In his TEDx talk, “Examining the Unbuilt,” Robbie looks back at his 30-year career as an architect and reflects not on the projects he saw to completion, but on those that remained unbuilt. He accepts these unrealized opportunities, recognizing that, many times, he lacked the confidence to share them, fearing they would appear too extreme. It’s only through hindsight that he sees these projects were uniquely appropriate at the time.
As Robbie explains in his talk, this condition is common well beyond the architecture field: we all have projects left unbuilt, songs left unsung, stories left unwritten, and ideas that were undefended and never realized. The gifts we have come with responsibilities.
“Those moments when we waffle? When we pull back? That’s when we must step forward. We must find that courage to build the unbuilt, write the unwritten, sing the unsung and defend the undefended,” Robbie said. “We have an obligation to bring our gifts into the world as we see fit, but they must be brought.”