Firm ALT Introduction

tgba: Beauty or the Beast?

As I sit here looking at our child’s DVD collection, my eyes focus on the famous Disney title, “Beauty and the Beast.”
I have just found my way home from work, but my mind travels back to what waits for me in the morning. I ask myself a question: “Where is the beauty in it all?” As I ponder, the artist in me awakes and I do a mental search. What is beauty and why do we yearn for it? Like a fairy tale, to me, beauty is the unexpected escape from the expected. In my everyday world of
healthcare design, I see beauty in planning, in form, and in the materials that define the character of the facilities that are the end product of our work. As I sit pondering, I start to see a different kind of beauty—the beauty of the choreography of process. The gathering of data, the analyzing of the data, then finding the waste, and finally the opportunity comes to put my investigator hat on and charge forward to figure out the problem. This is an uncomfortable spot to be in for a designer. Not once in any of these steps of the process have I been able to put pen to paper and actually draw. In my career, I have always worked with physical and tangible elements for which I can sculpt to find a physical solution to a problem. Most often, we think of beauty as something that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and, honestly, I find myself drawn to this beauty quite often. Now I seem to be drawn to the beauty within the process as much as I am the beauty of its outcome. As I continue to ponder, I ask myself another question: “Why does it need to be beautiful?” This must be the first “why” of the five why’s that I should be asking myself to start to better understand the problem. I find a clue back in the fairy tale …

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