As Little Guy continues to grow, I find myself in a constant mental struggle related to the type of interaction we impress upon him. I’m drawn to the “Traditional” toys like blocks and other wooden toys. I think of the stereotypical toys like the bubble lawn mower and the wooden puzzle and the rubber mallet work bench, and I imagine that he NEEDS these things in order to facilitate a proper childhood. Who DOESN’T have green army men as they move past the beginning stages of school-age?
On the other hand, there is the constant beckoning of the modern toys: The USB fed stuffed puppy dog, the baby friendly apps for my smartphone, and the endless array of computer screen based learning tools that would no doubt propel my non-walking child into the realm of tech-savvy computer genius by the age of 2.
The same “dilemma” exists in the Architectural profession. There is a desirable image of “The Architect”, pencil in hand, roughing out a quick sketch/masterpiece that results in a frameable piece of art that can be hung on the wall after the project is finished. On the other hand, as a profession, we’ve come to rely on the digital representation of space more and more. There are less models and more computer rendered images; less freehand sketches and more hardline CAD drawings. For good reason too: it’s so much easier to update a 3D model than to rebuild a wooden one.
As with most of our lives. . . it’s all about balance. I believe in the traditional/classic aspects of both the items in my child’s life as well as in Architectural representation (although I will admit that I don’t utilize these methods enough in my day to day). I also cannot imagine turning away from the “new way” of doing things. I feel as if I would be cheating Little Guy out of experience and knowledge of how the “new things” work. He bangs on the keyboard and sees results. He taps on my phone and sees it light up. There’s no doubt that there is a new kind of learning happening here. And the computer is absolutely the way to go with what I do day to day with design. No doubt there are hours, no. . . days, saved with using these modern tools. . . but I crave the classic touch as well.
So, I imagine that as time passes, I’ll continue to attempt to blend these two worlds. It may be the case that Little Guy is talking about how “they used to still make things out of wood when I was a kid”, or “I can’t believe that you used to have to plug things in”. Until then, I’ll keep trying to be retro cool while also portraying my Mr. Tech persona.