Geography is no longer our master

This post is part 7 of an adaptation of How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)this engaging and instructive essay by Austin Kleon, a Texan artist and writer. Kleon states that “when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past.” What follows here is me talking to a previous version of myself, one 10 years younger, hopelessly naive and about to embark on a life in architecture.

7. Geography is no longer our master

Last year, we lived in Milan – part of 18 months of travel around Australia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and even a quick dip into Africa. Once upon a time, such an experience would have cut us off from our friends and family back home – a true exploratory pilgrimage. But for better or worse, this is no longer the case. Via email, Facebook, Skype, smartphones and internet roaming, we are always in touch.

The same is true when you stay in one place, working. As architects, our bodies are tied inexorably to the land on which we are building, but our minds are free to roam the world. We can learn about, be inspired by and connect with every corner of the globe – a planet-wide network linked not by geography but by shared interests.

Subscribe to architectural journals, news bulletins and online blogs (like this one). Attend lectures, festivals, exhibitions and performances. Inject yourself into your local, regional and global communities wherever you find people talking about the things you’re talking about.

Geography is no longer our master.

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