Preload Preload

Matthew Gifford, AIA, LEED AP


When I was eight, I built Chicago. Granted, the miniature city fit in my bedroom, and was made of small, brightly colored wooden blocks stacked on top of and next to each other. But, boy was I proud.

My relationship with creating built environments is a bit more complex these days, which has only added dimension and depth to my love for it. Today, some of my favorite moments occur when I can coerce people with wide-ranging expertise and points of view into a room, and challenge them to solve a problem together. Sometimes it takes a little prodding to get folks to leave their comfort zones, but when you can get people to stand on each other’s shoulders, the results can be wondrous.

I continue to be amazed at the outcomes of thoughtful, focused creativity. At some level, I am lucky enough to think of what I do on a day-to-day basis as ‘playing.’ Whether I am in the office, with clients, or with my children, I still find nothing more satisfying than getting out of bed in the morning and heading off to create my current version of ‘Chicago.’

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