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Tag Archives: Design Practice

Squinting at the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Squinting at the Light at the End of the Tunnel

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This is the time of year when wealthy individuals begin to consult with their accountants and financial advisers to assess how their investments have performed in the past 12 months. Although financial advisers are rarely advocates for spending, this year may reveal a modest exception.

A few potential clients with recovered investment capital are ready to allocate a bit of their money to re-boot dormant or deferred projects. These individuals are, just now, receiving news from their advisers. And these individuals may, in turn, begin to call you to revive dormant projects, or to discuss new projects that might begin in 2011.

Monday, December 06, 2010 | | Add a Comment

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Re-structuring Your Design Firm During a Recession

Re-structuring Your Design Firm During a Recession

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“In this prolonged recession, we have two choices, it seems: We can hibernate for a number of years, like Rip Van Winkle, waking conveniently to a new world. Or we can make the time to consider new business development strategies that highlight our firm’s value and that put us closer to new projects. Concurrently, we can consider ways to improve our ability to stay abreast of trends in technology and practice.

The reality of global outsourcing is likely to change the nature of firms of every size. Our day-to-day tasks may shift from directing in-house staff to one where we review outsourced documents for design and code compliance. Can you fit in, and if so, how?”

Thursday, September 23, 2010 | | Add a Comment

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Greg Warner on the Importance of Place

Greg Warner on the Importance of Place

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“The importance of place means respect for what is actually there – including its history. If clients come to us requesting a specific regional or historical style, we respond by asking them what they like about the style they have selected and try to elicit the underlying qualities that attracted them to it in the first place. Then, ideally, we can embody those qualities in a design that’s actually the best fit for the project and its context.

The early design stages are a sort of courtship between architect and client. We’re really interviewing each other to see if there’s a mutual alignment. Just as we listen to their desires, we also educate them on what our values are, and they ideally buy into that early on in order for the project to be mutually successful.

We design homes with the client’s full life cycle in mind, and beyond. The home has to be versatile enough to accommodate generational life changes without requiring a renovation every 10 years. Sometimes this freaks out the clients a little bit! They’re not used to thinking this far ahead. We’re creating their home as an heirloom and a legacy to future generations.”

[Cover photo by Cesar Rubio]

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | | Add a Comment

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Michael Bernard on Knowledge Management: What’s In It for Architects?

Michael Bernard on Knowledge Management: What’s In It for Architects?

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A recent conference, KA Connect 2010, highlighted the growing role of information technology as a driver of practice in architecture, engineering, and construction including both emerging trends and issues relevant to current practice. Over 35 speakers shared perspectives from architects, engineers, software developers, client-side construction managers, business development consultants, and outsourcing consultants. It was a rare opportunity to speculate on how to transition from present to future practice. These transitions are not painless, as anyone who’s implemented BIM can tell you. However, once in place, these new technologies and practices can result in greater integration and engagement during the design process.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | | Add a Comment

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Social Networking and Your Design Practice at the AIA

Social Networking and Your Design Practice at the AIA

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Mark English joins fellow designers Joel Robare of JR Studio and Mike Plotnick of HOK in a roundtable discussion on the impact of social networking on their own design practices. New tools like Facebook and Twitter, combined with identity Web sites and traditional print media, collectively offer a rich toolbox from which each firm can choose its own approach.

Friday, December 04, 2009 | | Add a Comment

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