Greg Allen Barker, AIA
A quirk of fate during graduate school put me on the path I find myself today. I was studying cognitive learning theory in an attempt to develop a rational basis for teaching architecture, and finding insufficient classes dealing with adult learning behavior to fill out my program. I filled in with environment/behavior research, recognizing that it used much the same methodologies, just observing different behaviors.
Rather than teaching, I now find myself a consultant, specializing in predesign services such as needs assessment, facility programming, and post occupancy evaluation. It is work I truly enjoy, and when my wife asked if I had thought about retirement, what came to mind was more of a change in the mix between income-producing projects and more personal explorations of community service, travel, and art.
I remember at EDRA 19, the first time I attended the conference, the level of intellectual stimulation was like steroids on overdrive. Multiple doors of inquiry and methodology were opened to me in just a few days, far too much to fully take in and assimilate. This was my intellectual rush, just as aikido and sailing provide my action rush.
And while the rush from those early days has settled, the body of knowledge continues to expand at a rate never before seen in human history. There is always something new to learn, and that provides a level of stimulation that keeps me vital, both professionally and personally.