The great thing about commuting – and yes, so far, I’ve only found one – is that it gives you time to think, and that thinking can often take you down an interesting path – especially when, in my case, I see all kinds of construction going on in my daily travels: roads, homes, condos, stores, bridges, hotels, even full-fledged skyscrapers.
Just from my office window, in fact, I see no less than three new office buildings being constructed and another undergoing a major renovation. Move to a different window, and I see over a dozen construction cranes and at least three or four tall buildings going up in the downtown Seattle area.
These projects make me both think and wonder. I think about their complexity and the integration of myriad systems and materials, and I wonder how people make them happen, how they efficiently schedule and manage so many people and processes. For my money, the expertise on display especially on these big projects is something to be truly admired. I know that the knowledge and methodology and efficiency that goes into designing and constructing these buildings has been honed over generations, but, to me, it’s all still quite amazing. The art of construction (and architecture, and building design) just keeps advancing. And while many of us see it every day, I wonder – there I go again — how many of us pause with any regularity to think about what we’re looking at.
If you haven’t lately, take a few moments next time you’re stalled in traffic or maybe stopped at a traffic light anywhere near downtown Seattle. Locate the nearest major building under construction and consider the accumulation of real knowledge and expertise that you’re looking at. If you look closely, there’s plenty to see.
Hey, move it along, buddy. The light is green!