June has been quite a month for graduations in the Boston area.  Congratulations to our clients, the Kaufers and the Howes for their four graduations this month! Congratulations to their contractor, Steven and Leslie Doucette for their son’s valedictorian prize at his graduation from eighth grade. These kids and their parents have worked hard and they deserve the recognition that they achieve.

I don’t remember such a fuss being made over eighth grade either for my son’s year or when I was young. One parent explained that the eighth graders have been together since kindergarten, so this is actually more significant than a college graduation when you compare how far they’ve come in nine years.  In comparison, how much does a college kid change over the four or five years of college? OK, I understand the longevity issue.  I’m also of the school of thought that says that one should celebrate every happy occasion. That means that we should celebrate the achievements big and small, not only of our children, but of our co-workers, our peers and our clients.

In many ways, architecture and interior design is a celebration of the achievements of a family, a company, a religious congregation, a non-profit organization, an educational institution, a nursing home, a housing authority, a group of doctors, and so on. These organizations and individuals have grown, become successful, and can imagine a better life for themselves in a place where they can grow and achieve even more. When these projects come to a successful conclusion, there is plenty to celebrate. I don’t mean just the achievement of a successful building project, but I also mean the achievements of our clients and of the entire project team.  Similar to a parent and child assisting each other through the challenges of the school years, both emotionally and intellectually, the client and the design team must work together, must communicate, and must support each other throughout the project timeline.

We have worked on a project (a synagogue) that took nine years from conception to completion due to a neighbor’s objections, and we have worked on projects that have started design and finished construction within a month (grad school started back up again, the space just had to be done).

Opening of Young Israel of New Rochelle

Dean's office at MIT Sloan School

The patience and steady vision required of the first type, and the intensity and multiple favors required to accomplish the latter, is staggering. The completions of these projects were reasons to celebrate, but we must also recognize the achievements of a synagogue that was able to better serve their growing congregation, and of a new college dean who was able to better serve his university and his students.

In a few weeks, Leslie Saul & Associates will be celebrating the completion of a house (that many of you have been following on Facebook) for a merged family that has not been able to live together for the five years that they’ve been together. Not having a shared house has not stopped them from celebrating their achievements, but having this house will enable them to become the integrated family unit that separate houses has made difficult. I will be joyous and I will be in awe of the achievements of the family as well as of the entire project team when I see the house in use.

What are you celebrating?  Please share your achievements, big and small, with us!!

(top photo credit: http://baggett900.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/whats-your-plan-after-high-school/group-graduation-2008/)