Hello from 2014! If you are wondering why I write these letters to you when your father is only twenty months old, I can tell you that I am writing them for me as much as I am writing them for you.
This is a year of great transition for me. On the tenth anniversary of moving to London and beginning my training as an architect with Zaha Hadid (she was a famous designer in these days-I’m not sure whether she will still be practicing in your time), I am embarking on my greatest adventure so far. This is the beginning of my office, which I hope, by the time you read this letter, will be a beautiful and flourishing company of people. Now, as I write this letter, it is really just me, a lot of ideals, and some very wonderful friends who give me all their best wishes.
For nearly fourteen months I have been preparing for this day by working tirelessly in every spare moment that has not been taken up by my responsibilities to Zaha Hadid’s office. To give discipline to that work, I made a tradition of keeping a daily log. It is the same kind of record that a captain used to keep on a ship—sometimes filled with mundane accounts of the practicalities and planning of work, and sometimes filled with discoveries, or more abstract ideas. In general, though, it is a simple record of my day to day work.
Today on the 13th of October, I have completed negotiations about my departure from my current employment. I have been considering that a daily record of my work is useful, but that if I am to stay focused on my long-term dreams, that I need something more substantial. These letters are the medium that I have chosen.
Each week, I plan to write you a letter, telling you about the work I have done as a designer, an architect, and a member of our community. These letters are to you, because my ultimate goal is that the work I do today will make a positive impact on the world in which you live. These letters are a way of keeping me honest—making sure that no matter how much I find myself drawn to artistry, or commercial success, or theoretical proposals, that in the end I can say that I am on course.
These reports to a grandchild are therefore a guiding compass for a grandfather, a shouldering of responsibility, and an expression of deep optimism and hope.
With all best wishes, your grandfather, DaeWha.
13 October, 2014. London.