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Lee is my hero.

think | architect

00 cover Skysight

Crafty? I’m not going to define it as cunning, deceitful or sly but in the obsolete as skillful, ingenious and dexterous.

If I might venture a guess, I would say I’d rather design a good project that is crafted and executed well than design a great project and have it built and crafted poorly.

Craft is important both in the quality of the instruments of design and service (drawings and models) but perhaps even more important in the actual execution of the real thing. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoy the construction phase of my work when the owner and contractor are equally concerned about craft as I am.  I’d like to share one of my projects where we had one of those great moments.

This unique project needs to be shared in two episodes addressing two different fiber-cement rain-screen systems that we used for two different reasons.

This was a re-cladding…

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What can I say, a post by Lee, so you know it’s worth reading!

think | architect

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Did you ever turn down a commission?

There is more being said these days on social media about architectural professional practice. I like it. To be honest, apart from Mark and Enoch there’s little being written (that I’ve found) for small or solo practitioner firms, so I love any dialog that helps. Most of the time the discussion focuses on how to get more work or get THAT project. When we don’t have enough work, it seems every project must be taken so we can continue to eat. I used to believe that. I suppose at times that is still a valid reason. It is not that simple.

As a means to strengthen our place in this industry and reach out to our profession, my friend Greg addressed the subject almost a year ago by writing 7 Reasons Why Architects Should NOT Abandon Small Projects as a response that some architects might be…

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I think my blog will just become an avenue to re-blog Lee’s posts… once again, another great post!

think | architect

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Over the years I have worked with many clients on the purchase of land for a new house or someone looking to build a commercial building. At some point I’ll have a follow up post that deals with the purchase of a commercial building, but today our focus is just on land, dirt, acreage, a place to call home. It could also be adapted for commercial use.

As I have worked with many people as well as my own family’s search for land in the building of our own home, I organized the many questions and considerations into five categories with additional questions within each category. It’s now time to share this information hoping it will somehow help you or your clients. It’s a living document, so as other questions arise or as you share with us, I’ll keep updating it as we go.

1. Personal: What is your gut…

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think | architect

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Dear architect, how do you get projects? In some way, they all come from referrals.

Dear client, how do you find an architect? In some way, you get a referral.

This is a basic component of our civilized culture. We trust the advice of a friend or family member…simple.

Most of my work comes from one of three referral sources. At least two of them need constant attention. One is the most important because it’s the most personal.

1. Online database and networks – The most common one is the AIA’s “Find an Architect” database. If you’re not an AIA member, well, you’re not on this list. That doesn’t mean the only good architects are AIA members. It’s just fortunate that a way exists (at a price) for people to find member architects and member firms outside of the Yellow Pages. It’s rather impersonal, just a list, but…

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think | architect

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My family and I just returned from a brief vacation. Yes, part of the trip took us to Chicago several weeks after the AIA Convention. Ironically, I was in Chicago twice this year but missed out on the convention and potentially meeting up with new friends. Nevertheless, it was special to share these moments with my family.

Call it a busman’s holiday, but this trip reminded me of an important truth as an architect. Remember the point of view of the user more than the point of view the architect.

I struggle with this since my background is more artistic, making the service end of the business harder to master than for others. In other words, some of the architects reading this are the type of personality where the service end comes easier. I find myself wanting to make pretty things.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that – in fact…

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r | one studio architecture

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There are few holidays that I truly love. Two of them are fairly close together. Memorial Day and Independence Day. There is nothing better than to celebrate the privilege and honor of being a citizen of the greatest country in the world – a place where I and my family are truly free to pursue life, liberty and happiness in whatever form that may be for us.

I hope you all took time off to celebrate that freedom yesterday. I hope even more that you’ll take time every day to celebrate that freedom in small ways. Those that came before us, that sacrificed and fought to establish, preserve and defend that freedom are honored every time we exercise our freedoms.

Today, don’t take yesterday for granted. Our independence isn’t just a one day affair. It’s a daily celebration. God Bless America.

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Let it be known, anything I reblog from Lee is worth reading.

think | architect

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It’s not meant to be a sermon or a lecture. I’m just sharing what I’ve been thinking. You’ve heard this before; this is not a new topic, but…you’re going to hear it again. If you want to be good – you have to pay the price.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my roots and how things were “when I was a kid” or “when I was growing up.” I know that can be a put-off or at least an eye-roller to use those phrases. I’d like to think I’m still young (very young for an architect). If you want to know, I was born between the releases of the Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts album and the Magical Mystery Tour album. The number one Billboard Single the day after I was born was “Light my Fire” by the Doors (the previous week’s song wasn’t as cool). That sets the…

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