Everyone struggles with work-life balance. The perfect balance is an impossibility. A decent balance is a realistic goal but for a mother and architect, sometimes defining ‘decent balance’ can be elusive.
When I started Lauren Rubin Architecture, my balancing act began.
I have had moments of success and failure along the way – thankfully more of the former than the latter! Most importantly, I have enjoyed the challenge.
The beneficiaries of this challenge, my kids, are not just bystanders. I have been fortunate in that architecture enables me to incorporate my kids (and my clients’ kids, of course) into my work. Every chance I get, I merge the two together.
At LRA, our favorite parts of every project are always the kids’ spaces. Whether it’s a bedroom, a playroom, a special little nook or on a larger scale a classroom or a library. We ask kids what inspires them and then we try to capture it and weave it into their surroundings.
We interact with our small clients, ask them how they imagine their perfect space, then together with their parents, we interpret their ideas into our designs.
It might be floating purple boxes or purple walls and blue skies:
Their favorite hero or their favorite color:
Their bright ideas inspire us and infuse our designs with something unique. It’s that special touch that allows a child to see their suggestion take a physical shape. Those purple walls or floating boxes become a source of pride.
LRA works for schools, creating inspirational learning spaces for kids to grow.
A new language school for young scholars:
Or a pro-bono book room for a public school without a library:
My children are my inspiration. Every day, they excite me, they warm my heart and yes, exasperate me! They make me a better architect and a better person.
When we are walking through the city, I try to educate them about their surroundings and they re-educate me reminding me why I live in New York City.
I take their school classes on architecture walks through the city too. And I have never given a tour without the students excitedly yelling out answers, asking thoughtful questions, drawing beautiful sketches, and leaving full of smiles.
We’re even working on a book series at LRA…hoping to have tours throughout the city….and you never know…..in all cities.
My work and my family are intrinsically connected, each year, each day, each moment. As we head into 2015, we are inspired and we continue to strive for that perfect balance…but we would settle for not falling off the tightrope!