Posted by: nedpelger | April 7, 2010

Living a Creative Life

I came across a letter that an architect wrote to an aspiring architect about a typical day in challenging economic times. The architect who wrote the letter had worked on many Frank Lloyd Wright projects. The letter was written in 1931, but has some great wisdom that carries forward to today. You can click on the letters to make them more readable or go to for the transcript and some more information.

There was lots I liked about this letter.

  1. A busy, influential architect took the time and effort to write it to a kid.
  2. He mixes the practical and the creative, acknowledging the place of both.
  3. He ties the work to a higher purpose…the requirement to love truth and beauty.
  4. Imagination gets called out as the quality of creativity.
  5. He challenges to live beyond the office, to read Walden.
  6. Efficiency and integrity are foundational.

You may not be an architect, yet your job (and your life) will improve with attention to these concepts. I challenge you to consider and value your imagination. Do things that feed that imagination, building your capacity for creative problem solving. It’s fun and it gets noticed.

Unleashing your creativity won’t only help your work life, your level of happiness will also surge. I recently read an excerpt of The Happiness Project that noted that the things we enjoyed doing at 10 years old will likely still be the things that bring us joy. We tend to forget and we benefit if we try to remember. This Happiness Project Toolbox also had some great insights.

So take some time to re-engage in a hobby, read something out of your norm, focus on living a creative and joyful life.



  1. An outstanding letter…the author places great value on the pursuit of integrity and ethics in architecture.

    There is quite a difference between the style of writing in this letter and what is supposed to pass for command of the English language today…but that’s just my biased opinion.

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