Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2011: Design Awards
The September/October 2011 edition featured the Texas Society of Architects’ Design Awards. Jurors – Steve Dumez, FAIA; James Russell, FAIA; and David Salmela, FAIA – gave awards to: Arthouse by LTL Architects; Brockman Hall for Physics by Kieran Timberlake; Cabin on Flathead Creek by Andersson-Wise Architects; Rainwater Court by Dick Clark Architecture (with Architecture for Humanity); Sam Houston Tollway NE Toll Plaza by RdlR Architects; Singing Bell Ranch by Max Levy Architect; Sisters’ Retreat by Mell Lawrence Architects; and five projects by Lake/Flato Architects—Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus, Armstrong Oil & Gas, Brown Residence, Cutting Horse Ranch, and Full Goods Warehouse and Il Sogno. Other articles covered Fountain Place as winner of the 25-Year Award, Texas Accessibility Standards, Houston Mod, the North Texas Sustainability Showcase, Bob Borson’s “Life of an Architect” blog. Jim Atkins and Grant Simpson outlined roles as specified in AIA contract documents.
B A C K P A G E Blog of an Architect More interactive than a traditional website, social media allows you to target your audience by BOB BORSON, AIA LAST MAY, THE NUMBER OF WEBSITES WAS EXPECTED TO EXCEED 324 MILLION. That’s a lot of competition for architects who want their message heard. A more focused alternative is to create a blog and use social media to reach your target audience. The key word is “social” because it allows for an interactive dialogue between two or more people who share a common interest. Blogs (short for “web log”) that are most successful are those that provide a helpful resource. In my experience as a regular blogger since January 2010, I’ve found it important to marry your communication goals with the needs of your potential audience. A majority of the architectural work I do is residential, so I tailor my blog posts to that sector of the market. Accordingly, I present ideas and design solutions to common problems most homeowners are likely to face. After publishing a blog post, I often receive comments and emails in response, and an immediate two-way conversation begins. Homeowners are able to ask questions in a non-committal manner, which for them makes reaching out to our firm much easier and direct. Another benefit to writing and maintaining a blog is that the personality of the firm can be presented. Most architectural firms can provide a building that meets the client’s programming requirements, but what makes you stand apart from all those other architects is your unique personality and ideas—an ethereal concept that is difficult to demonstrate and fully appreciate during the course of a single client interview. A major goal for my site is to express to my readers who I am, how I work, and what it would be like for us to work together. Personality-driven content is beneficial because a growing number of our clients are already familiar with my blog. With information readily available, clients have already spent time browsing the Internet to look at projects and search for images that illustrate what they cannot describe. During the course of that research, they frequently discover my site. If you’re still asking yourself “why should I blog?” consider the fact that a website renders your online presence as merely a monologue. Through my blog, I am able to present myself and my firm as experts who listen and are responsive to questions and comments. That interaction conveys the promise that working with us will be a collaborative and rewarding experience. Bob Borson, AIA, is an associate principal with Bernbaum-Magadini Architects in Dallas. According to data recently compiled by Alexa, his www.lifeofanarchitect.com is ranked third among the world’s most visited architectural blogs. 124 T E X A S A R C H I T E C T 9 / 1 0 2 0 1 1