Now, I’m not one to jump to conclusions. And far be it from me to boast. But every once in a while I am overcome with a feeling of certainty so intense that it cannot be ignored.
This is one such occasion.
Based on nothing more than a few primitive Lego assemblies I am confident in proclaiming that my two-and-a-half-year-old son will become America’s next great architect.
Come closer. Gather around. Do you see that? Do you see how he’s juxtaposed the red and the yellow blocks? That’s no accident. What he’s doing is drawing your eye toward the horizon in order to visually link the roof plane to the landscape. The landscape, in this case, being the living room of our suburban tract house. Effortless harmony is what it is. Only a child. This kid’s going to be one hell of an architect I tell ya. Maybe the best ever.
I take pictures of his most interesting work to better track his artistic development. Look at this one. Look real hard. Remind you of anything? No, not an outhouse. Clearly he was going after a sort of Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian dwelling for the new millennium. When he’s not drooling on himself he’s always going on and on about how the middle class deserves good design, too. Yeah, he chewed on a couple of pieces. But texture is important.
This one here is one of my favorites. I mean, seriously, somebody get this kid a drafting table. Look at how deftly he’s integrated the Lincoln Logs. Such whimsy! No doubt a Modernist’s tongue-in-cheek nod to the Arts & Crafts movement. Absolutely brilliant. Try to ignore the snot. Or pay close attention to it. I’m not sure what his intentions were. I don’t ask too many questions. I just sit back and marvel.
And here’s one he made the other day during snack time. His first foray into Post Modernism. I told him it’s risky business from a financial point of view because, quite frankly, most people wouldn’t have the creative wherewithal to commission a house covered in Chiquita banana stickers. Then again, most people aren’t blessed with my son’s capacity for spatial imagination.
Does anybody know if the Bauhaus is still taking applications?
Honestly, we knew we had something special on our hands from the beginning. The hospital he was born in was right next door to an IKEA. Coincidence? And when we brought him home he’d stay awake at night crying and crying because, we assumed, the crib’s form did not properly follow its function. I spent six months and $10,000 building a Frank Gehry-inspired replacement out of corrugated metal and cardboard before we figured out he just needed his diaper changed.
His first words were telling as well. We were in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office. He took his pacifier out, looked right up at me and gurgled, “You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say, ‘This is beautiful.’ That is architecture.”
Actually, it might have been Le Corbusier who said that. But it could have been my infant child. I can’t remember exactly.
Then last Christmas he got this Lego set from his Aunt Debbie and all bets were off. It’s just been one masterpiece after another. Watch. I’ll dump these things out in front of him and he’ll get right to work. No AutoCAD elevations or anything. Not even sketches. Pure intuition.
Man oh man. What a prodigy. I only wish that my father had recognized my talents before I got stuck working at the glue stick fact—I’m sorry. You’ll have to excuse me. It looks like he’s halfway through a ziggurat and I don’t want to miss its triumphant completion.