3 Things I Learned from My Dad

He was a passionate giver and a prolific producer. He had one of the strongest work ethics and he always smiled.

Passion #

His work was his passion. He wore his belief on his sleeves. He was stubborn and lived by his principles. He could be abrasive, misunderstood, and controversial. People who understood his tenacity loved him; everything he did was out of passion. He made friends and foes alike as an artist. He also wanted to share this passion with everyone; he was a teacher, a researcher, an author, an architect, a public servant.

Generosity #

He made friends through all walks of life. He organized get-togethers for his classmates, trips to Japan for his associates, and years of lectures for his students. He stopped and talked to homeless and disabled people, and got to study behaviors and designed public bathrooms for people with disability. He gave away new toilet designs that were more efficient for construction. He was generous with what he knew. He didn’t charge for his knowledge.

Bravery #

He said he knew things when he didn’t, and he made up for it by becoming experts of them. He had a bricolage attitude and did not know his limit. Nothing stopped him or made him fearful. He was an eternal optimist when facing something he didn’t know how to solve. He didn’t hold back on giving his opinions or risking being misunderstood. He didn’t give up when he faced a set back. He took on projects no one else would.

My dad passed away on Thursday and I was by his bed-side with my sister and my mom. We organized an retrospective exhibition and met three generations of architects that knew him and loved him through his career. I had a lot of time to think about him—and these were the lessons he left me.


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