New Year, New Priorities

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Destroyed insurance company office on Hwy 66 in Rowlett

This post is part of a coalition of architects posting on a single topic, each interpreting it in their own way, known as Architalks. This month the topic is your “New Year, New _____”

On December 26th, around 7pm, my home town of Rowlett was hit by an EF4 tornado.  This is the sort of thing you hear about on the news, that you don’t see first hand.  I can’t recall that I’d ever seen a disaster of this scale in person, and certainly not in my community. It really makes you stop and think about your priorities.

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13

01 2016

The Most Impressively Astounding Last Minute Designer’s Shopping Guide 2015

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Once again we’re here with the annual The Most Impressively Astounding Last Minute Designer’s Shopping Guide now for 2015!  I know, Christmas is only about a week away, why so late?  Because, I know you…I know all designers.  We’re procrastinators, hem haw-ers, and generally so dissatisfied with most products out there that we put it off as we keep hoping for something, anything better.  Where is it is, the best list to find something to satisfy any designer you may know!

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From an Architect’s Holiday Table

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This post is part of a coalition of architects posting on a single topic, each interpreting it in their own way, known as Architalks. This month the topic is your “From an Architect’s Table”

Ok, never before seen, never before published, here is the official Brown Family Holiday Breakfast Quiche.  If you think you’re too manly for this meal, I dare you to get down two whole pieces and not unbutton your sleepy pants.  Read the rest of this entry →

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11 2015

13 Twitter Accounts [maybe not] Every Aspiring Architect Must Follow

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Recently NCARB published a list of the 13 Must Follow Twitter Accounts for Aspiring Architects which I was happy to find had some of my favorite twitter friends on it including the inimitable storytelling of Bob Borson, and the prolific business insight of Enoch Sears.  That said, aside from this dynamic duo, it’s a pretty vanilla list.  You could throw in quite a few others with that, including Mark R. LePage and Jeff Echols who also write on the business of architecture, or  Marcela Abadi Rhoads who posts excellent content on Barrier Free Design,  Cherise Lakeside, the #CSIKracken engaged in specification and project delivery, Tabitha Ponte who is laser focused on creating a new education paradigm, or even Randy Deutsch dissecting the digital, and the data behind the design.  Call me a maverick, but networking tips from AIAS and updates from NCARB aren’t why I got into architecture.  Inspiration, agitation, disruption…twitter is a chaotic crucible of thought and provocation, a place to connect with one or thousands.  Here’s my version of this list.  I hope that it will get your design blood flowing: Read the rest of this entry →

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10 2015

Citizen Architect – Form out of Time

Image via Forgemind ArchiMedia on Flickr

This post is part of a coalition of architects posting on a single topic, each interpreting it in their own way, known as Architalks. This month the topic is your “Citizen Architect”

The AIA has staunchly promoted the constructed notion of a Citizen Architect a sort of paragon within the profession who, by their definition, “…uses his/her insights, talents, training, and experience to contribute meaningfully, beyond self, to the improvement of the community and human condition.”   I’m generally not a fan of this distinction, as I feel every architect should conduct their practice in this way.  To elevate a certain constituency simply because they sit on local boards or get elected to office I think misses the point of the profession.  The value of the architect isn’t as a legislative tool or a cocktail party fundraiser, the value of the architect is in their power to see what the world can be, and help craft that world from  the trenches, not atop an ivory tower. Read the rest of this entry →

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10 2015

Architecture – Work to Live

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This post is part of a coalition of architects posting on a single topic, each interpreting it in their own way, known as Architalks. This month the topic is your “Work/Life”

How does work balance with life?  Architecture is the haven of horrific stories about all-nighters and coffee induced caffeine overloads.  It’s typically a tale rife with tragic figures suffering for their art and domineering villains cracking a whip to drive them on.

Well, let’s see:

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09 2015

The Big Idea

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This post is part of a coalition of architects posting on a single topic, each interpreting it in their own way, known as Architalks. This month the topic is your “my three favorite words”

The Big Idea.

Three words I use, probably more than any other in my work.  Architecture is complicated.  It is so complicated that it can take many, many people to make it a reality, with a diverse web of scheduling, overlapping responsibilities, stacked phases, and hand offs from one team to another, and all the interdependent coordination that entails.  What is the one thing that keeps everything on track? Read the rest of this entry →

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06 2015

Favorite Place

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This post is part of a coalition of architects posting on a single topic, each interpreting it in their own way, known as Architalks. This month the topic is your “favorite place”

What is my favorite place?  Easy…my own mind.

Now, I know that sounds egotistical, indulgent, possibly narcissistic, and quite probably what you’d expect from a film noir archetypal mad scientist, but it’s true. Read the rest of this entry →

29

04 2015

Crafty

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Liberal Arts colleges are struggling.   There are several articles that have been written on the demise of the liberal arts colleges and why students are chosing more targeted career driven curriculum.  It is a symptom of, what believe, to be a crisis in higher education in which college is being viewed less and less like “higher education” and rather more like a vocational training for higher paying jobs. Read the rest of this entry →

29

03 2015

Architecture in the Real World

 

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Architecture in the real world…is the only ‘architecture’.

Period.

With the title of this entry a reader might make the assumption that I’d write on the nuts and bolts aspects of the profession, what an office is like, how the process really works, and maybe even a litany of advice for the emerging professional.  It’s not.  Architecture in the real world, professionally speaking, is more like any other office experience than not.  Now on to something more fun, and probably more controversial.  Strap in.

If it ain’t built, it ain’t architecture.

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02 2015