Friday, April 17, 2015

Creative Differences + How it Impacts YOU

The perfect price. The perfect look. The perfect site. But the perfect architecture practice is a bit more complex. It isn't simply enough to choose a designer who shares your vision; that designer must be supported by a practice that reflects your objective.

  1. BAD EXAMPLE 1You enjoy relishing the conceptual beginnings of the budding design process. The designer you have chosen feels the same way. If the practice the designer works for pushes deadlines to maximize monthly billings, your designer may not be able to give you the time you need to fully develop the concept to your satisfaction.
  2. BAD EXAMPLE 2You have a need, require quality work, but not interested in conceptual fluff. Your designer's practice pushes them to engage clients frequently and encourages design exploration: scribbles on paper and cardboard models. The practice may have expectations of your designer that you may not want to invest time or money into.  
A tour of the architecture practice is a great way to identify the way your designer works and the environment the practice cultivates. Additionally, they will be eager to show you projects similar to yours; therefore, ask for details about how they approach the architectural design process [above]. Be certain to ask about existing client relationships and whether or not they have repeat business. Finally, your instincts will guide you towards the perfect practice.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Architectural Design Process

Window shopping is like day dreaming... the possibilities you imagine are boundless. The ripening of a prospective new design inspires boundless imaginings. That is until the reality of long path ahead crushes you in an avalanche of anxiety. But fear not, below is a breakdown of the architectural design process at-a-glance.

The Architectural Design Process
Architecture is an artsy profession which may leave you in the dark as to what designers are actually doing with their time and your money. The architectural design process has five parts outlined by the AIA. The image below walks you thought the design process.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Yes. Dating can be green. As a single mom, dating can be somewhat of a chore, bore, snore... and more rhyming words. Below are five sustainability steps to save your time and the planet!

  1. Save your time. First, join an online dating site. The club and bar scene is still a viable meeting environment, but online dating can weed out anyone who is not a good match. This is useful because a bad match for you is a good match for someone else; so, everyone’s time is made more efficient.
  2. Save your battery. Second, don't obsess about who contacts who first. What is more important is the flow of the messages. If you are interested in learning more about someone, don't forget to show it by ending each message with a question or two. If the responder does the same, it means they are interested. If not, it is possible that they are simply being polite by responding. 
  3. Save your gas. Next, let's say you get the first inklings of chemistry and wish to meet. Thus far, your impression is strictly based on photos and messaging. However, you wouldn't want to drive to the other side of town and after five minutes face-to-face think, "Gee, this was a waste of time." Thus, prolong meeting in person by inviting them to initially webcam. It saves gas, money, time, and any awkwardness you may have stepped into. Just to be safe, have a user name that is difficult to determine your full name and personal information, increase your privacy settings, and remember you can shut them off (literally) if it gets creepy or inappropriate.
  4. Save more gas! Finally, let's say that all three steps were successful. Meeting via webcam gave you a more complete idea of the person: facial expressions, voice, sense of rhythm, and so on. Plan to meet during the day for coffee or your lunch break near your place of work to save on time and gas. If your schedule isn't contusive, you work from home, or evenings/weekends are better, plan to meet on a day where you're running errands. Choose a familiar and public place with wifi, but not one of your favorite haunts. Arrive earlier, and bring a device that lets you get some work done. After the date, insist that you need to get more work done, and that way you can leave your meeting place after they are long gone. This is both for security reasons as well as making you feel your gas miles were put towards productive use.
  5. Save the planet. Wow, congratulations! You've made it to the second date, and I hope it is everything you've dreamt of. Your dates can be made greener by supporting local businesses, spending time in nature, choosing to travel via public transport or cycling, and visit establishments with good green agendas. 

Your future true love will appreciate your efficiency and green sensibility. Following the first four steps saves time, money, and the environment. The fifth step maintains the sustainability lifestyle that makes you so lovable in the first place.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Architecture re-imagines shipping containers to create modern, sustainable, and affordable housing. Shipping containers have been designed to stack, last a long time, and are built with hardy materials. Shipping containers come in several standard sizes, but most buildings typically use 9'-5" H x 8' W x 20' L or 40' L.

Converting shipping containers into buildings ideally utilizes those which are pre-insulated. The insulated containers have been designed for transporting perishable goods and foods. The insulation is a compact mineral wool; and without metal or wood studs, there are no cold bridges.

Additional benefits include:

  • Stackable
  • Long lasting
  • Hardy materials
  • Structurally light
  • Minimal construction foundation due to sturdiness
  • Affordable as unfinished container costs $1,200-5,000
  • Ideal for modernists
  • Sustainable and upcycled
  • Efficient envelope
  • Pre-wired electrically
  • Transportable pre and post-construction
  • Optional offsite construction and onsite assembly
  • Flat roofs are ideal for solar panels

Shipping container architecture has been used by everyone from homeowners, mixed-use developers, and even big companies like Starbucks and Pumpa. Just like building blocks, the combinations are as infinate as the imagination. Check out some great designs on the Second Eden Studio website.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The clock in your house is ticking down to summer vacation. If you're like me, you're dreading the inevitable mantra, "I'm bored!" Here is a list of national websites that can guide you to a greener and less boring summer for you and your children:

  • AAM. The American Association of Museums website has links to all registered museums in the USA. Visit the link and you can zero in on the type of museums that feature environmentally driven events, collections, and interactives.

  • Local Harvest. The Local Harvest website enables you to connects your with your local farmers' markets, organic farms, and community agricultural events. You'll be able to teach the kids about eating healthy, how agriculture works, and what organic living means.

  • National Parks & Recreation Association. The NPRA website provides an interactive calendar allowing you to input your location and desired happenings to advise on the best events and courses for you and your family. So many of their outdoor activities are nature based and environmentally friendly.

  • National Park Service. The NPS website search engine locates the parks nearest you and what activities are happening there. The NPS functions with an environmental agenda and always has new insights and adventures to share with the public.

  • Netflix. Rainy days are inevitable, but they don't have to be wasted opportunity to learn about environmentalism. There are many family friendly documentaries and TV series on digital media and NetflixBlue PlanetMicrocosmosWild ChinaBlackfish, just to name a few. There are so many more, and I would be thrilled if you would comment on your favorites as to expand our repertoire. 

You can also investigate your local YMCA, public libraries, local parks, school district, and cinemas featuring free weekday morning movies for kids. Best of luck keeping your sanity and children busy this summer!