building upon past mistakes

I believe strongly in an iterative learning process when it comes to work. That you have to keep doing something again and again in order to finally do it well.

I also believe strongly that one cannot expect to do something perfectly the first time round but that mistakes are inevitable. To not expect & safeguard against errors in any process is really to fool oneself.

I lastly believe that those with a genuine desire to get a job done correctly should not be over zealously penalized for the mistakes that they have committed. The existence of a mistake is sometimes punishment enough for the one who’s committed them depending on the severity of the repercussions. As is the case in all of life, some mistakes are more disastrous than others.

In the construction industry it’s almost impossible to avoid making mistakes. A small error in a design drawing could result in multiple conflicts on site later on as ducting, piping, electrical cabling, structure and finishing details all come together in a truly wonderful mess.

Some errors can be easily covered up such as the shifting of a power point or the covering up of a crack. Others not so. On my current project the builder almost cast the concrete slab of the 4th story 300mm too low. Had he done so without it being discovered we would have certainly had to halt the entire construction, demolish what they had done and start over again. Not impossible but not cheap either.

In cases where it’s been clearly the builders fault the consultants make sure he understands that *he* has to fix it at his own cost. However at other times it can become a frenzied finger pointing session as no one wants to own up for the mistake, lest of all the client who may have to foot the bill for rectification works.

No project will ever be perfect. However through careful reflection after, it is possible to build processes to catch such mistakes before they happen again in the future. Only a fool would refuse to learn from past mistakes.

All the favorite architects of mine have constantly refined their building details project after project. Building upon past lessons learnt and developing new ways to do things but always you can see that they are progressing, never regressing. That to me is the true representation of mastery of ones craft and I hope dearly to achieve in my career as I continue to *build upon the foundation I lay today*.


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