Luck, Fate, or Happy Accident?
What are the scaffolding structures behind the facade of success? Is architecture truly a profession of solitary heroes, or are we fooling ourselves and missing an opportunity to celebrate the wide variety of processes and perspectives that contribute to the success of a project? We set out hoping this issue would be a broad sampling of the YSoA student body on the topics of luck, fate, and happy accidents as they relate to the production of creative work. The student body, largely otherwise occupied, led us to get creative and seek contributors from outside the school. We thought: who isn’t enduring midterms and thus reliable? Friends and family.
The process — anything but predictable or entirely within our control — became our own set of happy accidents. Surrendering to a “let it be” attitude, we offer this insight as another example of the ways luck, fate, and happy accidents shape creative work. In the end, the outcome remained the same — a varied portrait — in that a multitude of perspectives are provided. Contributors range from a choreographer, a philosophy student, an editor, and a retired pizza chef, to Dean Berke, a handful of architecture students — both from YSoA and not — and those currently working in the profession, which, as a collection show an overlap in creative fields for encountering and addressing failure, both reassuring and humbling. It’s not just “architorture,” to some degree.
On another note, we hope the issue is something you can enjoy reading while waiting on the “fate of the country”; perhaps a parting (un)happy accident that the issue is being produced and released on either side of election night in the United States. We see a questioning tone in Jerry Chow’s “An Economy of Effort”, disdain (and reactionary humor) for the me-me-me mentality from Joshua Tan in “The Absurdity of Individualism”, and a healthy dose of suspicion in Rogelio Cadena’s “Rule of Three”, with its paranoiac sentence structure and numerical theme. We’ll be drawing on all manner of luck, fate and happy accidents as we nervously, anxiously, manically await the result.
We also encourage readers to consider who has the privilege to try their luck, to defy fate, or to blithely trust a happy accident. In this issue of Paprika!, authors questioned, manipulated, dissected, and collaged success anew, to arrive at a messy concoction. Contrary to what we editors assumed at the onset, it is both an outcome and a process, a noun and a verb — expendable, holistic, and above all, personal.