written by Jared Hagadorn

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