Just a quick addition to speak about the tragic fire in Oakland this past weekend… and the thought that keeps coming to mind whenever I think or hear about the fire is “this is why we have building codes.”
Yes, there is a conversation to be had about affordable housing, be it for artists or others. This is not about that.
It also isn’t about whether live/work spaces are a good idea (they are), or about if you can have creative amazing spaces like the interior of Ghost Ship for creative people to be in (you can).
It isn’t also about blame right now.
It is about the simple reason why the building code exists and why it is important. It is about life safety. It is all about life safety.
To every person, client or otherwise, who’s asked me, “Is this really that important?” or “Can’t we just ignore/skirt this one thing?” or “Why do we have to do so much?” or “Why are there so many ‘regulations'”… to them all I say, very simply,
“This is why.”
The building code has evolved and yes grown over time to ensure the safety of people inside buildings, especially when the shit hits the fan. It’s to ensure that the shit doesn’t fly in the first place, and it’s to ensure that people can safely exit the building when it does.
This fire to me is a powerful reminder of the responsibility I am taking on when I am doing my job. I am creating spaces not only to enliven and excite and support people in doing their thing, but I’m taking their lives into my hands too.
Building a community means being responsible for our collective well beings, in all of its facets.
Let’s build amazing things so we can all live to enjoy them for a long, long time.