Ugly is in the Details

Enemies are the factions that want the opposite of your best intentions. Your right is their wrong. Their action is your reaction. This polarity is especially true regarding your friends-in-survival, air and water who ironically can be a building’s worst enemies. I call this gang The infiltrators, most notably the air assassins & wiley water who lurk in the environment ready to attack your building nooks and crannies. When infiltrators attack they leave mayhem and destruction in their wake. Air and water damage is ugly. What can you do to prevent damage? Ugly is in the details! read more →

Advice List — From K thru Architect

Advice is like noise. Some of it is good like gentle music, children’s laughter or a targeted whisper, but some of it is bad like heavy traffic, guttural shrieks or angry voices. A discriminating ear successfully separates the good noise from bad. Judgement, however, is more subjective and requires conscious thought to distinguish between good and bad. In the absence of an unconditional advice-authority, I defer to Robert Fulghum, the author of All I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten. Robert conceived an advice list some scholars declare is the most comprehensive human behavior recipe so I adopted this slightly redacted version of the All-I-Needed-I-Learned-in-Kindergarten advice for working with an architect. 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 →

Name That Stile!

To anyone learning English as a second language they will admit this language is loaded with complicated synonyms, homonyms, idioms and onomatopoeia. It’s extremely challenging for native speakers and adoptive speakers alike to process these nuances. Sometimes I forget architecture vocabulary is a second language for clients and contractors. An architect’s dictionary includes as many nuances as the English language and a simple word choice can mis-communicate an otherwise simple idea. read more →

Then-Now: A Schematic Story

There is a universal truth all architects share. An architect, every architect, methodically, randomly or unknowingly marches, plods or stumbles through a design from the beginning or “The Then” where (s)he knows nothing more than there’s a design problem to solve to the end “The Now” where (s)he solves the problem. Along the way, the.. read more →

14 Nov 2016
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Dear Future Architects — Remember Then

A time capsule is a treasure left today for a generation tomorrow.
–It’s insight…
–it’s artifact…
–it’s knowledge…
–it’s history…

All of us either intentionally or inadvertently leaves a footprint for the next generation to follow. If I can’t be here 100 or 200 years from now to share my hope for future architects of the world here’s what I hope they remember… 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 →

Kitchen Design — Stages Trump Triangle

The triangle. It’s a spectacular shape. It’s strong, efficient and aesthetic. Think of the real and virtual triangles you encounter everyday…yield signs, trusses, diagrams, fractals, games, love, kitchens…kitchens? Of course, countless kitchen diagrams identify an optimum kitchen work triangle between the fridge, sink and oven. There’s no denying those are critical work centers in every kitchen; however, an efficient working triangle doesn’t automatically create a well-designed kitchen. read more →

03 Aug 2014
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