Andre Baugh, Architect (YAHSO Ltd), Programme Director (Utech Jamaica), Jamaica
What inspired you to want a life in Architecture and the creative industries?
Originally, my affinity grew through noticing an enjoyment for building lego and drawing buildings. I soon understood that buildings had the power to influence a society positively if done right. I then decided that Architecture was going to be my way of making a positive difference to building my home country, Jamaica. After studying and socializing in London, a greater love for my West Indies community grew through meeting Trinidadians who instilled an appreciation for carnival. As I made more friendships with more West Indian friends , I grew more connected to the Caribbean. As time went by in London I also made many meaningful connections to Italians, British, Brazillian, Japanese, Greek, Israeli, Portugese, French, Indian and German friends , my connectivity to humanity grew and realized that Architecture could be my tool for making a positive impact on the world.
Who inspired you in finding your path to Architecture and the creative industries?
My mother , while doing an interior design course by distance learning, while I was 10 years old, in combination with my father always building or fixing something around the house, were my first introduction to the industry. However it wasn’t until I saw my cousin’s drawings of houses while studying at the Caribbean School of Architecture, that I made the affirmative decision to become an Architect.
How you unlock obstacles and overcome bias in your work?
Firstly, I realize that to unlock an obstacle, one must first be able to identify the obstacle. This is usually the hardest part as it often requires an outside opinion or a choice to go for a swim, and think about what’s going good and what’s going bad. Usually after a half an hour of swimming I have solved the problem or at least gotten closer to a solution.
I also write thoughts into my phone on the note pad as they pop into my mind. I start a new note for every month…for example “ Thoughts August 2012 ” . This allows me to track my thoughts and enables me to see my thoughts in October versus July..identify moods..or patterns related to the environment. I noticed that once I moved back home..I had a lot less to write because It is far easier to be in the now at home.
Another tool, is that I always have a book to the right hand side of my mouse. Ready to write and remind myself of why or what I really want to do with my time. This helps remind me of the bigger picture and allow me space to tackle the difficult moments to hand, and remain faithful about today and tomorrow.
Overcoming bias in my own work is a tricky one, but for me , I surround myself with people I admire and trust. I try to keep myself open and have positive dialogues with the nearest person.
Living in a foreign country made me always think..is it me that’s strange or is this just a strange place..or is it that there is another way. I always try to remember that there are three sides to a coin and once we understand both, the third enables movement.
Ultimately , listening with not just my ears but my heart and full attention is my tool for overcoming my own bias.