✱ Words Architects Use

Our words matter. I keep seeing this one thing that is killing our chances of truly connecting with our clients over and over again. It's spreading like a virus through our profession, and it's probably going unnoticed by the people propagating it. It's your vocabulary, and it isn't impressing the right people. I love a well developed lexicon, so please don't misunderstand me. This is written from the perspective of the people who are trying to decide if they want to work with us (most likely for many years on a project) or not. Many times we just never get that chance because of the words we use when we give our first impressions. The following is based upon my experience. 

We sell

Presentations. Interviews. Meetings. We are either selling ourselves (and/or our expertise, process and services) to get the job in the first place, or we are selling the work Continue reading "✱ Words Architects Use"

Link: Archispeak Episodes of Late

The blog here has been a bit stagnant but it's not because I haven't been doing anything. Here are the last 6(!) episodes that we've recorded over at the podcast that I haven't posted here. Three of them were done on location in our AirBnB apartment (sidebar: The six times I've used AirBnB so far have been awesome. Click the link for a $25 credit to try it when you travel) for the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta. It was the first time that Cormac and I met in person and we both agree that recording in the same room was super weird. I think we got used to it by the third day however.

✱ What Architecture Means to Me

A friend of mine was beginning to teach a new architecture class at one of the local universities and he wanted to get the new kids thinking about architecture and what it could mean to them. They are new architecture students and were probably the type of people who didn't really know or understand the definition of architecture. From my perspective, it's a difficult thing to define if you haven't really thought about it. No, it's not "buildings". He asked a few of us at the office who are passionate about the profession to give their points-of-view. It's a hard thing to define even for me, and I wonder if I might have given a different answer if it were asked on a different day.

"What does architecture mean to you?"

Architecture is a dichotomy in so many ways. It is where we spend the most personal and private part of our lives, Continue reading "✱ What Architecture Means to Me"

✱ My Favorite Place

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The latest ArchiTalks post idea was to write about our favorite place. That could be taken so many ways. Favorite architectural place? Favorite place for a certain activity/non-activity? A favorite place that I've only been to once? Maybe it's my favorite place I've been to many times because I like it so much... I guess I'll have to pick one because I have all of these types of places zipping through my brain right now. Decisions, decisions. If you're wondering what ArchiTalks is, you can read my previous posts in the series here. Basically there is a monthly subject that's given to a group of architects who all talk online, and it's a way for each to write about their interpretation of a very open-ended subject. It's one of Bob Borson's brain-children (the guy who started the Life of an Architect website), and it's really fun to read the different points-of-view that
My son navigating the Narrows
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Continue reading "✱ My Favorite Place"

✱ Architecture is for People

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I recently took to Twitter and shared a story about a visit to an architectural project I worked on with a photographer who will be shooting the project when it's complete. It was a great experience and I though I'd try a new way of sharing my story on Twitter instead of my blog. I spewed the entire thing out and a few salient tweets were retweeted out by some of my followers and friends. But I think it's better when there's context and seen as a whole, so I took all the pieces and put them into one larger story using Storify. Here it is presented in its entirety. 

Video: Brené Brown on the Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count

Brené Brown talks at the 99u Conference about showing up and doing the work. She also has some strong words about whom we should listen to when it comes to feedback on our projects.  I absolutely love how this talk applies to architecture and designers in particular who have the obligation of being vulnerable. It also reminds me that the process of design is a struggle, and it is not "the fun part" of architecture, although it is often categorized as such. Don't get me wrong... I love the challenge and wouldn't want to do anything else.
A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.
— Orison Swett Marden
I need to find a way to get this video to automatically replay every time I'm having self-doubt or need a kick in the ass to get moving on my Continue reading "Video: Brené Brown on the Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count"

Video: Brené Brown on Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count

Brené Brown talks at the 99u Conference about showing up and doing the work. She also has some strong words about whom we should listen to when it comes to feedback on our projects.  I absolutely love how this talk applies to architecture and designers in particular who have the obligation of being vulnerable. It also reminds me that the process of design is a struggle, and it is not "the fun part" of architecture, although it is often categorized as such. Don't get me wrong... I love the challenge and wouldn't want to do anything else.
A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.
— Orison Swett Marden
I need to find a way to get this video to automatically replay every time I'm having self-doubt or need a kick in the ass to get moving on my Continue reading "Video: Brené Brown on Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count"

Video: Brené Brown on Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count

Brené Brown talks at the 99u Conference about showing up and doing the work. She also has some strong words about whom we should listen to when it comes to feedback on our projects.  I absolutely love how this talk applies to architecture and designers in particular who have the obligation of being vulnerable. It also reminds me that the process of design is a struggle, and it is not "the fun part" of architecture, although it is often categorized as such. Don't get me wrong... I love the challenge and wouldn't want to do anything else.
A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.
— Orison Swett Marden
I need to find a way to get this video to automatically replay every time I'm having self-doubt or need a kick in the ass to get moving on my Continue reading "Video: Brené Brown on Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count"

Link: LoaA Annual Playhouse Competition 2015

            <a href="http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/life-of-an-architect-playhouse-design-competition-2015/" >


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            </a>
It's on! My friend Bob over at the Life of an Architect blog is holding his fourth annual playhouse design competition. You can see the winners from last year (and the previous years as well) and read the rules for entry. Here's the short list: This competition is open to anyone from anywhere – the only entry criteria is the following:

  • You have to be a living member of the human race (or at least be able to fool others into believing that you are).
  • A good attitude should also be a requirement but that’s more of a personal judgement call.
  • Capable of reading and following the instructions that are spelled out very clearly below.
So head over to his blog post and read the full rules, the submittal requirements, the timeline, and how the judging process works. It's one of the most fun competitions around, and the winning playhouses actually get built and go to an absolutely great cause - helping out kids in need. Go play architect!

Link: My Take on Being a Well-Rounded Designer

            <a href="http://built.philau.edu/expert-interview-with-evan-troxel-of-trxl-on-being-a-well-rounded-designer" >


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            </a>
I was honored to answer a few questions for the Philadelphia University School of Architecture blog which is a great resource for architecture students. There you can read my thoughts about the importance of being a well-rounded designer and architect. You'll also learn quite a bit more about me, my background, and why I do what I do. I'm so happy they publish this publicly so everyone can read it and get some good information about what it's like going to architecture school and what to expect once working in the profession. More like this please.

Link: Archispeak 54 – Agent of Change

Getting stuck in a rut. Pigeonholed. Marginalized.  Don't let it happen to you. These things occur in architecture just like any other profession. We talk about what you can do about it so that you can make the most of your journey and have the career and experience you really want.  For those of you who've been in the profession for a while, we also talked about how to take care of our staff so they don't get stuck. It all of our responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen. We've had some great comments on the episode as well. You can listen to the audio and see the comments here. Permalink