The last few days of architecture school back in '96 were just a formality. Our senior projects were finished. Final exams were just paperwork to get through. The stress was over. In a few days, a ceremony would mark the end of our university days. On one of those last days in the lab, we circled are chairs and went around the room - each of us telling the class what our plans were for the real world waiting for us just around the bend. So-and-so had an interview with a firm in San Francisco. Another was going to try her luck in an office down in Santa Monica. One by one, it seemed to me that each student had a socially acceptable blueprint mapped out for the next phase of their life. When it came to be my turn, I said something about traveling in Europe for a while and maybe starting a band.
When I got to Europe, I decided to stay. I took work at Casa Cares, a retreat and group meeting center in the hills above Florence, Italy. The center attracted an eclectic patronage from around the world, opening my eyes to the infinite number of ways one could construct a meaningful life. Somewhere early on in my new adventure I was introduced to the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser . He was a painter, but also an architect (sort of), a philosopher, writer, and traveler. His socks never matched. He grew veggies on his roof. His approach to constructing his life made sense to me and I dove into learning all I could about him.