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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The Multi-Client — Is Your Architect Faithful?

You did it! You found your architect and (s)he is all yours. Does hiring your architect and paying your initial deposit ensure a faithful exchange or does your architect have competing interests? Once you hire the architect, (s)he immediately earns four clients and accepts obligations that extend beyond your desires. Is this a conflict of interest? Is your architect loyal? Since you paid the architect, (s)he should be working for you, but also works for these 3rd party tag-a-longs; the State, the Code and the Contractor. read more →

13 Feb 2012
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Your Home — My Novel

I just finished reading a good novel. In my after-novel bliss, I wondered what made this one so enjoyable. Like any good novel, it was an interesting, well-developed story with lively characters, drama and closure. I’m no author, but I’ve dabbled in the literary arts and learned though my experience writing articles and this blog that it takes thought, organization, talent and hard work to create a lucid, enjoyable and meaningful story. read more →

16 Mar 2011
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Seal of Approval

You probably think of architects as creative types. You see them as die-hard professionals constantly redefining normal, pushing borders and thinking innovative, but you may not realize architects have to follow certain practice rules that unlicensed professionals may not. Have you ever seen an unfinished construction document labeled with a disclaimer “not for construction”. Did you wonder if the architect was trying to avoid responsibility or preserve a copyright? Actually your architect is accepting the responsibility required of ethical design professionals — protecting you! read more →

10 Nov 2010
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You Need an Architect When…

I’ve heard every raging battle about whether you need an architect or a designer. An architect is more experienced, but a designer costs less. An architect sees the big picture, but a designer has real-world experience. An architect organizes multiple design disciplines, but a designer is fast. An architect is busy, but a designer is easier to find. An architect is creative, but a designer is practical. And the list continues endlessly, but I say “Stop the madness”. Quite simply, you have to pick the right professional or designer for your specific project. It’s deciding who or what you want, but sometimes the law requires an architect for projects of a certain size or scope and you need to know which ones to keep yourself safe and the designer out of trouble. read more →

26 Oct 2010
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What’s This GREEN Stuff?

I’m an architect and I’m green! Well, I think I’m green or at the very least I like what some people in the construction industry call “green behavior”. By “green behavior” I don’t mean new or inexperienced. I mean earth-friendly, but I didn’t always think this way. It was my perception of the biggest problem in the industrial world that inspired my environmental awareness. Like many people who have nothing better to do, I think about nothing and a wandering mind dangerously analyzes problems — at least mine does. Anyway, my perception of the industrial world’s biggest problem is a theory called — the generation gap. Some behavioral historian (this is casual writing no credible references available) defines the generation gap as “the time it takes from the moment we realize we have a problem to do something about it”. And I think it’s this perception that the world has an environmental dilemma that drives this green stuff. read more →

20 May 2010
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Architect as Chef — Home Cooking

I take every chance I get to visit Grandma’s house. She always tells a great story and prepares a delicious home-cooked meal. I hear about my childhood antics and roll my eyes when she embellishes the story. I learn how differently the world was during her formative years compared to mine. She shares life events that positively shaped her generation, my parents and me. I’m mesmerized by her tales and the heavenly aroma of her famous stew. Oh and did I mention I get a great meal? The preparation and love she pours into a family meal is magical and inspiring. As I basked in great company and culinary bliss, I realized design is like making stew! read more →

15 May 2010
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