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 →

How Green is my Granite?

Do you like a challenge? Do you tackle the daily crossword or sudoku puzzle and celebrate a triumphant victory? I love challenges but few puzzles parallel the thrill or complexity of a residential design/construction project. Like the client who calls and says, “Hello, I am interviewing architects and I need an architect who can make my 3,000 square foot house respond to my every lifestyle whim, on my steep and heavily forested lot, with top of the line appliances and finishes and full perimeter porches and all within my budget of $80/SF. Oh, and while you are at it, make my house ultra-green.” I waited a moment and asked, “Is that all?” It is challenging to create a personalized home that blends with the environment, but the green buzz adds a new dimension to design and construction that is difficult to quantify and integrate. read more →

30 Apr 2009
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