Bad Mentor, Good Mentor

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get — Forrest Gump. My friend, Forrest, refers to the unexpected disappointment of finding a jelly core in your chocolate bite instead of a coveted caramel. Choosing your favorite chocolate from the box was an anxious adventure until chocolate manufacturer’s published a legend to distinguish the jelly (bad) from the caramel (good). Like searching for the chocolate in an unmarked box, your mentor search can prove equally precarious. On the outside they may look alike but will your mentor be chewy caramel goodness or wretched jelly sludge? Selecting a mentor doesn’t have to be a calculated risk. Setting your expectations and research can separate the good mentor experience from the bad. 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 →

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 →

Architecture and m&ms — We Go Together

The preceding pairs are natural complements that just make sense. Few people challenge the ideal combination of well-balanced food, materials and comedy. But I’m here to reveal an equally powerful but lesser known pair that every architect and every person should know. My timeless paring is architecture & m&ms. read more →

Architools — Mind Over Matter

Batman is an anomaly in the superhero universe. He has no physical super human attributes. He didn’t inherit a super talent in a bizarre chemical accident or interaction with a wily beast and emerge with a super talent. He’s simply a Regular Joe with a loaded tool belt and great toys. It’s his innate ability to wield these tools that makes him super, like an architect. 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 →