Recently while looking at my own portfolio I realized how no project completely represents “me”. I work for other people to help them realize their dreams therefore each project is mostly about them. I see evidence of my input and guidance, I see each project as a series of decisions, compromises and inspirations but none of these projects represent what I would have done if left to myself with the site, program and budget. I wonder when I look at other architect’s work how much was the architect and how much was the client? In architecture school we were taught to design for ourselves. We interpreted the program. Budget constraints were non-existent. We never met with clients. We were trained in the “starchitect” model. We realized this at the time but perhaps never thought that once we got out of school we would never again be allowed such freedom of design. Even those of us lucky enough to design our own homes are faced with budget constraints and family input. Architects as artists are like the painters of old in that we are told what to paint and how. Most of us do need to feed ourselves and our families. Perhaps all we can hope for on some projects is to slip a little of ourselves in when and where no one’s looking.