Do We Learn from our Mistakes?
Architecturally speaking, I think we learn very little from our mistakes, as there are so many thousands of mistakes to make in architecture without repeating a single one.
A child may learn not to touch a hot stove, but that is because the child receives an immediate response for doing so. This is not true with the mistakes we make as architects. Sometimes years go by before we learn the results of our errors; mostly our ethical errors.
Most of the time this is because we were not making an honest effort in the first place but were looking for a short cut in our design effort. It is easier to submit to the current fad or use a concept or details from a prior project, rather than examine the unique needs of the new project before you.
I believe our computer technologies are partially responsible for this; for instance, it is easy to recall a detail system that was prepared for a prior project and with the touch of a key, you can steal the details from an old design as they magically appear on your computer screen. You may have to make minor adjustments to these details to make them applicable to your current project but this will take only a few hours rather than the many hours it took you to generate those original details. You will save time and money but you have made a devil's bargain that will come back to haunt you in the future.
To seek truth is a painful process, fraught with stress and discouragement. I know that I have spent many hours developing a detail system for a project only to completely abandon it when I have discovered a better solution; but it was the many hours spent on the abandoned details that lead me to my new and fresh solutions.
SUCCESS, MISTAKES AND FAILURE
If we don't learn from our mistakes, what then do we learn from? I think it is from our successes, as success is much less common than a failure. Success in architecture is not possible without wisdom. Many people believe that...
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