Some of you know that I am a co-founder, along with Thomas Meyer and Garth Rockcastle, of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, Ltd in Minneapolis, Minnesota—architects, interior designers and urban planners. While this is the official name, it is now simply called MSR Design. Our vision and mission statements are:

Vision: To improve the lives and positively impact the environment through design. 

Mission: To create exceptional and enduring architecture through a leading, self-renewing practice. 

We have lived by these credos since we started the enterprise in 1981.

Over the past 10 years, we have been steadily changing the company’s leadership. Now, after 35 years, we have new leaders in place.  Over the next several months I will be finishing commitments to a few important projects that were started more than a decade ago (things move slow, sometimes, in the library design business.) My nature is to finish what I started. I am grateful that my health has held out so I can do this. Once these two library projects are designed, I will be fading from MSR Design. I will not go away totally. But I will be only serving in an advisory role—and will be known simply as a founding principal. This transition has been instructive.

What am I learning as I “let go” of something I co-created? I am learning that

  • It is incredibly hard and requires much more willfulness that I ever imagined
  • It is fulfilling to see wonderful people continue in their own creative ways yet respecting the legacy that Tom, Garth and I set into motion.
  • Change within the company is not about us but about serving our clients.
    • It hurts to say good-bye
    • It is scary to say hello
  • I will never leave but I will soon not be there.

This last point has been the most revealing. How to be within something while without it. A longing to be active and contributing but knowing that the time has come to shift and change. Stepping aside is the right thing to do—since it creates space for others to soar. This does not make it any easier. But it does open up space for other things in my life. Space for a family that suffered from my absence. Space for channeling my creative urges into painting. Space to explore the world in new and deeper ways.

So the journey continues. Change is accepted. I say goodbye and hello. Time to self-renew. 

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