You were a proponent of putting both units of measure on dimension strings, but doing away with metric will save time and clear up our drawings.
Did you ever think you'd make your living drawing lines to distinguish different colours of acrylic stucco?
Go through your rolodexes and evaluate whether there are any opportunities to propose Design ' Build services.
Why would an architect want to be party to a contract where the contractor is the prime consultant and essentially the client?
All my life I've wondered, what are the exceptions to the exclusive scope of architectural practice?
If you don't check your exam results, you can't submit the cost of the exams as reimbursable expenses.
When I was 17 and working for the summer as a casual labourer at a nearby farm, I was given a bit of advice from a more senior farmhand, who very succinctly said “There are days for working and days for fucking the dog.”
Wait. Are you not checking your exam results because you're worried you might have to rewrite one of them, or because you're worred there's now no longer anything between you and actual registration?
Why do the floor plates get larger part way up the tower, then return to their original size further up?
We have heard anecdotally that, upon reading one of this past year's comics, one of our readers has decided to take home some of the multitude of pairs of shoes previously inventoried beneath her desk.
I hope Joanne has a reasonably relaxing weekend before the exam. Either she knows the material by now, or she doesn't.
My biggest client is nine months in arrears, the authority-having-jurisdiction hasn't returned my calls in a fortnight, the contractor has failed to properly frame the same pocket door three times, and I've just now dribbled coffee onto my crotch.
At 6:15 this morning my client texted me that he would not be able to make our 8:00 meeting, on account of food poisoning.
I don't believe a little running stick man scurrying toward a rectange is any mroe clear a depiction of a path of emergency egress than a sign that clearly states EXIT in uppercase red letters.
If I had known the breakfast spread at this building code seminar was going to be this good, I would have skipped my Special K this morning.
Hi. On behalf of the author and the rest of the cast I'd like to address the matter of what we're calling around the office The New Optimism.
I'm serious about making a change in how we think of the firm we work for, and our positions within the profession.
Listen: either we change our attitudes toward our firm and our profession, or we'll ultimately wind up like so manny bitter, cynical professionals we've all encountered.
Damn you, ExAC Section 2! Two of these possible answers mean exactly the same thing! Hey, who are you.
I'll be out of the office for the next three days. One last day to study and two days for the tests.
Maybe it's me, but pacing seven NCARB exams over a year-and-a-half seems much more reasonable than studying for six months and attempting four ExAC exams in two days.
There's something refreshing about a good, honest round of value engineering, after which you know the programme and the project have been properly examined and distilled to only those things that belong.
You know you're an architect when you measure your hair loss in terms of reduced R-value during the winter heating season.
(The latter being a representation of the gleeful sound of reams of paper contracts being assembled as as last defence of the partnership: obfuscation and intimidation.)
Then up the stairs went the three bears, with a thump thump thump, and a tro trot trot, and a skippity-skip-skip.
Then they all reprised the proposal. “Humph,” said the public purse, like an unrepentatnt thug. “Someone has been doing the math.”
“Landscakes!” said the private consortium in her middle-sized voice. “Some communist wants to eat the rich.”
Then out of the wilderness and back to their 3-P machinations came the three players — a great big public purse, a middle-sized private consortium, and a wee little partnership agreement.
Now Goldilocks spied the proposal. She evaluated the ongoing operating expenditure: typical government accounting games.
Goldilocks saw the three agendas. She understood the politcal agenda: reward their friends and punish their enemies. She understood the profit agenda: ratchet down on the professionals and monetize their risk. She understood the performance specification agenda: preserve appearances (and provide a bridging architect a tiny slice of fee).
That same morning, a little metaphorical girl representing rational conviction, but who we'll call Goldilocks, was traipsing through the issues.
But the proposal was too ridiculous for the voting public to digest, so the three Ps decided to lay low until the political shitstorm died down.
It proposed a great big ongoing operating expenditure for the public purse, a guaranteed profit for itself, and the myth of efficient, alternative funding enshrined in the partnership agreement.
And behind the agendas were modus operandi—a great big monopoly on the licit use of force for the public purse, a middle-sized history of political favouritism for the private consortium, and a wee little phone book of loopholes for the partnership agreement.
And they had three agendas—a great big political agenda for the public purse, a middle-sized profit agenda for the private consortium, and a wee little optics agenda for the partnership agreement.
Once upon a time there were three Ps—a great big public purse, a middle-sized (by comparison) private consortium, and a wee little partnership agreement.
Damnit, why doesn't the building code come with armoured holes for each page? I'm tired of all the well-used sections being just a collection of loose, ripped-out sheets.
Since this all happened, my oldest, five-year-old daughter has developed the habit of ritualized hugs and kisses.
Our lives have to go on, but I'm going to have to make some behavioural changes now that I'm a single parent.
We've been walking on eggshells for over two weeks. Can we just go back to making snide remarks about architecture?
The year we met, when we both lived on the same floor of university residence, she gave me hell for packing up to leave at the end of the yar without properly having said goodbye.
I've taken it upon myself to increase the profile of the profession. I've designed an Arch-Strong writstband to increase public awareness of architects.
Question for you: If I have a washroom that has a sink, a toilet and a urinal in one space without a partition, is that a one-man or two-man washroom?
The client wants to ses a reconciliation of our last four invoices, broken down according to the categories listed on their purchase order, and further itemized according to which hours were spent on which drawings.
You're saying it's taken you almost seven years after graduation to actually start feeling like an architect?
Eight o'clock, quittin' time, don't get paid for overtime. Crash and burn, return, listen to your stomach churn.
That's great, it starts with a survey, a programme, a site plan — Bruce Mao is not afraid. (To the tune of REM's The End Of The World As We Know It.
When my wife and I are out for dinner with the kids, our rule is whoever is driving doesn't have even one drink.
You've heard the expression "Brave was the man who tried the first raw oyster," but what about all those things that someone might have tried that didn't turn out as successfully edible? Rhinoceros snot, for example.
It's ironic that we typically use dish cloths to clearn things we eat off of, when the dirtiest, most bacteria-infested item in the kitchen is that same cloth. It's a good exmaple of the habitual use of something ill-suited for a purpose.
Yesterday I received a letter from my bank saying the interest rate on my line of credit was going up by one percent.
Our civil consultant has said he won't lay down in front of the equipment to stop the client from excavating under winter conditions, but given the sensitivity of the floro slab and the presence of swelling clays, he strongly recommends against proceeding.
Ever have one of those days where you've accomplished more than you can belive, you're the only one who knows what you've done, but you feel exquisite anyway?
It's bad enough the name of our firm has the word vagina in it, now our business cards have vulgarity emblazoned across the back.
Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but his opinion was all he was permitted.
Remember when you were a kid and you sat in your pile of Lego, putting together houses, robots, cars, whatever you might imagine?
Last night we put the oven on self-clean. Whatever residue that had been living at the bottom of the oven catches fire, and begins filling the hosue with smoke.
I've produced a fee estimate based on the Association's recommended percentages for professional services.
Contemporary tower design makes me crazy. The floor plates change from level to level, so none of the efficiencies of repetition are realized.
All of the columns are going to be clad as part of the tenant improvement package, so we're not going to waste any of the base building budget on expensive concrete finishes. That means no sack rubbing.
I've just been asked to do a bylaw analysis and best-highest use determination for a new site in the suburbs.
Thank you for taking all that time yesterday to explain BOMA ratios to me. I couldn't have finished these project net leasable statistics without your help. Truly.
“So now,” says the partner, “Now that I've thought, my professional obligations just can't be forgot. So here's a chance for you, young turk, have a go at this new piece of work.”
Just right then an intern came in, bearing the printouts with the markups I'd sent him. He spread them on my desk and we all took a peek at the gridlike pattern across that stark sheet.
“Would it have been so hard to look at the sky, and take a few notes as the sun passes by, to know that November isn't July?”
“It's a longshot too... Have I gotten through to you? How can we present a site plan like this? Your intensification is too hard to miss.”
“I am the LEED AP,” she declared and she shouted. Then she took out her spreadsheet and over it pouted.
So I jiggered the site plan, I jiggered the green roof. I jiggered the PV panels (I gave them the boot.)
I felt somewhat pensive, she had a point, but even so, the proforma had spoke: the pavers had to go, regardless of credits and rondels you know.
But the next day she showed up at my door for a fight. She lisped “I'm the LEED AP I speak for the site, which you have made virtually watertight!”
The constant stream of interruptions for the sake of snippy dialogue isn't doing our narrative any favours.
“Hey LEED AP,” I said, “There's no cause for a tiff. It will cost us one point, it won't make a diff.”
But those trees! Those trees! Those deciduous trees! I had specified whichever trees that I pleased.
And after the trees, I drew pervious pavers saving our stormwater plan a few acres and meshing the driveway more fully with nature.
Way back at the time the project was still new-y the team was still hopeful and their eyes were still dewy.
You won't see this partner on the studio floor. He stays in his office and closes the door. And he sketches by hand because his CAD skills are poor.
Somewhere along the line I went from tucking my shirt directly into my pants, to unbuckling my belt and pants to tuck in my shirt. When and why did that change happen?
While you were gone for those few weeks, there was no one to update the Friday breakfast club schedule.
What happened? I spent the night at the site so I could watch the sun rise and understand its movement across the land.
I've got to get the cost consultant, the job captain and the client to the site. My convertible seats three at the most, so I'll be making multiple trips.
The JPEG of his stamp is different every time. He leaves smudges of himself on charcoal. City planners ask him for fewer drawings sets. The more ink he uses, the simpler his drawings become. While on the Ground Tour, the locals draw him.
When I was eleven, I spent an entire spring building a tree house in a nearby gully with two friends of mine.
You, Phoncible, learned so much about representation that you didn't have to go through hundreds of projects to arrive where you are.
In the weeks that followed, Phoncible learned there was a pent-up demand for non-photorealistic visualization.
The offer came in the evening, by email. Could he fix this model and extract a fly-through for Monday's council meeting?
Phoncible Schneidmiller Fieldhouse spent the rest of the week alone, reworking hsi portfolio with the Technique.
Where he fell down was adding colour. At that scale, it was impossible to add raster images as texture without incurring horrible moiré effects across all the like-applied materials.
It wasn't too long before Phoncible was off on his own again, laying down construction lines, extruding faces, happy, productive.
He had long since concluded that when he drew exclusively in plain old AutoCAD, he could concentrate longer on what he was drawing, not how he was drawing it.
In point of fact, Phoncible was not an architect at all. He was an intern architect, according to the strict defences imposed by his professional association.
(To the tune of Steve Earles The Devils Right hand) About the time that AutoCAD was in version oh-four, I saw my first copy in the back of Record.
To paraphrase, the code requires us to provide quick and convenient access to the building generator.
It took a week of casual inquiry, but I discovered a third way of drawing an eight: Four arcs drawn vertically can be assembled into a tidy glyph.
The client wants us to estimate what the premium would be to do the project as a LEED-silver building.
You'll have to move the elevator core about three feet. We need to be able to get some shoring in there.
I'd like to introduce everyone to Dagny Straphanger, who is joining us as part of the merger as a Senior Partner.
Do you worry that submitting so many sets of revised plans will cost you credibility with the city file handler?
Our cost consultant says that given the current market conditions, steel will be the most economic structural system.
I'm getting a new roof put on my house, and I'm feeling bad about pitching 15 squares of old three-tab fibreglass ashphalt shingles into the landfill.
I read a statistic somewhere that suggests architects have to know more disparate types of information than brain surgeons.
I don't suppose you'll even attempt some sort of weakly explanatory apology for your betrayal last week?
Proposing that an architecture firm can just launch an engineering division from scratch is almost disrespectful of an entire profession.
The intern, who has equipped himself well for a wait, occupies his time with everything at his disposal.
But as he now examines the sentinel more closely, in his one-size-too-small oxford, his large bulbous nose and his anachronistic moustache, he decideds it would be best if he waited for permission to go inside or, at the very least, a number.
I hate how SketchUp just drops faces from complex, non-orthogonal geometry at scales smaller than 1/16 inch.
I don't get it. We devote two weeks worth of cartoons to Revit—which none of us like or use—but we have only ever occassionally mentioned SketchUp, which is the architectural visualization tool that we all use and enjoy.
“Where we once squeezed glue, we must now string stirrups. Where once there was a platform frame, we must now cast a hearth. Where once we had…”
I finished reading your Redemptive Brutalism manifesto — at least those parts of it that weren't completely obscured by seemingly unrelated graphics, or senselessly scrawled in illegible cursive.
“Where Brutalism has failed in the past, it has not been due to the intrinsic qualities of the material, it has been due to the haptic gap between the institutionally-scaled megablock projects favoured by its practitioners, and the entrenched, preferred North American culture of construction.
If Redemptive Brutalism is going to become a true ism, it's going to have to cast light on some sort of social benefit.
The secret to a good architectural manifesto is to come up with a catchy name, then apply it to a graphically choked book so long and rambling no one will ever sit down to read it in its entirety.
My ninja-architect power would be to get any drawing set through the gatekeepers at the city permit desk, every time.
The chimneys on this building interrupt the rhythm of its facade, as if each were a lone rib sticking up from a carcass.*
How does your exhaustion from parenthood compare to the types of exhaustion—stress, deadlines and overtime—we've all experienced in the service of architecture?
Seriously? You laid out each of these sheets without regard to where the plans above and below are positioned on the sheet?
Why don't you at least draw a detail that introduces a thermal break, so the two beams only appear to be penetrating the thermal envelope?
Yesterday before coming to work I was in one of the city's most viable, pedestrian-oriented neighbourhoods.
Have you seen that new web comic, concerned with the daily tribulations of a notional architect's office?
Last night while I was washing my daughter's hair, my mind kept wandering to the materials palettes I've been working on this past week.
With the various architecture associations doing such a fine job of limiting access to the profession, I wonder who will be around in the future to take over the firms.
I've been informed the Association is now only accepting intern hours in six-month quanta, and only within two months of the last logged hour.
Would it be accurate to describe the erasure of windows on an elevation as defenestration, or do you actually have to throw someone out of one for it to count?
Since this is a new project, and I don't want to be caught out late in the game by an unforeseen regulatory restriction, I took the morning to check the relevant regulations from all the authorities having jurisdiction.
When I asked this one engineer from a prospective firm to clarify how they typically deal with architects, he said their policy was to let the architects bounce from one contrived emergency to the next until their fee was consumed, after which he would submit one final drawing.
In aid of selecting structural, mechanical and electrical engineers to include on this proposal, I've created a spreadsheet score card that reflects each potential subconsultant's proposal in a number of categories.
I think it's funny how I've spent all day hand-rendering elevations at work, while at home my three-year-old daughter has probably spent a good portion of her day likewise colouring.
A curiosity of the profession is that occupants—the ultimate users of the product of our craft—often have little direct say in how the building is designed and implemented.
The association doesn't allow partnerships for the purposes of practicing architecture unless all partners are of good character.
Clarify for me this bruhaha around the pedestrian bridge design competition, wherein some architects were censured by the association and some weren't.
I just read that the Association is reviewing the requisite number of hours for the various intern experience categories.
I've just learned it's considered professional misconduct to perform any act that would reflect unfavourably on the profession.
In light of my present studying of the Handbook of Practice, I've been reconsidering some of the firm's past actions in the context of ethics and conduct.
Did you know our Association used to consider it professional misconduct for architects to advertise their own practices?
Does the pressure of over-arching duty to the public realm, coupled with life-long professional liability ever get to you.
They say architects join the profession due to a desire to improve the environment in which people live and work.
This list of acronyms used in the design and construction industry provided at the front of the Handbook of Practice sure is convenient…*
All week I've pandered to clietns, kowtowed to corporate standards, babysat consultants and coaxed grudging performances out of team members.
I used to think these big publci projects would be the key to the firm's ongoing prosperity, but their reality is more grim than I imagined.
I've been digging through these monographs, looking for relevant precedent material, and I must say, I'm really starting to appreciate a lot of Robert Stern's work.
It must be hard, trying to maintain your principles as a libertarian while at the same time being involved in such an interventionist profession as architecture.
My act of loyalty to my profession and every city planner who ever lived and was made to decide between stamped or tinted concrete was the filing of this appeal.
One-hundred years of standards laid out by City departments—standards as the prime rule of law—obey or be denied—submit now or receive a stop-work order later&mdash-kowtow like everyone who came before—do what you wish, within the space allotted—don't draw outside the lines—obey, obey, obey…
Hobie, I'm sorry, but Stewpot Fontanelle has overridden your comments on the Mayor's development permit application.
She wondered, waiting at he approvals counter, if she had nothing better to do, nothing but this desk, presented to her, the drawings to be judged and denied, exposed to the world; the plans and street elevations and the landscape plans were his and could not then belong to any one else's workload—until 4:15 that day—his, as his forehead, his brow; here was the stamp he had made and the solid little lump within him that caused him to use it, the motive and the power together, obvious in every crease on his face, every fold of skin on his body, a bureaucrat's self, hers for this decision, hers by virtue of her coming down here and submitting the requisite $281 plus a $24 advertising fee.
I have this plan, Hobie, it's quite good as ti is, I'll probably just stamp it and send it on up to City Roads for Ultimate Approval, but I thought you might like to have a look at it before I did, just for your own information…
Excuse me, I know you must be busy tying up applications before your upcoming retirement, but I wanted to discuss a few issues with you before you go.
I noticed you added a Prior-to-Decision note to this application requiring a change to the public walk paving pattern.
He looked at the stacks of applications in front of him—every one of them with a site plan, a streetside rendering, a shadowing diagramme, a bonusing count and a litany of other mandated drawings—and he saw that they existed for him.
If I were a rock star, at this stage of my career I would have already created my masterpiece, and I could now be contemplating my legacy.
Some of us are going to the bar tonight to celebrate the completion of our latest permit submission.
Remember, a neighbourhood has a centre and an edge; something to give it focus, and a clear limit at its periphery.
For this new master planning project, I'd like you to start by collecting precedents which define the vocabulary we're going to use and the vignettes we're going to tell.
I spent three days last week hand-rendering an illustrative master plan with markers, pencils and white gouache for our eport, to see it ultimately reduced to an eight-inch square and reproduced on our office copier at about 20 pages per minute.
We could proceed with the FAR and bonusing scheme as they are, but we're unsure of our prospects for success.
I have, on one hand, an impossible programme adhered to by an intransigent client, where the building footprint strains at the very edges of the property setbacks—and in one nebulous instance, leans out over a side yard—and the total floor area ratio is simmering by means of subtle illusion somewhere north of 120% of allowable.
We'd like to err on the side of caution: we don't want to be hit with an unanticipated environmental requirement when we're further along in contract documents.
I don't want to seem as though I'm going around anyone's back, but I'm concerned about Phoncible's project.
I drew up a quick esquise, which highlights how this project could be an engine of urban renewal, and explicity demonstates this in plan and section.
I love the start of a project, when the architects come to me with freshly-designed title blocks and spiffily-arranged bubble diagrammes.
After removing the vertical spaces, subtract any city-required service spaces such as the recycling area and the electrical transformer vault.
As a response to the deteriorating prospects for new large-scale work, we've decided to position the firm as a design boutique.
Playing with my daughter last night, I realized I can only remember the one architectural nursery rhyme.
Clarify this for me: Does a north elevation drawing mean I'm viewing the building looking toward the north, or I'm being shown the north side of the building?
I thought we were supposed to think of them as clients, not customers, the distinction indicating our continued responsibility to the urban environment and the profession at large in the face of un-architectural customer demands.
The weather is beautiful, I see nothing but blue sky out my window, I'm the first in the office, I have a hot cup of tea in front of me, a fresh set of drawings prepared, it's Friday and I'm wearing blue jeans at work.
These shafts look about right, your sections show sufficient allowance for pits and overruns, and I see you've drawn fire protected areas into which the elevators can decant, but you seem to have forgotten the space for the orchestra.
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Molock whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
…I approached this design from an oblique angle—not that I wanted to emphasize any notions the client may have about eclecticism—to test some preconceptions I had regarding…
You've heard of personal injury lawyers who show up at accident scenes to offer their services to the victims?
Michael, I know it's your last day as student with us, but I was wondering if this afternoon you could help me with a few design ideas for this pavilion project on the Adriatic.
You know that feeling you get when you let your fingernails grow a little too long, then you handle something dusty or chalk, and then no matter how hard you scrub, your hands don't feel clean for the rest of the day?
Did you hear? Sir Norman Foster has been selected as design architect for that new office tower downtown.
Why do so many architecture students build claustrophobic rabbit-warren enclosures around their studio spaces?