Friday, July 24, 2015

Architecture Matters.....

So, maybe this story will sound familiar to some of you - maybe this has happened to you, or maybe not; maybe a friend or colleague.  But this is the story of what has happened with me lately.

So, you have your own work (whether a sole proprietor, owner, or even a manager or employee in a firm).  Things are going well, then they get better, then they get BUSY, and all of a sudden, things get rocky.  And then, for no apparent reason – just because you start to get overwhelmed by what is going on - you start to get doubts.  You might doubt the direction you are going in, about what you are trying to do, about whether you are doing the right things, or doing those things well, or what you SHOULD be doing.  (I have begun to hate that word, SHOULD, by the way.)  And then things go off the tracks.  In my case, it was having a flare of my chronic diseases, and then not paying attention to the critical things, and then feeling like it would be too difficult to ‘stay the course’.  So I started cutting things out from my daily/weekly routine.  Like writing. And sketching.  And I miss those – they were a way of being creative without needing to expend a lot of effort or creative juices, and they are fun, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing those things.

Now that it has been a few months, I am finding my feet again.  I am remembering (or reminding myself) that I started this effort in order to share – could be inspiration, could be lessons learned, could be just what is going on.  I have missed writing and posting (although the facebook page here: ).  And, to be honest (with you and with myself), I never promised it would be GOOD. (just kidding, I hope).

So here’s to a renewed effort, and I have two things to share today.

First, the AIA here in Raleigh launched a new marketing campaign - the Architecture Matters postcard campaign.  It was a good reminder to me of one of the things I hope to address through my own practice, and by extension, this blog.  

Second, what I am reading.  This also happens to be a source of inspiration.  I have two books on my table.  OK, I actually have way more than that.  But here are the two that are keeping me busy the most.  

The first book is Art’s Principles, by Arthur Gensler (yes, that Gensler).  I am loving this book.  I am thinking that EVERY architect or firm owner who has practiced as long as Mr. Gensler should write a book like this.  Great stories, great quotations, fun pictures, and a lot of great advice, all in a compact little volume.  I encourage you to buy it, borrow it, share it, etc.  The book has short chapters, it is easy to jump around, it is easy to digest, you can read just one at a time and think about it, or you can read more.  It has been a real treat to read it.

The second book is The Forever Home by Kevin Harris.  I saw this book first promoted through the AIA CRAN (Custom Residential Architect Network), and managed to snag a download of the first chapter from the author.  I thought it was great.  The writing is accessible and straightforward, and I like Mr. Harris’ attitude towards the architect’s role.  I just got the hard copy yesterday, and I am looking forward to reading more.  Similar to Art’s Principles, I am finding The Forever Home to be engaging, easy to flip through and read small parts of, and I imagine diving deeper into.  It has sidebars, sketches, lessons learned from Mr. Harris’ practice and experience. 

If you’d like to learn from some great practitioners, I think that these two books are a great way to start.

I am looking forward to getting back on a regular posting schedule, and I hope that you all have a good weekend.

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