I have now been living and working in Calgary, Alberta for a month and a half.
My time here has been a roller-coaster of ups and downs. I was extremely excited to start work, meet the folks I was staying with, check out the city, meet up with old friends, and make new ones. However, I was also faced with leaving my girlfriend, our dog, and our home in Nova Scotia.
For me, working in an office tower is a new experience; it has been frustrating at times. Work can be exciting, but it's also a change for me to be working at a desk all day in a corporate office. Thankfully the firm I work with specializes in Interior Design, so the space is nice, but sometimes I found myself feeling unrewarded by the work I was doing. More than once I questioned the value of the work, and felt personally unconnected because my first few weeks were spent writing and editing documents (something I spent years doing in my undergraduate). You see, before I began my work term, I had to read a document that outlined what I would have to include in my work term report, as well as what I would need to participate in as a student of architecture. One line of that document really stuck with me:
"The privileges and responsibilities of this mode of study [an architectural cooperative work term] are twofold: to contribute to the office such that your participation in the work and the life of the office is valued; and to contribute to your own knowledge and skill in architecture. "
Now, over a month in, my perspective has begun to shift. Design teams in the office are starting to take me on board and ask for my help. My contributions, more and more, hold value and this has lifted my spirits significantly. All of a sudden, I feel as if I am actually contributing to the practice of architecture in a meaningful way.
My life in the city of Calgary has also been a series of ups and downs. I spend a lot of time alone, travelling around the downtown core and exploring cafes and restaurants. In fact, almost every Friday night I make a point to go out by myself and enjoy a meal at various restaurants that others have pointed out to me as being particularly good- that's my night out. I also spend time meeting up with both friends from architecture school (also here working) and old friends from Newfoundland that have moved here. We usually meet for a beer and something to eat, and the conversations are always interesting.
Finally, last weekend I took both Saturday and Sunday to go out and make some photographs - something I haven't done in some time now. As a way of wrapping this post up, here are a few of those photos.
There are many areas in the downtown area of Calgary that have a great progression of buildings - in terms of scale - but there are also many areas where two story buildings are right next to 30+ story office towers. The photograph above has tons of dynamic lines, with a nice autumn light cast across the frame.
That's all for now.