Bring on the “Razzies”

Peril – This is the word that keeps playing through my mind, along with the realization that no one sees it but me. I know it’s not fair to say “no one” but you get the idea. I want people to stop telling me “It is what it is”. This expression is one of the most debilitating known to mankind, excusing any effort or will to improve. I want people to see what we must do and I want for us to then work together to figure out how to get there DESPITE what is and will never change.

We have to change it. I want to shout this on the street corner. I want to be heard.

I have had instances at so many levels of my life of late that seem to be renditions of this same plot. The plot that denies the need for change. That accepts what is even if it is harmful. They make me sad and full of doubt. A friend trying to change me without also recognizing the need for change on her side, or understanding it is the friendship itself that needs some change. A leader sitting quiet, and passing off things I can do to others to do poorly and so very much slower because that work is in their unit, and that is how it is done. A planning team spending time parsing out who will get the credit for what parts and pieces of the work, before we have done any work at all! Another colleague, totally missing the point of change, insisting that all we need is a win and everything will happen…when we have so many wins to share and build upon, but the standard response is to point out that that win “won’t work here, now, in this circumstance”.  Everyone says “well, that won’t work, this project is different (in time, in location, in owner, in budget, in color for chrissake). I often feel that my work is pointless and that change will never occur.

So, what is the point?

The point is I can’t do nothing.

The world is on fire, in pain. Losing species, losing drinkable water. Raped. Abused. Ignored. And we are the cause and therefore can (MUST) be the solution.

Care. Love. Respect. Consideration (I love that word). Connectivity.

  • We can learn what is and then learn from that to inform solutions.
  • Instead of limiting the goals to compromise based on a set of circumstances, identify what you can learn from those constraints, and achieve.


  • Instead of passing off tasks based on unit name, support the people who can do the tasks no matter where they sit. Support them with time, the occasional spotlight, even, gasp, people and budget resources.

Discovery and curiosity.

  • Instead of thinking the same old approaches will get us new results, we need to ask questions, innovate, and stretch to lead instead of being a follower.

Why are we so afraid?

I don’t want to be a doom speaker, but I feel that maybe we need to be clearer about the peril. There is that word again. We need to focus more on the cost of NOT changing. We need to not just honor innovation and make pretty case studies of successful projects, but belittle projects that merely meet code, disengage from A+E firms that do not set goals to reach ZNE or have no clue what a carbon budget is, and not only not purchase unhealthy materials but fine the makers of them.

I think it may be time for the Razzie’s (  of design and construction – and it will not be merely an ugly contest but about who failed in the synergistic support of our collective sustainable future. I don’t like focusing on the bad, but maybe that’s what we need to do. Maybe it’s time for some negative reinforcement along with the promotion of the OBVIOUS positives (better health, durable buildings, greater comfort, increased beauty, less volatile energy costs, diverse local economy…) that exist in greening up and transitioning to 100% renewable energy…

Yes, that building is really pretty but the EUI is ridonkulous and it is 100% glazed with loads of oversized structural steel and imported wood finish so the carbon intensity is just horrible. Yes it meets energy code, or so the energy model says, but who cares? Code is not enough! First place in the Razzie category of “Totally undermining our shared future on this planet.”

Bring on the Razzies. (sorry – I am compelled to add the Cats trailer here, as it swept the awards. Don’t watch it, please).


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