State Sen. Charlie Clary, R-Destin, discussed the politics of architecture and showcased his company’s projects at the USF school of architecture and community design Monday night.
In his presentation, Clary presented the history of his company, the Destin Architectural Group, and emphasized the need for leadership qualities in today’s young architects.
During the presentation, Clary presented a slide show that had pictures of him serving the community. The slide show also depicted DAG’s main office building and an observatory that was built for the Walton Community College in Oklahoma.
Clary helped turn an empty shell of a building into DAG’s main office and a very successful marketing tool. Besides housing the main operations for DAG, Clary shows the building to potential clients as an example of the work his company does. The DAG office, along with three other buildings in the airport plaza, won Clary’s company the 2001 American Institute of Architecture Florida Award of Excellence in Architecture.
One of the main concerns Clary voiced during the presentation was that architects need to acquire leadership skills in order to help the community. He said that more people need to get involved in becoming community leaders.
“As architects, we are probably the best trained profession in the area of defining and solving problems,” Clary said.
Clary said he wanted to be an architect since he graduated from Auburn University. As he started working toward his goal, he found that there were always politics involved.
“The more I tried to be an architect, the more political it got,” he said.
Clary feels fortunate because both of his jobs involve building, whether it is actual buildings or communities. He said he wants to help construct a better Florida.
During the presentation, Clary had slides with quotes from architectural college faculty and students from all around the country. Clary’s favorite quote was, “Architects are most successful, in my mind, when they are able to view themselves as servants without relinquishing their responsibility for leadership.”
This quote exemplifies just what Clary wants today’s architectures to do: Solve the communities’ problems by simultaneously being a great leader and a servant of the people. But, in order to be a good leader, a person must be able to understand the community and the problems occurring within it, he said.