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 →

9-11 — A Look Back

The only constant in life is change. Every generation has a pardigm shifting event that forever changed lives and perception. For my grandparents, it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For my parents it was the MLK and JFK assassinations, and for my generation it was the 9-11 tragedy. read more →

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 →