Ever wondered what makes some people soar high in their respective professions?  Passion, yes, it is the love for what they do that leads to their impeccable professionalism. Feeding their passion pushes them to explore their full potential at work. While passion in itself is a driving force, what motivates it in the first place? It is “not something that falls down from the sky and hits on the head”, it is something that has to be pursued, examined, fixed, changed (if it doesn’t work), developed, and cultivated over time

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9 Renowned Passionate Architects_©archdaily

How does Passion Create a Difference? 

“Follow your passion” is the golden phrase which everyone encounters more than anything else while making career choices. But is everyone pursuing their passion? A vast majority pursue money until they find their real passion. How does it make a difference? An employee’s ability to work doesn’t depend on passion. However, passionate employees enjoy what they do, which makes them more productive, creative, and content. 

A Symphony of Passion and Design 

Design disciplines innately creative are indeed rooted in the professionals’ passion for it. It keeps the designers moving irrespective of the circumstances, overcoming obstacles and winning challenges. Design is an artistic profession, also intended to serve the people, and the love for their work helps designers to find a balance between their artistic instincts and the functional capability of their designs. This may not be of concern for the designers who pursue pure arts, but this forms the basis for architects, interior designers, jewelry designers, etc, in short professionals who pursue utilitarian arts. 

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Bjarke Ingels World Craft – Story Telling Board © BIG
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What Fuels the Designer’s Passion? 

Passion is often associated with a career, and it might seem as if those who are passionate about their vocation might not have a life beyond their passion. But that’s not the case, being passionate about design, doesn’t deprive the designers of a personal or social life, instead, it sows the seed of determination, motivates them when they feel stuck, and gives them a sense of complete satisfaction upon accomplishing their job. Upon detailed observation, certain facts fuel this passion in designers and architects, some of which are enlisted below. 

Diverse Training in Schools

Architecture and design schools follow a trial and error method which gives the budding designers a freedom to design, as it seems as if, there is always a chance to fix the mistakes they made. 

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Fashion design programme_© Baltimore design school

Association with People and Networking

Design and Architecture are mainly utilitarian arts, that are conceived by a designer but purely made for use by the people. So design disciplines celebrate the association with people and networking, attaining the innate human need to connect with people. 

Architecture career fair_© UIC Creative & Digital Services

Awakens the Humane in the Designers 

The designers and architects get an opportunity to fulfill environmental or social responsibilities by making sustainable design decisions. Moreover, every time designers create a product or offer a service, they are involved in solving a problem of the client, identifying themselves as potential problem solvers.  

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Sustainability and problem solving approach in The Vibes Office_© Infinitive Architecture
The Vibes Office_© Infinitive Architecture

Being a Part from Conception to Completion and Handover

This opportunity is quite rare in other professions. The ability of the architect to be a part of the project from visualization to realization is a boon. Their self-satisfaction upon seeing the tangible outcome of their intangible ideas and work is unexplainable.

Diversity in Design Disciplines 

The diversity in design disciplines gives the designers the ultimate freedom of pursuing alternate career paths. Herein, passion for design doesn’t stall them but liberates them, to try and succeed in different disciplines of design. For instance, passionate architects, need not be merely architects, they could be interior architects, graphic designers, environmental activists, or anything they see their passion in. 

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Public interest works through design by Bryan Lee Jr._©Patrick_Melon

Criticisms and Reality: Architect’s and Designer’s Passion

While passion instilled in designers helps them produce better work and leads to self-satisfaction, there are also cases of exploitation due to this blinded passion. Unpaid internships, fewer rewards for a longer duration of work, payment based on completion of work and not the number of hours worked for completion, and doing more work than requested for the fear of losing clients are some examples of this exploitation. It is the same passion that hinders the designers from raising questions against such serious issues prevalent in the industry for the fear of being labeled as ‘not a team player’ or ‘not passionate’. There is also a call to amplify the profession-passion dichotomy in the field of design as it might be misleading to see design, a vocation, as a passion. 

However, upon learning about the story of “falling out of love with architecture and back again” with Tanisha Raffuidin, it seems as if finding passion in itself is a long process and fully understanding passion, opens up novel possibilities and paves the way to significant innovations. The inspiring story is available on https://dezignark.com/blog/080-falling-out-of-love-with-architecture-back-again-with-tanisha-raffiuddin/. Founder and Creative Director of Concept Culture, Tanisha Raffuidin, primarily an architect, shares her personal experience of finding her passion, the obstacles she overcame, where it all began and how her love for architecture enabled her to fuse architecture and communications and come up with a novel idea. It is fascinating to know that the passion for design can open new chapters in design, herein, it was by combining existing disciplines. While Tanisha Rafffuidin’s story is one of the commendable examples that proves that passion can certainly push the limits of a profession beyond imaginable, there are other stories out there that show unique forms of manifestation of design passion! And indeed, designers’ passion has the potential to create a paradigm shift in design-based businesses.

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Reference list
  1. Aldrich, J. (2019). What makes you love being a designer? [online] Medium. Available at: https://jma245.medium.com/then-my-friend-asked-why-do-you-love-being-a-designer-so-much-10d194fa5726 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2023].
  2. Archisoup (2021). Why we Love Architecture …Reasons to be an Architect – archisoup | Architecture Guides & Resources. [online] www.archisoup.com. Available at: https://www.archisoup.com/studio-guide/why-we-love-architecture [Accessed 15 Nov. 2023].
  3. Architect’s Council of Europe (n.d.). Architecture: Passion or profession?: ACE. [online] www.ace-cae.eu. Available at: https://www.ace-cae.eu/activities/publications/architecture-passion-or-profession/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CPassion%20is%20a%20significant%20driving [Accessed 18 Nov. 2023].
  4. Cohen, S. (2019). Why I Love Design. [online] RE: Write. Available at: https://medium.com/re-write/why-i-love-design-fa3753aa3fe5 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2023].
  5. Daley, A. (2022). ‘Architects must reject the “follow your passion” narrative and see ourselves as workers’. [online] Dezeen. Available at: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dezeen.com/2022/08/15/architects-reject-follow-your-passion-architectural-workers-united-opinion/amp/ [Accessed 15 Nov. 2023].
  6. DiSalvo, D. (n.d.). 10 Reasons Why Some People Love What They Do. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/08/28/10-reasons-why-some-people-love-what-they-do/?sh=e4affe8382ec

Valliammai Tirupathi is a budding architect. She has an immense passion for research and writing, mainly in Architectural Theory and the History of Architecture. She believes that Architectural Journalism can bring about a change in the profession. She loves to analyze and break down heavy information and complex ideas into simple sentences.