That’s Experience — A Wise Investment

I bet I can guess what you did this weekend. My guess is you did something that millions of citizens worldwide also did this weekend. You purchased a product. People the world-over purchase products every day for a particular reason and a respective value. Maybe you purchased dinner and received a hearty meal. Maybe you.. 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 →

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 →

Change — The Document Evolution

Allow me to take you on a journey. Sit back, feet on the floor, back pressed into the lumbar support on your chair, breathe deeply, close your eyes…wait, don’t close your eyes or you can’t read the rest of this article. Do everything up to the close your eyes part. Now that you’re comfortable, think back to elementary school science class. Maybe you had a teacher, like Ms. Kersey, who always kept a small fish tank, with a mossy rock, pond water and a few tadpoles she rescued from a pond, mud puddle or tire rut. Do you remember rushing into class every day to check the tank for the next stage in the metamorphosis? It starts as an egg, hatches into a head with a tail, develops legs, the tail shrinks, the mouth widens, the eyes bulge and the tadpole becomes a froglet that eventually grows lungs and transforms into a frog. The mature frog needed every stage from the initial birth through the transformation to become a viable frog. Construction documents experience a similar evolution. Documents begin as broadly-defined planning or scope documents, from which an architect creates detailed design documents and ultimately transforms them into construction documents. read more →

The First One — A Tale of Two Projects

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…that introduction to an American classic (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities) is an equally fitting introduction to my Tale of Two Projects, both hope and despair, wisdom and foolishness, real and imagined. It was the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety when I started my architectural engineering career in a moderate-sized design firm. It was a simpler time. We did things by hand. Our phones had cords. We used reference books and wrote with pens. We woke up every day and drove to an office. We talked to people face-to-face. We typed reports on a manual typewriter or word processor. We made our own lunch and we didn’t have the distractions we have today. It was a time when a man, an architect could be alone with his thoughts and solve, or sometimes create, problems. read more →

My Hero – Citizen Architect!

Everyone needs a hero. I know what you’re thinking. Marvel bombarded us with blockbuster superhero films the past decade and you could easily mistake my hero worship for one of those spangly-outfitted heroes. But, the hero to which I refer is not the tall-building-leaping or high-tech-toy variety. My chosen hero may have great toys but the similarities end there because my hero is the chick with the bic, the man with the plan, it’s Citizen Architect! read more →

Tutor17-Project Specs

The project specs are a description of the product quality, quantity and practices you and your contractor use to build your project. read more →

Tutor16-Project Manual

The project manual is one part of the construction documents (The Docs). It is a pamphlet that includes architecturally-unique construction details and perspective views. These details show your contractor how to construct components unique to your project. read more →