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Taliesin, where a woman can be a fellow here. As Architect Barbie, the doll from " BARBIE® I CAN BE...™ ” series hits stores on August 15th, I can’t help but think about a girl, whose story of wanting the doll upon seeing an image of it from the internet earlier this year. When Catherine Lorraine Johnson requested her grandfather for an Architect Barbie, it struck a chord and gave me an a-ha-moment. I sensed an imaginary bond that connected that four-year-old girl with the grandpa, who happens to be the respected architectural designer, Michael P. Johnson . Architect Barbie trying on Frank Lloyd Wright's original drafting table...
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The Changing Role of Architects: Can Traditional Practice Continue to Survive and Thrive? I first voiced this concern at a Saturday morning seminar on Life/Work Balance at the 2008 National AIA Convention in Boston, MA while participating in a small group talk. In that 4-hour seminar, we were set in groups of 10 at round tables to discuss issues we face as architects and how we approach them. When our group leader listed our top concerns about the profession, he did add mine at the tail end, namely, that "architects, as sole practioners, seemed to be facing obsolescence." To my surprise, no one said anything. No one screamed. No one argued....
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During a recent screening of the documentary Kings of Pastry at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago's theater district, I had the pleasure of asking one of its leading characters, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer from where his design sources come. He tells me he's a big fan of the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly , stating that he studied the processes and techniques of glass blowing, and incorporates them in some of his culinary sugar sculptures. Kings of Pastry fell on my radar when I saw this image: The expression on the chef's face reminded me a lot about architecture school when I had to build scaled models, trying to make sense of how...
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Review of Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction, Second Edition, 2010 About a month ago I posted a question on the Residential Knowledge Community board asking if anyone had seen the second edition of Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction , and if so, what they thought. Though I did not get any review comments back, I was fortunate enough to receive a note from the AIA asking if I would like to review the book myself and post my review as a blog on the AIA KnowledgeNet. I accepted, and they sent a copy of the book to me. See below for my review. I have been an architect for many years,...
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Why is it that so many mainline religions in the U.S. continue to replicate architectural forms from other cultures, other countries, rather than commission architects to create something fresh and contemporary? Is it a strong desire to connect with ancestry, to protect the status quo? Or is it the lack of courage on the part of the architectural profession to help clients imagine the possibilities? I am wondering what others think?
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As a continuation to my previous commentary on the IGCC; this article involves two aspects: a) the effort by a municipality to perform permit-reviews; and, b) the effort by the A/E to prepare documents for permit-submission. a) Getting a building permit in the City of Houston (my hometown jurisdiction – C of H) is a pain. That’s because the C of H utilizes a “thorough-plan-review” system, which gives broad powers to the plans examiners, and less power to the field-inspectors. Unfortunately, the pain increased when the city underfunded its pension obligations, and many experienced plan-examiners / inspectors “retired” to take advantage...
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Envisioning the X-Prize: How Lessons from the Space Industry May Help Architects Transform the Built Environment http://www.xprize.org/ Jane Poynter, Author and Environmentalist of Biosphere fame and President of Paragon Space Development Corporation, has laid down the gauntlet. During her presentation at a recent Summit, she asked a group of thought leaders in architecture: “Why don’t we have an X-Prize for the built environment?” A poignant question. What is an X-Prize? I didn't know for sure, so I googled it and found this exhilarating video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjokzUTpqjw&feature=player_embedded...
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I just wanted to get something going here for those of us trying to work or get work and who might not be as technically, in the way of computer drawing as we would like to be. I know that all the firms want the REVIT and CAD and forget that the experience is what is most important. We can also be good suprvisors and teachers in the office. Not to mention spec writers, Constrction Administrators etc. I would love to get comments from anyone who has an interest in this subject.
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To continue my previous blogs: The IGCC is totally unnecessary…there, I said it! 1 – The IGCC is totally unnecessary – It’s a stretch to the meaning of “construction / building codes”, and 2 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary - It costs architects in fees… …As everyone knows, we live in a very litigious society; and, without question, the threat and reality of litigation impacts what we draw, say, and even imply as professionals. Much of the basis for litigation comes from what we “should do” or what we “should have done” – while compared to “what another prudent architect would do, in similar situations, in the...
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Oke-Doke! AIA is in the process of migrating all past blogs to this new venue - There is one comment on a recent Small Firms Idea Exchange blog that just can't wait (see below for question and original blog post if you [sigh] haven't seen it. Thank you to Oscar to asking such a large question for initial real 'blog' in this venue. FIRST: AIA has that anti-trust thingie that makes it so we can't discuss specific actual fees; we can however discuss the philosophy on how one determines what their fees should be, or debate 'fixed fee' versus 'hourly' contracts. SECOND: 'how to get clients' is way more fun - let's start there. There has been a number...
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Architecture Exchange East conference is in full swing in Richmond, Virginia. Read some of the Take-aways from this session: 306 What’s Your Plan B? Does the present economy make you feel like there is more truth to Murphy’s Law than fiction? Do you wonder about alternative career paths for architects? An expert panel of professionals who have not followed typical career paths considers the options. Presented by Rob Rosenfeld Heather Simmons, AIA, HDR, Inc. Kathryn T Prigmore, FAIA, NCARB, CDT, LEED AP, Vice President, HDR, Inc. Leslie McDonald, Architectural Designer at Abrahamse & Company Builders Amy Eichenberger, AIA, Senior...
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Where do you start, and what are the best practices to search out the correct codes? Start with your state - your state will adopt a national code. Most have adopted the international building code (IBC printed from the ICC) international code council. << History lesson: The international code has grown from the Building Code Council and Southern Building Code into the National presence it is today. >> Next, Drill down to the local level by calling the CITY HALL of the area where you are working. Check with their building department and/or Development department. Next check is the internet: search for the code they gave...
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The state of Alabama is currently in the process of have a new psychiatric hospital designed. The patients will be fed in the new hospital, however, the food will be prepared in another facility and transported to the new building. I have been told that the new building will be required by The Joint Commission to have a dishwasher in the building even though the food is prepared elsewhere. Is this true and where can I find the regulation?
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The Space Architecture Technical Committee (SATC) of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the first formal organization of architects and industrial designers working in the aerospace field. The AIAA-SATC arranges aerospace architecture paper sessions at international space conferences, promotes research on aerospace architecture topics, assists students with space architecture projects and provides liaison between aerospace engineering, architecture and industrial design disciplines. Over fifty years have passed since the birth of human spaceflight. In that time, hundreds of humans have visited Earth orbit as astronauts, politicians...
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KnowledgeNet could be a great resource. The problem is it is not intuitive enough for new users. My profile still is not complete, even though I have done every option, and the network is too slow for productive use.
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Is it my imagination or is gathering information off KnowledgeNet a little hard to do? I'm having a hard time searching for past SPP Journals; are they still on the old system? Anyway - I've got a project for a long term client that is just snake-bit. Now that the project is 'over' (user group has moved into the space, and is asking for minor changes and we're waiting for contractor close out documents) I'm spending some time on an analysis of 'what happened here'. here's what I've come up with so far, I wanted to bounce this off of the blog-world to see if anyone is experiencing anything similar. 1) Project was stopped/started 3 times over 2...
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As a follow-up to my previous blog “ The IGCC is totally unnecessary…there, I said it! ” - I’ve continued with elaboration on my first point (stated in the blog title)…if you’ve never read the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), I hope the following information will be an eye-opener, and you’ll spend time reviewing the nuts and bolts of the IGCC… As lawbrain.com states: “Building codes have been used by governmental units for centuries to ensure that buildings remain safe and sanitary. Early settlements in the United States drafted codes for such purposes as restrictions on the use of wooden chimneys to prevent fire. The early codes were...
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My name is Greg Houston and architecture is my life. I am a licensed denver architect that opened my own architecture practice in August 2010. It has always been my goal to be a small architecture practice owner and the time couldn't have been better for me. I was working for a medium sized church design firm based in Irvine, CA. For two years I watched the workload get lighter and lighter. At the same time that I was working for this firm I was also teaching and developing architectural design courses, and finishing up my AREs. Last January I finally got my final pass letter from NCARB and was licensed by the end of January 2010. The...
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Keepint all very simple. Those of us with integrity, and a sense of work ethic, combined with our endeavors for architecture continue to be left wondering what happened and why. But this time and after years in business it takes on a whole new meaning. Now it isn't the perception or the knowledge of the untrained eye. Now it has an economical impact. Again, it is very simple. The following is destroying our profession: * Giving services away from the time we are in college to free work for advantages to obtain more work. * Taking the bait of "if you do this for a lesser price we will make it up later" - NEVER HAPPENS. * Selling...
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Ich bin ein Happy Camper “Why?” you ask. Because, meine Dammen und Herren , I just returned from the COD’s recent conference in Berlin, entitled Berlin: The Origins of Modernism: Berlin Dessau Potsdam. It was my first ever COD conference and, let me tell you, I was on cloud neun …I mean nein...no, I mean….nine…. that’s cloud nine ! I – was - on - cloud - nine. Take iconic architecture, add cutting edge bravado, shake well, garnish with thought provoking presentations and serve immediately to a jovial and thirsty crowd. A few delicious moments spring immediately to mind… ..…singing...
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