What is “Hope”?

Overwhelmingly, the most popular and most viewed post on this blog has been there is always hope, which was just me reposting an image that I had stumbled across by a British street artist named Bansky titled “there is always hope”.  Every image I’ve ever come across by this artist (and there are MANY) are striking and provocative in some way; they get you thinking and feeling, and this is the essence of great art.  But this image in particular got me thinking about the word “hope”.  What does it mean?  What images does it conjure up in the human psyche?

british street artist Banksy

“Hope”, as defined by Webster is “to cherish a desire with anticipation”, “to trust”, and “to desire with expectation of obtainment”.  But is that really all we can expect from “hope”? Is there something more that arouses such feeling from the image above?  Perhaps the idea that we are all like children yearning to live free and miraculous lives guided by the hope, the expectation, that we matter, that our lives will have a lasting and profound impact on those around us.

Architects are no different.  I think I can speak for many other architects in stating that, what drives us, what fuels our fire, what gets our juices flowing, is an overwhelming desire to hope, to expect, that our work will have a profound and lasting impact on the world around us.  Hope is that driving force that sustains us despite a clients budget, the contractors inability or unwillingness to follow our vision and even the basic laws of physics that hinder us all.  Without hope, an architect is no better, and no different, than a developer or banker or contractor.  Hope is what allows us to create and dream a better world for generations despite any obstacle that may present itself.

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