Words are Simple — Too Simple

Words hurt, Words are Power, Words are cheap, Words are Simple — Too simple and that’s why I add the Show-&-Tell step to The Sketch part of the design process. The Show-&-Tell solves the mystery behind personal word definitions. One of the most misused words in architecture is the word, “simple“. Every client uses it,.. read more →

The Dad — The Architect

Doctor, Officer, General. Those are titles that designate a particular status, position or employment. I don’t like them. It’s not these titles specifically that I don’t like. I don’t like titles, period; however, there are three titles I’ve earned in my life that I proudly wear. Husband, Dad and Architect. Over the years, my family learned those titles are not mutually exclusive. 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 →

Renewal — Re-Ranch

renovate, remodel, restore, refresh, recondition, refurbish, renewal…re-Ranch. While the definition of most of those words are self-explanatory, the term “Re-Ranch” might make you wonder. Allow me a moment to share the Re-Ranch journey. It begins with a remodel idea that evolved to a rebuild and finally resolved as a different remodel. The Re-Ranch story starts in a small Texas town, with a man named Ray and his wife Becky. 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 →

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 →