Inspire — A Clover

Can something unassuming, like a clover be the inspiration for something substantial, like an architectural project? Yes and yes. In fact it has been, is and will be as long as there are architects who are inspired by the wonders around them. read more →

WWIT — Convenience Kills!

I didn’t need a crystal ball to see the end of the architecture profession. Technology and outsourcing routinely undermine “old” professions while sustaining others. What was I thinking (WWIT) when email communications killed the fax machine? I thought, “I like the convenience so I’ll gladly use email.” What was I thinking when website sales threatened traditional retail outlets? I thought, “I like the convenience so I’ll shop online.” What was I thinking when streaming technology obliterated video rental? I thought, “I like the convenience so I’ll stream media.” None of those transformations occurred suddenly. A consumer’s desire to control — On Demand as the industry calls it — slowly transplanted the antiquated technology. Likewise the consumer’s desire for convenience telegraphed the end of the architecture profession. What was I thinking as I watched architecture die? read more →

Talk, Write, Draw — A Com Hat Trick

Pick your challenge. You have to present information to either a) someone who is a blind, or b) someone who is deaf. These extreme conditions seem daunting at first. But every architect practices multiple communication skills to present complex concepts to different types of people every day. read more →

On Your Mark, Get Set — Start a Design!

What do a gunshot, the national anthem and a serve have in common? They are all ways to start a race, event or game. But some events don’t have prominent identifiers to signify the beginning. Are these starters universally applicable to initiate all events? Imagine using a gunshot, anthem or serve to start an architectural project? read more →

Renewal — Re-Ranch

renovate, remodel, restore, refresh, recondition, refurbish, renewal…re-Ranch. While the definition of most of those words are self-explanatory, the term “Re-Ranch” might make you wonder. Allow me a moment to share the Re-Ranch journey. It begins with a remodel idea that evolved to a rebuild and finally resolved as a different remodel. The Re-Ranch story starts in a small Texas town, with a man named Ray and his wife Becky. read more →

Choices — It’s Everything!

You have to love a buffet. A full buffet offers countless options. You don’t have to know exactly what you want, but you have so many options you can try everything. What a joy to have so many choices. You have to hate a buffet. A full buffet contains so many options it provides no discretion so you overeat attempting to try everything. What a mess to have too many choices. Maybe the best choice is a well-developed menu with the right blend of food and quantity, like the detailed design phase in an architecture project where it’s not too much, but just right. read more →

Eureka! — Things That Suck

Kleenex, Xerox and Coke are marketing terms that are so successful the general public uses the brand name to identify a specific product. It’s common for a consumer to request a Kleenex instead of tissue, a Xerox instead of photocopy and a Coke instead of soda. My family is guilty of the same affliction but our brand/product confusion was the Eureka instead of vacuum. Our ancient Eureka was loud, durable and sucked up everything — dirt, throw rugs, toys and small pets. Nothing sucked like the Eureka. So in our household the Eureka became a synonym for things that suck. read more →

ARE — The Turnstile

You flagged the day in your calendar, booked the flight, reserved the hotel room, procured transportation … all in time for the big game. On game day, you packed your bag, but you aren’t there yet. You outfitted your game gear, but you aren’t there yet. You arrived at the stadium, but you’re still not there yet. The scheduling, the transportation, the gear and even the arrival is all preparation, it’s hype, but you aren’t there yet. The hype becomes reality the moment you traverse the turnstile and enter the stadium. The experience is no longer hype, it’s reality. The passage through the turnstile makes the experience real. In the architecture world, the Architectural Record Exam (ARE) is game day and the beginning of the professional experience. read more →