Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Architecture awards and relationships

The book “How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built” explains how architecture awards judge the building on how it looks before the people move in, forgetting the importance of that building's ability to adapt and grow with the needs of the people inside.

As evidence, it describes some award-winning buildings that are resented by the people that now live and work there, since the building cannot be changed at all.

On the other hand, the buildings that residents love most are not award-winning, but are wonderfully flexible. A comfortable place where people can build an addition, knock down a wall, and constantly make it their own over time.

Instead of architecture as a sculpture to be untouchably revered, it's a reminder that it's built for real people who change, and need the place they live or work to adapt with them.

Move-in day should not be the happiest day. The residents should be happier and happier with their place as time goes on.

Kind of like relationships.

In the romantic pursuit of finding a soul-mate, we often judge people like the architecture awards.

We expect them to be perfect on day one - expecting all of their opinions, habits, and circumstances to be magically formed to our taste before the day we meet!

We forget that a great relationship is all about adaptability as you both change and grow together.

That the day you meet (or marry) is not the happiest day. That you get even happier together as time goes on.

It took me 25 years to figure out that a great relationship is not something you find. It's something you (both) make.

And with that in mind, Saj and I are getting married today.

Saj and Derek
Saj and Derek  Saj and Derek
Saj and Derek