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I wanted to make you all aware of Fast Company's coverage of the Small Project Practitioners Farmers Market Pop-Up Project Design Competition. Jean Dufresne served as a great spokesperson for the program: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3032462/4-designs-that-reimagine-the-farmers-market Best, Matt Tinder Media Relations The American Institute of Architects 1735 New York Ave., NW Washington, DC 20006 202.626.7462 mtinder@aia.org Follow us on twitter @AIA_Media
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By Chayanne Husar Emailing is of course a part of everyone's life and is a fast, effective way to keep a record of communication of a project. Using email to clarify meetings, understandings, and schedules helps to keep a project on task and moving forward and I would always encourage consistent communication with a client. However, there comes a time to give up email. I have caught myself providing wordy descriptions when a simple sketch solves the problem, it's true that a picture is worth 1,000 words. It is also easy to fall victim to rapid fire exchanges that quickly escalate a small misunderstanding to a big problem. Stop and pick up the phone...
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By Jean Dufresne Most of us know that a big part of our time is spent educating our clients about architecture, construction, government processes and the like. It is our way of showcasing our value to the project, illustrating our passion for the art of architecture, as well as valuable time spent establishing a deeper trusting relationship with the client. We all have developed, over time, an ability to translate the complicated and at times perplexing into the understandable and clear, through a better knowledge of our client’s language and vernacular. I often find that a great source of clarity and simplicity are children’s books. Besides how much...
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By Jean Dufresne We are a small boutique firm, but we are growing quickly. And with growth comes more projects and larger, more complex projects. My role is changing day by day, away from the traditional architect and more of the business owner and project/people manager. Don't get me wrong, I love the work, the management skills, however, need some help. I figured there must be an APP for that! Turns out, there are hundreds of them. After review of several of them, we settled on TeamWork PM. A web-based (iPhone APP as well) project tracking software that lets you set milestones on a shareable calendar, as well as create and assign tasks...
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SPP Tip: Give back to the community by Liza Hausman, VP of Community for Houzz Social media and other technology tools changing the way homeowners get information and work with building and remodeling design professionals. You can expect today's homeowner to do an enormous amount of due diligence before hiring an architect. This includes viewing a professional's portfolio of past projects, reading client reviews, and using community activity to gauge a professional's personality and what he or she might be like to work with – and they are doing so as much as a year before starting a project. Investing the time to develop and manage your online...
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Deadline: 2013 Emerging Professional Component Grants; Save the Date for Free Upcoming Webinars; .article{ border-bottom:#e6e6e6 dashed thin; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-top:5px;} table#toolkit, td#toolkit { border: #e6e6e6 1px solid; } SPP Journal Editor The Small Projects Practitioners (SPP) Advisory Group seeks a volunteer to edit the SPP Journal. The SPP Journal is a quarterly online publication that collects and disseminates knowledge on how to profitably run a small firm and carry out small projects. It is distributed over 9000 AIA SPP Knowledge Community members and is also posted to the AIA's...
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We can do that too! I was pitching our Architectural Services to a client for a new large single family home project, when the conversation came to Interior Design Services. The client recognized our design skills but thought it best to work with a licensed Interior Designer for the finishes and interior of the home. We explained that we have the skills and resources to accomplish all of what an Interior Designer can do. Unfortunately, the client was insistent on the value of the license. Not wanting to lose such a critical aspect of the design on this project to someone else, I did some research and found out that in my state, IL, if you are a licensed...
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The AIA Small Project Practitioners and the AIA Housing Knowledge Community are proud to announce Jason Fleming, Assoc. AIA, Peter Muessig, Assoc. AIA, and Andrew Daley, Assoc. AIA, as recipients of the 2012 AIA Innovation and Practice in House Design Research Grant for their project InHouse OutHouse. Copyright © 2012 InHouse Design The InHouse OutHouse, submitted by three colleagues from Rice University, quickly rose to the top of the pile and created a sense of unity among the jury. The idea is to create a prefabricated “core” containing central services of a home such as kitchen, bath, HVAC, etc. off-site where manufacturing can be controlled....
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Can architects/ designers/ interior designers use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. to find work or new project opportunities? What about funding for projects, or even winning an online contest? How is social technology increasingly paving the way for co-working? I've shared some of this information with some of you once during the 2011 AIA National Convention in New Orleans. I'll share it again, and even more. I'm collaborating with the Chicago Women in Architecture ( CWA ), AIA Chicago , and Porcelanosa to bring this presentation (selected as one of AIA Virtual Convention's "Best of San Francisco, Miami and New Orleans" ) to Chicago...
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Hey Folks-just a reality check here (Atlanta Georgia). Last summer we had a lot of inquiries from what I call 'tire kicker', those folks who want to do something (a new project, renovate an existing structure, expand a business, go into a new business venture, etc.). Sadly none of them really panned out - it seems that the sharks were out looking for 30 cents on the dollar (all aspects-land acquisition, property acquisition, civil, architecture, engineering, construction, etc.) and most all went away. Tail end of last year there was another littler (is that a word?) flurry, promising thing, is this batch folks had more realistic expectations; a...
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Apparently some architects in NYC are singing in the rain...finally! Check this out as shared on www.aia.org net search; here are some fantastic face to face interviews with recognizable names in architecture: http://therealdeal.com/newyork/articles/architects-singing-or-silent Several key principals and CEO's of prominent firms were interviewed and have echoed similar sentiments to what we've been discussing/lamenting here: i.e. architects cutting fees and doing more pro bono work upfront, projects placed on hold, and experienced employees out of work compared to younger ones finally being hired (which is a great thing). The silver...
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Transcripts

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I have heard from our chapter executive director that AIA National is experienecing some problems with the transcripts/records service and are working to correct the problem. I wrote an e-mail to them weeks ago but have not heard a reply. I imagine that they are swamped with calls and e-mails.
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Networking, Meeting, After-Hour socials, etc. etc. etc. We meet so many people and these days it seems like EVERYTHING we do (work related anyway) has to do with meeting new/different folks and getting our company in front of potential clients. But is this really the right thing to do? I've always been a big fan of 'guerrilla marketing' in that, I've got a good group of folks we work on a regular basis, and all us (small firms) collectively look for new gigs. Because I've been doing this a while, my firm name is circulating around I'm getting invited to new groups/organizations. It seems like a good number of these new folks ('contacts') are people...
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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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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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new playground

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Hi Gang, Hopefully the new blog area will let us exchange information more freely, without taking up TOOO much additional time! "PartyOn Wayne! Party on Garth!"
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