VOL 11 ISSUE 02
CONNECTION THE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN JOURNAL OF THE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM
CONNECTION ADVANCE March 2013 Volume 11 Issue 02
ON THE COVER: Apartments, Barcelona Spain Original Photograph by Becca Waterloo
2013 ISSUES OF CONNECTION 11 01 11 02 11 03 11 04 11 05 11 06
EMERGENCE ADVANCE LOCUS PROCESS MANIFESTO ORIGINS
CONNECTION EDITORIAL COMMITTEE
Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director Assistant Editor, Graphics Assistant Editor, Content Assistant Editor, Articles Assistant Editor, News Assistant Editor, Reviews Researcher, News and Reviews
Wyatt Frantom, AIA Nathan Stolarz, AIA James Cornetet, AIA Jeff Pastva, AIA Beth Mosenthal, Associate AIA Nicole Martin, AIA Marcus Monroe
2013 YAF ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Chair Bradley Benjamin, AIA Vice Chair Jonathan Penndorf, AIA Past Chair Jennifer Workman, AIA Communications Director Wyatt Frantom, AIA Community Director Virginia E. Marquardt, AIA Knowledge Director Joshua Flowers, AIA Public Relations Director Joseph R. Benesh, AIA Advocacy Advisor Lawrence J. Fabbroni, AIA AIA Board Representative Wendy Ornelas, FAIA College of Fellows Representative John Sorrenti, FAIA AIA Staff Liaison Erin Murphy, AIA
THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS 1735 New York Ave, NW Washington, DC 20006-5292 P 800-AIA-3837 www.aia.org
CONNECTION is a the official bimonthly publication of the Young Architects Forum of the AIA. This publication is created through the volunteer efforts of dedicated Young Architect Forum members. Views expressed in this publication are solely those of the authors and not those of the American Institute of Architects. Copyright ÂŠ of individual articles belongs to the Author. All image permissions are obtained by or copyright of the Author.
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QUICK 06 News and resources CONNECT relevant to young architects
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Thinking “Outside the Box” Jennifer R. Lea
14 feature Shifting Design
Mario Gentile and Shift Design
24 feature Innovative Financing and Architecture Shervan Sebastian
The Big Picture, Kathy Lent and Erike De Verya 26 Sole Practitioners, Frank Musica 28 The InSB, Jeffrey Pastva 29
30 virtual poll Top Resources for 31 articles
‘Starting Your Own Firm’
From Parking Lots, Eileen Allaverdian-Orumie 31 How Do I Get “There”, Matt Murphy 32 Undaunted, Valerie Amor 33 Reflections on Advancement, Jeffrey A. Ehrnman 34 Architect +, Kristi Daniel 35
36 DESIGN SOMA SOMA Architects
The Leaps and Bounds of Advancement
Rob Drury, Assoc. AIA
44 leadership profile A Story of Leadership and Engagement Matt Dumich, AIA
CONNECTION is sponsored through the generous support of The AIA Trust. The AIA Trust is a free risk management resource for AIA members that offers valuable benefits to protect you, your firm, and your family. For more information on all AIA Trust programs, visit www.TheAIATrust.com
THE (RE) POSITION Wyatt Frantom, AIA LEED-AP Wyatt is the 2012-2013 Communications Advisor of the YAF National Advisory Committee of the AIA, the YAF CONNECTION Editor-inChief, and an Architectural Designer and Associate with Gensler Los Angeles
“The task of the positional player is systematically to accumulate slight advantages and try to convert temporary advantages into permanent ones …” - Wilhelm Steinitz
We often hear colleagues in our industry suggest that now … more than ever, we are in times of profound change. So often, in fact, that it seems that we are always in times of profound change - and apparently, increasingly so. I guess we can safely say that our profession, then, is everchanging. The consequence of those changes can be measured in what might be at risk – what may be gained or inversely lost. Even as the profession of architecture has been “at-risk” for some time, the game swung dramatically for most of us most recently; risks were taken, gains were had, and an ensuing loss for many as the metronome of global markets swung from one state of imbalance to another. Even with a stabilizing economy, the uncertainty in the security of projects and positions influences many of our daily decisions and ultimately brings change to the profession. As many find themselves still clawing for a firm grasp on a future, others are positioning themselves to ensure a future that isn’t revisited by the recent past. While no game, advancement through our careers can be thought of in the same strategic sense; after all, we’re all in this to win - whether that “win” is simply a steady paycheck or a personal sense of fulfillment and recognition. In the game of chess, moving to a place of advanced position requires achieving short-term goals through the tactics of an immediate maneuver, but winning the game requires the steady and persevering accumulation of these slight tactical advances in an overall, long-term strategy. In evaluating a move, and thus our new position on the chess board, we take into account a variety of factors that helps us determine the value of the pieces on the board and how best to maneuver in relation to them. The possible depth of positioning calculation depends on a player’s ability to foresee his moves unfold in context. The difficulty and risk involved in advancing our careers is not only reflective of the prize itself, but also the amount of effort, thought and strategy that goes into achieving the win.
Advancing one’s career is, for most of us, not only a lifelong undertaking but a very personal journey throughout which we constantly attempt to maintain relevance by evolving, adapting, emerging, and repositioning ourselves. Advancement requires us to move forward into tomorrow often times with a great deal of discomfort; like the underlying itch that prompts the sloughing-off of an old skin to expose something new beneath. It is with this manner of advancement, that the AIA is undertaking its own repositioning. An initiative unveiled by AIA leadership in Spring of last year, the ultimate objective of the AIA Repositioning (not dissimilar to our own reasons for personal advancement) is to remain relevant within our ever-changing profession; to shed a little skin to expose the bright-and-shiny response to tomorrow. To achieve this ultimate win, the AIA must first make a series of tactical maneuvers, positioning itself to become: progressive, not reactionary … a vital resource, not a superficial designation … universally beneficial, not limited and elitist … added value, not an additional financial burden … cutting edge, not a follower … public, not behind closed doors … an architecture resource for all, not just for industry insiders … results- and benefits-focused, not processdriven or self-referential … and representative of the true and worthy value of our profession; an accumulation of these incremental advantages into permanent ones. To take the chess analogy one-step further in the framework of the AIA Repositioning, we could consider the “gambit”: an opening in which a player sacrifices a piece with the hope of achieving a resulting advantageous position. The period that most of our industry is coming out of has been one of sacrifice, yes, but has provided an opening for us nonetheless … an opening that should be fully taken advantage of to (re)-position ourselves, our firms, and our profession for the ultimate win. It is inarguable that each of our careers are worth such effort, but as the graphical statistic at right only begins to suggest, with 1-billion people experiencing
architecture every day, it is just as inarguable that the profession of architecture is worth such effort.
To learn more about the AIA Repositioning initiative, CLICK HERE! ... or let your voice be heard by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphics by Wyatt Frantom Statistical source material provided by AIA Repositioning Taskforce Committee
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YAF CONNECTION 11.02
QUICK CONNECT headlined
CROWDFUNDING : SMALL CONTRIBUTIONS YIELD BIG CHANGE AND OPPORTUNITY
by Beth Mosenthal
When it comes to crowdfunding, three is definitely not a crowd. In fact, the recently-released report on crowdfunding (commissioned by the AIA) argues that crowdfunding “can play a role in financing innovative design projects” and that “crowd based funding has helped creative development ideas gain traction with lower denomination, but higher quantity community investors.” (Shervan Sebastian, Manager, Federal Relations.) Crowdfunding, based on the concept of “crowdsourcing” leverages contributions from an online group-based investment campaign to finance a specific project/venture. Rather than rely on a single investor or venture capitalists, risk is spread across a larger population of small dollar contributors. When applied to large-scale architecture projects with big ambitions, crowdfunding encourages increased financing. Furthermore, this financing strategy has the potential to increase infrastructure and development projects that directly benefit communities.
by Nicole Martin
Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice by Eric J. Cesal
“This text was written quite spontaneously, during a period of unemployment, as both chronicle and catharsis.” It is the kind of book an avid reader can get through in a weekend – a quick yet engaging read. The thesis is much less about Cesal’s own story and more about a prescription for the future health of our profession. It outlines what the specifics might need to address, but then leaves you to grapple with them. And you feel oddly, beautifully equipped – inspired to take up the mantle with gusto. Cesal outlines 10 roles that architects must embrace in order to “surmount the world’s new challenges and while he raises powerful questions of the profession, he makes it clear that it is the individual who must answer.
Successful models of crowdfunding include Colombia’s 66-story BD Bacata, Bogota’s newest, soon-to-be tallest building. For more info, CLICK HERE to read the full report.
“how much does your building weigh, mr. foster?” Ever wonder how Norman Foster went from draftsmen to Lord / world-famous architect? This film paints an elegant picture of Foster’s development as a multidisciplinary designer with a passion to create buildings, infrastructure, and products across the world that challenge existing norms regarding scale, structure, performance, and form.
National building museum opens the exhibition “Green schools” on march 03, 2013 by Beth Mosenthal
Rethinking educational institutions has been a hot-button issue for the past decade. As health and wellness becomes more tangibly linked to performance and productivity, the building methods and materials we use in designing educational institutions requires revamp and reconsideration. In the National Building Museum’s “Green Schools” exhibition, examples of potential green building strategies and resources are on display to help inspire the next iteration of school buildings.
#tweeted AIA National | @AIANational Do you know what the five 2013 @AIANational priorities are? Check them out here: http://www.http://www.aia.org/advocacy/ federal/AIAB097271
Mosenthal, Sage Center 2008
beth’s listen-while-youwork mix. of the month Unlike many fields that require concentration accompanied by silence, one of my favorite aspects of drafting or modeling is that background music or radio often helps me maintain a certain rhythm or pacing. Recently I stumbled on a Spotify Mix entitled “Hipster Soul” by user “hoxsd.” With a mix of retro and contemporary soul favorites, I’d recommend this mix for a day when you’re moving full-speed-ahead on a set of drawings and need an (up)beat. Mosenthal, Records Still-Life 2009
JOSEF FUENTES, A YOUNG ARCHITECT HELPING HIS COMMUNITY
This month, Rhet Fiskness, AIA tells us a little bit about his involvement in the YAF ...
by Marcus Monroe
Fiskness is the YAF Regional Director for the North Central Region which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, South and North Dakota
To say that Josef Fuentes is a “busy man” would be an understatement. A 2004 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Fuentes founded the DC Chapter of Architecture for Humanity in 2005, and continues to play an active role in the organization. He has also taught classes at Knowledge DC, a floating school hosted throughout DC that offers residents the opportunity to teach and learn, and supported the formation of Fab Lab DC, a laboratory that provides people ready-available access to prototyping tools that impact areas including healthcare, agriculture, housing, and communications. As a result of his design activism, Josef was selected as one the American Institute of Architects “Emerging Architect of the Year” in 2009 and the DC Council of Engineering and Architectural Society’s “Young Architect of the Year” in 2010. A project architect at The Eisen Group, Josef has currently set his focus on the growth of the Box Collective, an initiative to “explore how design could act as a catalyst for community building and empowerment within D.C. through providing access to resources.” As a member of its Core Development Team, Fuentes has helped plan and realize efforts to re-purpose a shipping container to become a “creativity hub” for the community in one of many vacant, blighted lots in D.C. The result is a design solution that is both temporary and mobile, with the potential to activate and address different parts of D.C.’s communities and neighborhoods as needed. With projects like these, Josef is continuing to prove that many emerging architects are committed to architecture rooted in social responsibility and the betterment of the cities in which they live and work.
Image of “Box” Shipping Container Design, photo credit, Peter Krsko
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
01. How did you get involved with the YAF? The local YAF chapter was founded by my architectural mentor while I was still a student. After graduating, my mentor offered me a job and invited me to join YAF. I said yes to both. 02. What are some of the important issues that Young Architects face in today’s industry? With so many new technologies and emerging markets being created everyday, adapting to change is the most important issue facing architects of any age. This is a great opportunity for younger architects to provide the architecture industry with enthusiasm, innovation, and expertise in design software that is missing in the older generation of architects. 03. What type of regional activities and resources do you recommend Young Architects utilize to continue to excel in their careers and professional networks? Getting involved in career related activities outside the office is my number one recommendation for a young architect who is interested in establishing a foundation for success. Participation in local AIA activities and joining professional networks, such as YAF, allows a young architect to establish a support network with other professionals. Getting involved will expand the boundaries of your career by fostering relationships outside the confines of a single office. Since the profession of architecture is filled with ups and downs, the importance of encouragement cannot be understated.
Adapting to change is one of the most important issues facing architects of any age. This is a great opportunity for young architects to provide the industry with enthusiasm, innovation, and expertise ...
Box Collective members/volunteers constructing a Box design, photo credit, Peter Krsko
QUICK CONNECT made
WHAT DO YOUNG ARCHITECTS IN COLORADO DO WHEN THEY’RE NOT DESIGNING SPACE? THEY DESIGN SKIS.
REGISTER NOW!! REGISTRATION FOR ‘THE SPACES BETWEEN’ IDEAS COMPETITION ENDS MARCH 23
Nick Seglie was able to pursue his love for architecture in concert with his passion for downhill skiing when he decided to move to Vail, Colorado to pursue high-end residential and mixed-use architecture after attending architecture school at Kansas State University, After relocating to Denver several years later, Seglie remains connected to the mountains by pursuing his interest in ski design and fabrication. A few months ago, he teamed up with a lifelong friend and structural engineer to create their first pair of homemade skis. “We did some research and realized that the process has many steps, but isn’t as complex as one might think. It takes some trial and error, but experimentation is the enjoyable aspect,” Seglie explains. When time allows, Seglie and Max Lehman set up shop in Max’s sun room/workshop and develop prototypes of skis to test in different ski conditions. Concurrently, they’ve been throwing around branding ideas. As ski graphics become increasingly important in regards to product identity, Nick and Max have landed on the idea of “Pitchfork” skis.. a playful nod to their upbringing in the cornfields of Kansas.
Sixty-Nine Seventy invites design teams from around the world to re-envision the circulation areas and passages of two blocks in Salt Lake City’s downtown. The entrants will prepare comprehensive ideas plans for these in-between spaces, developing them into the connective tissue linking the area’s cultural amenities. For more information, CLICK HERE!
Seglie and Lehman in Lehman’s home studio, photo credit: Seglie, 2013
ENTER TODAY! ARCHITECT Live Co-host Contest Get ready for your close-up. Submit a 2-minute audition video March 8-29 for the chance to co-host ARCHITECT Live at the 2013 AIA National Convention with Stephen Chung, AIA, ARCHITECT Live host. Two winners will be selected by popular vote and will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the 2013 AIA National Convention. AIA members, AIAS members, and students are eligible. For more information, CLICK HERE to visit the contest website. Testing Pitchfork’s skis in Vail, photo credit: Seglie, 2013
THE ARCHITECTS NEWSPAPER AND ENCLOS PRESENT:
AIA’s Young Architects Forum YAF's official website CLICK HERE
WHEN April 11th & 12th, 2013 Symposium & Workshops
YAF KnowledgeNet A knowledge resource for awards, announcements, podcasts, blogs, YAF Connection and other valuable YAF legacy content ... this resource has it all! CLICK HERE
WHERE New York City WHO Coordinators: Peter Arbour, Seele + Jeffrey Vaglio, Enclos KEYNOTE ANNOUNCED: CHRISTOPH INGENHOVEN WORLD CLASS SUSTAINABLE DESIGN VISIONARY WHY Are you a member of the AEC community: an architect, engineer, or other design professional or student? Do you want to cut through the jargon and consider the heart of high performance building envelopes? Join a broad consortium of your peers for two days this April at facades+ PERFORMANCE, where experts in the industry will analyze, discuss, and dispute the development, implementation, and maintenance of high-performance building enclosures. Day 1: Symposium Day 2: Technology and Dialogue Workshops For more information, CLICK HERE!
2013 CAFM SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY CAFM is now accepting applications for its 2013 scholarship program. All applications must be postmarked by March 22, 2013. Two (2) $4,000 scholarships will be awarded in June 2013. To learn more, CLICK HERE! REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR THE AIA NATIONAL CONVENTION! The AIA National Convention is coming to Denver June 20-22, 2013. With the theme of the 2013 conference titled ‘BUILDING LEADERS: leadership for architecture, leadership beyond architecture’, keynote speakers are Blake Mycoskie (TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver,) Cameron Sinclair (cofounder of Architecture for Humanity,) and General Colin Powell (former Secretary-of-State.) Don’t miss it! To register, visit the AIA Convention Home page
YAF CONNECTION 11.01 11.02
Architect’s Knowledge Resource The Architect's Knowledge Resource connects AIA members and others to the most current information on architecture, including research, best practices, product reviews, ratings, image banks, trends, and more. It's your place to find solutions, share your expertise, and connect with colleagues. CLICK HERE AIA Trust Access the AIA Trust as a free risk management resource for AIA members. www.TheAIATrust.com YAF on LinkedIn Stay connected with the YAF leadership and all the young architects you meet at the convention, and get involved in group discussions. CLICK HERE YAF on Twitter ... follow @AIAYAF YAF on Facebook Become a Fan of AIA Young Architects Forum on Facebook Know Someone Who’s Not Getting The YAF Connection? Don’t let them be out of the loop any longer. It’s easy for AIA members to sign up. Update your AIA member profile and add the Young Architects Forum under “Your Knowledge Communities.” • Go to www.aia.org and sign in • Click on “For Members” link next to the AIA logo on top • Click on “Edit your personal information” on the left side under AIA members tab • Click “Your knowledge communities” under Your Account on the left • Add YAF Call for ‘QUICK CONNECT’ News, Reviews, Events Do you have newsworthy content that you’d like to share with our readers? Contact the News Editor, Beth Mosenthal, on twitter @archiadventures Call for ‘CONNECTION’ Articles, Projects, Photography Would you like to submit content for inclusion in an upcoming issue? Contact the Editor, Wyatt Frantom at email@example.com
MAP [ depicting locations of article contributors for this issue ]
This monthâ€™s Leadership Profile Matt Dumich AIA
New York, NY Chicago, IL
Philadelphia, PA AIA National Washington D.C.
Vail, CO Kansas City, MO
Los Angeles, CA
Fort Lauderdale, FL
PUT YOURSELF ON THE MAP GET CONNECTED by contributing to our next issue!
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
FEATURE ON ADVANCEMENT
BROAD STROKES & BABY STEPS Brinn Miracle, Assoc. AIA Miracle is the founder of Architangent, works as a designer at PDR in Houston Texas, writes about architecture and design for her blog and guest posts regularly for Archability.
ADVANCEMENT Progress. Forward movement. Elevation in rank or position. Progression to the next stage of development. No matter how we define it, advancement implies a kinetic energy which drives us towards an end goal. The stereotypical view of advancement often calls to mind the ‘corporate ladder’ and offers little advice on how to reach the top. The cliche may be true for some professions or individuals, but for those who desire true advancement, this imagery is nothing more than an illusion. We must first question if there is such a thing as ‘the top’. What if we’re wasting a lot of time and effort trying to reach a place that doesn’t exist? In the very least, the image of a ladder marginalizes the rungs between the bottom and the top and idealizes a singular lofty position as the definition of success. Rather than a single vertical chain, advancement is much more holistic and much more broad. If we conceptualize advancement as a net rather than a ladder, then advancement allows us to take a multitude of paths and directions to realize success. If advancement is defined as a kinetic energy, then motion in any direction must be considered. If you want true advancement, get off the ladder.
and of themselves. The difficulty is that result-specific goals leave nothing left to aim for once that milestone is achieved and require new, possibly unrelated goals to be formed. For this reason, a broad scope allows
us to see how the small steps fit into the bigger picture while allowing for endless pursuit of advancement.
Network In my quest to be influential, I quickly realized that with such privilege would come responsibility: to use my voice, my position and my resources to help others. The words of John Donne suggest that in order to advance, we must rely on the help of others. Successful
advancement requires us to form new relationships in which we both give and receive. Networking provides an outlet for establishing relationships with industry leaders and sharing our expertise with those who need it. Through these new relationships, opportunities are uncovered which lead to personal and professional growth. Growth is certainly a form of advancement.
Define your goal If advancement is not limited to a singular vertical path, then setting a broad goal allows us many more opportunities for success. Focusing on generalities - rather than specific mechanisms for achieving it - opens our perspective to new endeavors and new forms of advancement. While this may seem counter intuitive to typical goal setting, consider the following example. My allencompassing goal is to be influential. The scope for how, when, where and to what degree I achieve this is limitless. Under this sweeping goal, I set more specific action items that contribute to the overall vision. Aiming to obtain my architecture license before age 30 or to grow my blog following by 50% are great in
Leverage your assets Applying skills and knowledge in a meaningful way is pivotal to creating value, but first you have to know your strengths. Take the time to understand your unique skill sets and how they contribute to your network. Once
you have identified your areas of expertise, showcase your strengths and support your weaknesses with strategic partnerships. Networks exist to be utilized; don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Ask for it
If there is a question, your answer should always be yes. The concept of not putting all your eggs in one basket implies that diversification is the key to success. The chances for
The biggest obstacle to advancement can be the lack of perceived desire. When was the last time you told someone about your ambitions? Making your intentions known can open doors where none existed. Advancement on the corporate ladder may require putting in time and waiting for someone to notice you, but true advancement is not limited to the opportunities created by others.
advancement increase when we participate in a wide variety of endeavors to the best of our ability.
While it is easy to become over-committed, statistics tell us that the more opportunities we pursue, the more likely weâ€™ll meet success in at least one of them. The traditional form of advancement pins all success to reaching the top of the ladder. However, if we embrace the pursuit of many goals simultaneously, we are equipped to temper disappointments while increasing our odds of success.
The secret to advancement is to create your own opportunities and seize those provided to you.
Never stop moving Create value A crucial aspect to advancement is standing out from the crowd. For every goal we strive for, another person is aiming for the same outcome. What ensures success in a world with limited resources? Distinguishing yourself as an expert in your field and providing something that no one else does. The old adage, â€˜find a need and fill itâ€™ rings true with advancement. Strategize ways
to fill the needs of others so that you become indispensable. If you position yourself as the only viable option, advancement is guaranteed.
Advancement is the act of constant motion. Keep setting goals, reaching and surpassing them. Remember that setbacks are only temporary and that two steps forward and one step back will eventually get you to where you want to be. Whatever you do, keep advancing.
Want it Advancement is not for the faint of heart. The effort required can be exhausting; asking for a raise, meeting new people, working nights and weekends instead of playing. The sacrifices required
for advancement must be measured against the potential results. It is rare to find someone who did not give
up something in order to gain their current position, knowledge or income. Ask the hard questions and be willing to do what it takes to reach the goal.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
FEATURE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH SYNERGY
SHIFTING DESIGN Mario Gentile Gentile is founder and CEO of Shift Space Design LLC in Philadelphia PA and Adjunct Professor at UPenn
In autumn 2012, the team at SHIFT_DESIGN took the chance
something that could be customer friendly and could double as
to reflect upon our past summer accomplishments.
both a garden side planter and/or a green roof kit. We broke it
had brought a new group of interns, fresh design challenges and
down and tweaked many of the major features, which resulted
technological opportunities. With new viewpoints in the studio,
in a tray that stands 4-inches tall by 15-inches square and
we took the chance to reinterpret a green roof project that we
made of highly-recycled, ultra-light aluminum. We dubbed it the
had designed for the global HQ of internationally-recognized
FAIRMOUNT living tile and initiated strategic partnerships with a
brand Urban Outfitters. We believed that our modular design was
few local suppliers to begin sourcing materials. Coffee roaster
La Colombe provided up-cycled burlap sacks and Gaia Institute engineered the soil. Because of the local supply chain we were able to minimize our carbon footprint and offer LEED points in the process. Transforming a large iconic project into a consumer product was a challenge that energized us, but we were especially excited to help solve the perplexing problem of storm water runoff by appealing to customers at the residential scale. Like many cities with aging infrastructure, Philadelphia suffers from the ever-present issue of storm surges. Even worse, Philly has a combined sewer system, so overflows cause drainage to empty directly into our rivers. Moreover, storm water runoff is prevented from productive application on the earthâ€™s surface, where it can be used as a valuable resource for cultivating plants. The good news is that Philadelphia is addressing this problem and the city is a national pioneer in offering storm water credits for proper mitigation. Research weâ€™ve conducted with the Philadelphia Water Department (another client) and for our Urban Outfitters green roof project enabled us to design a state-of-the-art consumer project. Our studies show a significant reduction in runoff, reduced summer heat transfer to the tune of 75%, and saved a measurable 10% in winter heating costs. Now that we had a working prototype, we hit the streets to gauge interest and solicit feedback. Lucky for us, Philadelphia is home to the nationally recognized, locally influenced DesignPhiladelphia event that celebrates design in all forms. It was a perfect setting for a soft launch; as we prepared for our installation we asked ourselves what was our message, how would we get passersby to engage and how could we collect the fruits of those conversations for later use. Our first order of business was to secure a location for our temporary installation, so we picked up the phone and called our neighbor, Shake Shack. Our working relationship with the Opposite Page Below: Close up of the sidewalk facing installation
Above: An observer interacts with the literature Below: A close up of the modular prototype
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
Y A F
R D O
PlantingÊ1,000sfÊofÊgreenÊ roofÊ isÊ comparableÊ toÊ takingÊ 15Ê carsÊ offÊ theÊ road.ÊÊ
AÊgrowingÊnumberÊofÊ citiesÊofferÊtaxÊcreditsÊ toÊ homeownersÊ thatÊ installÊaÊgreenÊroofÊonÊ theirÊresidence.
HomesÊthatÊhaveÊlandscaping typicallyÊsellÊforÊ10%ÊmoreÊthanÊ thoseÊwithout.
TA X CREDITS
So, youÕreÊaÊ homeowner...
GreenÊ roofsÊ haveÊ beenÊ foundÊ toÊ extendÊtheÊlifetimeÊofÊroofsÊbyÊupÊtoÊ2Ê times.ÊÊ
StudiesÊ haveÊ shownÊ thatÊ plantsÊ andÊvegetationÊcanÊreduceÊstressÊ andÊenhanceÊselfÊesteem.
OurÊtilesÊcomeÊflatpacked.ÊThatÊmean minimalÊ wasteÊ an assembl
AÊbackyardÊfunctionsÊlikeÊaÊspongeÊ duringÊ aÊ stormÊ andÊ keepsÊ stormÊ waterÊrunoffÊfromÊenteringÊourÊ waterways.
YouÊ donÕtÊ needÊ toÊ yourÊ screwdriverÊ or tools.ÊJustÊuseÊy
Our first order of business was to secure a location for our temporary installation, so we picked up the phone and called our neighbor, Shake Shack. Our working relationship with the recent Philly import – had us installing a living wall, green roof and wall trellis as part of their welcome to town. We enjoyed working with them, and we also appreciate their mission: to “Stand for Something Good”.
IntegratedÊdripÊirrigationÊhelpsÊ keepÊ yourÊ plantsÊ aliveÊ evenÊ whenÊ youÊ forgetÊ toÊ waterÊ them.ÊÊ
WeÊ supplyÊ everythingÊ butÊ theÊ plants.Ê UseÊ drought-tolerantÊ sedums,Ê vegetables,Ê grassesÊ orÊyourÊfavoriteÊperennials.Ê
CreatingÊ greenÊ spaceÊ withÊ ourÊ tilesÊ helpsÊ bringÊ natureÊ backÊ toÊ theÊ city.Ê WelcomeÊ back,Êfriends!Ê
e b m lo
AllÊ ofÊ ourÊ materialsÊ areÊ recycledÊ(aluminum,Êrubber,Ê plastic)ÊorÊupcycledÊ(burlapÊ coffeeÊbeanÊbags).
m lo co
BurlapÊsoilÊbagsÊareÊ madeÊ ofÊ upcycledÊ coffeeÊ beanÊ bagsÊ fromÊPhiladelphiaÕsÊÊ premierÊroasters.
BuildingÊ ownersÊ canÊ cashÊ inÊ onÊ creditsÊofferedÊbyÊwaterÊcompaniesÊ justÊforÊhavingÊaÊgreenÊroof.ÊÊ
OurÊ universalÊ connectionÊ systemÊ allowsÊ youÊ toÊ lockÊ togetherÊ tiles,Ê asÊ wellÊ asÊ attachÊ allÊ kindsÊ ofÊ edgingÊ finishes.
FoldÊ itÊ upÊ andÊ plant!Ê WeÕveÊ workedÊ outÊ theÊ detailsÊsoÊyouÊdonÕtÊhaveÊ to.Ê Ê GoÊ fromÊ concreteÊ grayÊtoÊgreenÊinÊminutes!Ê
OurÊ productsÊ areÊ madeÊ here,ÊwhichÊhelpsÊstimulateÊ theÊ localÊ economyÊ andÊ ensuresÊfairÊworking conditions.
WeÕreÊ aÊ PhiladelphiaÊ companyÊ committedÊ toÊ transformingÊ theÊ cityÊaroundÊusÊthroughÊ sustainableÊdesign.ÊÊ
nsÊ ndÊ ly.
There growsÊthe neighborhood
TakeÊ theÊ tilesÊ withÊ youÊ whenÊyouÊmoveÊorÊdoÊaÊ littleÊbackyardÊ redecorating.ÊÊ
Ê searchÊ forÊ rÊ anyÊ otherÊ yourÊhands!
AFFORDABLEÊANDÊEXPANDABLEÊ OurÊkitsÊgiveÊyouÊflexibilityÊandÊletÊyouÊexpandÊatÊ yourÊconvenience,ÊwithoutÊtheÊhugeÊstartupÊcostÊ ofÊlandscapingÊorÊaÊtypicalÊgreenÊroofÊsystem.
PlantsÊ absorbÊ smoke,Ê dustÊ andÊ manyÊ otherÊÊ pollutantsÊ andÊ createÊ oxygen.Ê Ê ThisÊ helpsÊ usÊ allÊbreatheÊaÊlittleÊeasier.ÊÊÊ
ManagingÊ stormwaterÊ atÊ theÊ scaleÊofÊourÊownÊhomesÊsimplyÊ keepsÊthingsÊthatÊdonÕtÊbelongÊ inÊourÊriversÊoutÊofÊthem.
ByÊaddingÊvegetationÊtoÊroofsÊ andÊ imperviousÊ surfacesÊ (concrete,Ê asphalt)Ê heatÊ isÊ notÊ storedÊ upÊ asÊ muchÊ andÊ ourÊcityÊcanÊreduceÊtheÊÒheatÊ islandÓÊ effectÊ andÊ scorchingÊ summers.
recent Philly import – had us installing a living wall, green roof and wall trellis as part of their welcome to town. We enjoyed working with them, and we also appreciate their mission: to “Stand for Something Good,” namely by using quality ingredients, employing equal opportunity hiring practices, and endorsing environmental responsibility. In other words, a perfect fit. They were familiar with our work and graciously offered us a guaranteed location as well as a milkshake tasting at the kickoff party. Securing hospitality was the easy part – now came the physical exertion of showcasing the fruits of our labor.
We divvied up the
tasks at hand - some of our team worked on an infographic about the benefits of green roofs, while others designed a streetside bar so visitors could experience our living tiles up close. The pop-up design re-purposed a POD storage box outfit with plywood cladding and a burlap skirt to provide a frame for our green roof diagram Above: The infographic the SHIFT_DESIGN team produced
Below Left: The installation as seen from the street Below Right: SHIFT_DESIGN founder Mario Gentile shares a light moment
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
and a mobile office. We also used this small cube to illustrate the
As the week wore on, we drew attention on a larger scale as well.
flexible applications that our tiles can support; plants above our
We were covered in the media by the local CBS affiliate, hit the
heads, along the ground plane and on any flat surface in-between,
blog circuit (Philly.com, Uwishunu, Foobooz, and Flying Kite) and
positioning planted trays on top of the box and alongside it on the
received a commission for another green construction wall. After
a whirlwind debut, we knew we were on the right track to get our FAIRMOUNT tiles on the shelves in the Spring of 2013.
As the DesignPhiladelphia festival unfolded, our urge to get on the street and interact with people paid off in innumerable ways.
Our experience with DesignPhiladelphia helped shape our
We expected that we’d be able to talk about our product and the
potential market, but it was so much more than that. Being a
many reasons we believe in it. What we received was far more.
homegrown company, we are very sensitive to the fact that much
Enthusiasts from all sectors were willing to offer their feedback;
of our success is derived from our local production fabrication and
from technical advice from career green roof contractors to plant
our local partners. Community investment is not an easily priced
types with urban gardeners, they gave us an idea of how they
item, but we were able to sell it. From our presence at adopted
would implement it, what they thought and very importantly, how
local eatery Shake Shake to our supply chain of coffee sacks from
much they’d be willing to spend.
Philadelphia superstar La Colombe, we realized the importance of celebrating our local economy. ■
Above: Designing with our future generations in mind Right Above: The team gathering intel from passersby Right Below: Our marketing team’s efforts
Our experience with DesignPhiladelphia helped shape our potential market, but it was so much more than that. Being a homegrown company, we are very sensitive to the fact that much of our success is derived from our local production fabrication and our local partners. Community investment is not an easily priced item, but we were able to sell it. From our presence at adopted local eatery Shake Shake to our supply chain of coffee sacks from Philadelphia superstar La Colombe, we realized the importance of celebrating our local economy.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
FEATURE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH MULTI-MEDIA
THINKING “OUTSIDE THE BOX” AS A FREELANCE DESIGNER Jennifer R. Lea Lea is a freelance Designer and Teaching Assistant at Harrington College of Design in Chicago, recently received her Master’s Degree in Interior Design and works on projects ranging from Interiors to branding and graphic design.
Thinking “Outside the Box” as a Freelance Designer
Social Networking Sites
Becoming a “freelance” designer was not originally what I had
Don’t underestimate the power of social networking
planned coming out of Graduate School. As a career changer,
sites. There are a number of social networking sites that
I felt that there was something “validating” about getting that job
you can utilize for self-promotion, communication and
offer to guarantee experience and income generation. Although I
knowledge, as well as gain insight on prospective jobs.
was lucky enough to have a paid internship position for 6-months,
The two key networks that I have found to be the most
they were unable to keep me on staff. Due to the challenging job
valuable have been LinkedIn and Twitter.
market, I realized that I might have to explore my options, at least until I could find a “full-time” position. I began to pick up small projects here and there and educate myself on how and where I could find project work on my own. A year and a half later, the majority of my work is still on a contract or freelance basis which I find to be both interesting and rewarding in a number of ways.
You should consider your LinkedIn account as your online professional resume. Not only does LinkedIn come up very high in web search results, it is an outstanding way to present your background and experience as well as increase your professional network. You can join Groups to participate in conversations and learn about industry events, plus Groups can exponentially expand your
Optimizing Your Resources
contact database. Following pages of companies that you may be interested in either working with or working
As a “freelance” designer, I often get a number of questions about
for may provide some insight into open job positions
how and where I find work. First and foremost, make sure to
should they come available.
cultivate your personal network and contacts as most successful freelancers will tell you that the majority of their projects have come from referrals or through people they already know. However, there are many resources nowadays that you can find via the web, social networks, and by branching out into related areas of the profession. So whether you are intending to work on your own, are currently positioned as a “freelance” designer or architect, are trying to pick up some additional projects “on the side”, or are only seeking freelance work until you find your next position, optimizing and expanding upon your resources can improve your chances of gaining project opportunities.
One newer feature to take advantage of (if you have not already) includes adding “Skills and Expertise” to your profile. These are professional “tag words” that describe your skills and other members of your network then can “endorse” these skills to help add clout - (just make sure to return the favor!). Something to take note of is that LinkedIn is in the process of rolling out new media features which will allow you to upload images, presentations, video, and more to your profile page. This will be advantageous if you have portfolio work that you would like displayed in order to make your profile more comprehensive.
does provide you the option to customize your “Public
Profile Page” that anyone can view via a customized URL link without having to be a member of your network. This facilitates potential clients and employers to gain insightful information about you without first having to be a member of your network. Twitter is another recommended resource. Maintaining an active profile on Twitter can provide you with a wealth of information about different industries, your peers and competitors, plus potential clientele and employers. But the biggest advantage is that it provides you opportunities to quickly connect and a platform to communicate with people who you may not normally or that you might find to be “out of reach” due to distance or even prestige. Plus, you can get noticed and gain followers if you are
tweeting and sharing relevant and interesting content. Twitter chats are another way to get in contact with peers or those in industries or professions that you are interested in working with or for.
Just a few twitter chats relevant
to designers and architects may include AIA Chats (#aiachat), Interior Designer Chat (#IntDesignerChat), and Kitchen & Bath Chat (#kbtribechat).
Right Above: Excerpt of my LinkedIn Profile showing the Public URL, examples of projects, and Skills & Expertise. Right Below: Example of a Tweet asking if I would want to write this article for YAF.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
Online “Marketplaces” for Freelancers
Staffing Agencies & Classifieds
The two largest online “marketplaces” to both find work and hire
Creative staffing agencies can be another way to seek out contract
contractors are Elance and oDesk. Both of these sites allow you
or temporary project work. I recently started working on a 3D
to “bid” or propose for open projects or you can obtain work through
modeling project for a large public company in the Chicagoland
clients visiting the site in search of contractors. This does give you
area through a creative staffing agency. Some examples to take
some control over the type(s) of work you want to do and they
a look at for design and architecture projects include Aquent, The
provide automated ways to keep track of your jobs and receive
Creative Group, Artisan, Digital People, Archipro, Aerotek.
payment for your services. Each of these sites has a “free profile” as well as paid versions - the differentiation usually controls how many projects you can “bid” on.
Often there are a number of smaller projects and contract jobs posted on Craigslist making it another location to identify opportunities for freelancers. Architizer is a network for architects
I maintain profiles and portfolio samples on both of these sites
and designers which features job listings, competitions, projects
and have found that they are amazing at providing opportunities to
and more. InteriorDesignPro is a specialized site for those
work on a variety of projects with people from around the globe. I
seeking professional interior designers.
have designed an investor presentation for someone as close as here in Chicago, put together interior design concepts for a client in Australia, and helped design a new retail store concept for a client in California.
Other great websites include Behance and Coroflot which are focused on providing a platform to display your portfolio work, but also offer Job Boards with both Employee and Freelance opportunities.
Above: Interior view of 3D Retail Clothing Store Concept created for a recent project on Elance.
last year at Harrington College of Design where I received my Master’s degree in Interior Design. It has given me the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with students going through similar design programs. Teaching also forces me to keep up to date with skills and technology even if I am not using them for current freelance projects. Outside of a formal school setting, there are other avenues you can pursue such as teaching specialized classes in your area(s) of expertise through sites such as Dabble or through your local community center. There is also a private tutoring website called Wyzant Above: 3D model of Retail Clothing Store Concept created for a recent project on Elance.
that enables you to tutor students in a number of subject areas depending on your skills and expertise.
Creative ‘Alternatives’ There are other indirect ways that you can enhance your reputation, gain exposure, and give back; all of which can open up additional resources and possibilities. Pro-bono work is an example of working to grow your own business while also helping those in need. Plus, it can help inexperienced designers build a portfolio and enable experienced designers to do
At the end of the day, whether you want to make a living as a full time freelancer or trying to make some money during a fulltime job search, there are many tools and resources out there to stay involved in the profession, enhance your profile, and find valuable leads and clients. Don’t forget to “think outside the box.” ■
work for causes they care about. There are organizations that are specifically geared toward this type of work – such as the Taproot Organization, however, there are often more local opportunities available in your own community. I have found this to be a rewarding way to stay busy especially during downtimes between jobs. For example, I recently assisted the organization Project Osmosis (a not-for-profit with a mission of “furthering design education for underserved minority youth”) with some design of marketing materials for a fundraising event. Teaching and tutoring can be another option to supplement your freelance work. I started working as a teaching assistant and tutor
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
FEATURE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH CROWDFUNDING
INNOVATIVE FINANCING AND ARCHITECTURE Shervan Sebastian Sebastian is an advocate on behalf of the architecture industry within the House of Representatives, Senate, White House as well as Federal Agencies.
For a profession such as architecture, innovation is the continuous engine of design that advances the relationship between the architect and the community. The AIA understands that creative professionals, particularly young and emerging professionals, require innovative support. And to further that aim we have developed a program titled “The Crowdfunding Initiative” to inform architects nationwide of this inventive funding tool that can make a genuine difference in empowering the architecture community and furthering presently stalled projects.
In addition to these exemplar developments, The Nosara Recycling Center in Costa Rica is a project that the AIA highlighted as a part of a panel discussion on January 31st, titled “The Crowdfunding Initiative.” Tobias Holler, AIA of NYIT and HOLLER architecture was instrumental in helping New York architecture students develop a successful crowdfunding campaign to build a recycling center, primarily composed of local materials, in order to address one of the largest issues facing Costa Rica: reprocessing and waste.
Crowdfunding, the practice of investing in projects through the use of a group-supported web-based fundraising campaign, has show significant promise in attracting investors to developable ventures in our pindustry; getting them off of the architects’ drawing boards and into reality. This possibility inspired the AIA to collaborate with the firm massolution to research, develop and publish the white paper “Crowdfunding Architecture”, which highlights the four kinds of Crowdfunding; best practices for establishing a successful architectural campaign; and highlights several projects that have successfully made use of Crowdfunding to date. In once such project, and in what the developers have called “the first skyscraper built by common people”, Colombia’s 66-story BD Bacatá Downtown will be Bogota’s tallest building when the project is completed. This fundraising drive is being undertaken primarily though a crowdfunding campaign, allowing the organizers to utilize the community’s interest in owning a percentage of the project. The “I Make Rotterdam” pedestrian path in the Netherlands is a great example of how Reward Based crowdfunding allows designers to incentivize financing for a development. The bridge will alleviate pedestrian traffic and investors will have their name listed across visible planks along the bridge’s outward facing beams as an enticement to invest.
View from Road, January 2013 © HOLLER architecture / sLAB
These are just a handful of the projects that have been successfully funded to date. Web portals such as Kickstarter, IndieGogo and RocketHub have experienced significant growth over the past few years, in what has turned into a billion-dollar-a-year industry. The AIA’s goal is to ensure that members are aware of this funding tool and understand best methods of utilization; a goal that has been supported by several informational pieces including the publication of a survey and several articles to date. The question ‘How can we design the communities of the future?’ is a persistent and crucial one.
View from Road, January 2013 © HOLLER architecture / sLAB
“Crowdfunding Architecture” discusses using community-based financing as one of the many tools that can aid in developing modern, energy-efficient, community improvement projects. Crowdfunding provides architects with the ability to work with local communities to discuss, develop and then implement design ideas that benefit the members of the community while creating both short and long term job opportunities.
The AIA is advocating to the SEC’s Chairman and Commissioners to expedite the finalization of the Equity Crowdfunding tool, in order to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to fully utilize this opportunity. Our mission at the AIA is simple. If it affects the architecture community, we believe it is imperative that you hear about it.
It impacts the role of architects in the funding cycle by providing the investment models and communications tools to encourage financing for an array of self-selected projects.
Crowdfunding, like any financial tool, possesses liabilities based on the nature of the project, generated interest, and economic climate.
And it generates support for “passion projects” that may be unable to secure financing through conventional avenues, selection of design concepts.
What distinguishes crowdfunding is that it innately encourages community based collaboration in projects that have a collective goal and shared regional interest. While this approach may not be well suited for some design ideas, for others, it provides a perfect conduit between the designer and the surrounding environment. ■
Crowdfunding applies to such a broad range of investment opportunities, services and physical structures that it opens numerous doors to architects and their clients. While the first three methods of Crowdfunding - Donation Based, Reward Based and Lending Based - are fully operational with numerous successes, the Securities and Exchange Commission is still writing the regulations for Equity Based Crowdfunding.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
ARTICLE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH INVOLVEMENT
THE BIG PICTURE FAST FORWARD >> PHILADELPHIA Kathy Lent, Associate AIA Lent is a designer at BWA Architecture + Planning in Philadelphia, a Community Design Collaborative project designer, and co-coordinator of Fast Forward >> Philly.
Do you dream about shaping the future of the place you live? On October 10, 2012, AIA Philadelphia Associates and YAF committees challenged its members to dream out loud. The goal: to uncover new ideas from emerging professionals, spark an interdisciplinary cross-pollination of design solutions, and remind ourselves about the world outside of redlines and deadlines ... endless possibilities! Step 1. Pick the Format (Project Delivery Method) Inspired by fast-paced expository events like Talk20 and PechaKucha, we sought a lineup of speakers to deliver 20 slides timed at 20-seconds each for a wide-ranging selection of 6-minute-40-second presentations. To differentiate this new event from other forums for ideas, and to reach-out specifically to young designers, we chose a theme to provoke Phila-centric idea pitches: “What’s Next for Philly?”. Finally, framework in place, we needed a name, a brand, something to reflect the speed of the format and the optimism that the event represented: Fast Forward >> Philly was born. Step 2. Time it Right (Critical Path Schedule) This formulation happened to coincide with the annual DesignPhiladelphia festival organized by University of the Arts; two weeks of open studios, lectures, exhibits, and workshops put on by hundreds of artists, scholars, and designers of all shades of renown and obscurity - the perfect platform for a fledgling event to launch from. After securing seed money from a single sponsor (the Designated Sketcher, a website dedicated to promoting the work of young designers), the event was listed in the festival guidebook and website, guaranteeing visibility by creative-minded folks from around the region. Step 3. Recruit Talent (Bid the Job) How do you find “What’s Next?” which, by definition, is unknown or emerging? We put out an open call to everyone we could think of in the design community: architects, of course, through AIA Philadelphia and Bustler, but also fabricators, entrepreneurs, Philly-focused websites, newspapers, twitter. We set simple entry requirements and deadlines: submit five image slides, send a 200 word topic summary...and waited.
Erike De Verya, Associate AIA De Veyra is a designer at Zimmerman Studio LLC in Philadelphia, co-coordinator of Fast Forward >> Philly, Park(ing) Day Philadelphia Assistant Organizer and recently inducted Associates Director of the AIA Philadelphia.
And waited ... The day before the submission deadline we had one entry. 10 minutes before the cut-off we had more than the available presentation slots! After careful consideration, we ended up with a mix of technologists, advocates, and designers from across the creative spectrum:
The crowd at Fast Forward >> Philadelphia
Amanda Beebe, Senior Sales Manager at Lutron Electronics >> “Manufacture Locally, Compete Globally” Representing a company with 50 years of innovating in the Philadelphia region, explained how energy-efficient lighting plays an essential role in the future of Philadelphia’s built environment. Halee Bouchehrain, founder and principal of Phenomenarch >> “B.Y.O.B. Build Your Own Building” A pitch to consider an approach to development that produces costefficient, space-optimized, and visually-interesting solutions instead of cookie-cutter boxes. Michael Burlando of MGA Partners Architects & Alex Feldman of U3 Ventures Developers >> “Why Can’t Us?: Philadelphia Summer Games 2024″ A tongue-in-cheek, but affectionate assessment of Philadelphia’s infrastructural (and attitudinal) readiness to host an Olympics. Ryan Draving founder of CompeteLeap >> “Silicon Philly” An inspirational look into the growing technology start-up culture in the city. Darla Jackson, owner of Philadelphia Sculpture Gym >>”Building the Creative Economy” Advocated for the feasibility of a small-business creative economy. Simon Kim, principal at IK Studio >> “Are You Ready for the Future? Design and Robotics” Depicted a high-tech vision for the city’s built environment.
The crowd at Fast Forward >> Philadelphia
Kara Lindstrom, operations coordinator at ExCITe, Drexel University >> “Research, education, civic engagement, and entrepreneurship for transformative regional development” Presented a collaborative model for educating tomorrow’s innovators. Joe McNulty, contributing reporter at the blog Curbed Philadelphia >> “Balancing top-down & bottom-up approaches to planning and design” Demonstrated the successes and failures of regulatory and communitydriven designs for public spaces in Philadelphia. Jason Goodman, shop director of 3RD Ward >> “Promoting a Maker Economy” Spoke about expanding this successful New York fabrication workshop to Philadelphia. Sarah Thorp, planner for the Philadelphia Water Department, member of the Design Advocacy Group >> “Flying and Architecture” A unique perspective on how her experience as a Navy pilot has lessons for working toward design consensus. Paul van Meter, cofounder of VIADUCTgreene >> “Making a Gardenpark in the City” Re-imagined an abandoned rail line as a cross-city park.
Step 4. Bring the Beer ... and Hope for the Best! (Site Administration) The pictures are worth more than this thousand-word article, so check out the event blog for the full presentations, and see for yourself! Step 5. Learn Lessons & Set Goals (Post-Event Evaluation) Over a hundred people attended the two-hour event. Admission was kept free by using donated facility space at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, and we maximized every penny of the $200 reception budget from empathetic manufacturing reps to local businesses. We received some good feedback from event attendees, the hardest being that many of the presenters seemed
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
to echo the same vision: the future of Philadelphia driven by a small-scale “maker” economy. In the audience, we met everyone from a neurobiologist to an elementary school teacher, and are inspired to pursue more education, science, and technology perspectives at future events. While appealing to a wider cross-section of forward-looking Philadelphians, the challenge is to differentiate Fast Forward as a forum for up-and-coming doers and thinkers who want to share their vision for the future through the wide lens of design. Some of these presenters’ ideas may shape the future of Philadelphia. We want them to hone their ideas to a powerful 6 minutes and 40 seconds, and the Fast Forward audience to be the first to see and hear them. Finally, we hope to inspire audience members to learn, connect, and maybe make some of these ideas happen: Philadelphia Summer Olympics 2024! ■
AIA Philadelphia Associates and YAF will be revisiting the question “What’s Next for Philly?” again in 2013. Check out the event page (fastforwardphilly.blogspot.com) and follow on twitter (@fastforwardphl): comments and suggestions are very much appreciated. Welcome to the future of Philadelphia: We hope to see you there!
ARTICLE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH PRACTICE
SOLE PRACTITIONERS SHOULD ANTICIPATE MEDICAL CONTINGENCIES Frank Musica Musica, a Senior Risk Management Attorney at Victor O. Schinnerer & Company, Inc. in Chevy Chase MD is an architect, attorney and a frequent speaker at the AIA Convention and other AIA component programs.
As you consider your place within the profession, one of the first discussions flows around where you want to work and whether you see yourself working within a larger group of professionals or with your own firm. Today, professional service firms are increasingly separated into large firms employing many licensed design professionals and small firms that are often sole practitioners or single professional operations. Where do you see yourself fitting in? Here are some things to consider. Large firms rarely face difficulty when an individual licensed design professional is physically unable to complete a project. Most large firms operate with interchangeable staffs where the person signing and sealing required documents often has had only a minor role in the project design and many others are capable of performing the initial calculations or designs. But small firms - especially those that are sole practitioners - could experience catastrophic damage because of any form of incapacitation. Every sole practitioner’s worst nightmare is injury, illness, or some form of incapacitation to the point of inability to provide professional services. While some clients may not fear the delay of a project because of a sudden personal misfortune, others may be hesitant to hire a sole practitioner unless a contingency plan is in place for completing the project. Consequently, it is prudent to structure a backup system and inform the client of its existence. Prepare a Practice Support System No sole practitioner wants to abandon a client or project or see a carefully built practice destroyed by an unplanned absence of several weeks or more. But few have prepared their clients, contracts, or operations for such an interruption in service. The simplest form of preparation for continuity on a project is a prearranged support system. Forming a relationship with another sole practitioner or small firm with a similar practice can provide the continuity of client service and of viability of a professional practice. Rely on Digital Practice With contemporary communications and project software, a colleague in another location can step in quickly to continue or complete a project. The backup practitioner can access communications and files through email or a project website. The backup professional will be able to check client correspondence and emails and access documents without physically disrupting his or her existing practice. By choosing to form a cooperative, reciprocal relationship with another small firm, transition is less disruptive to the client and staff.
Address Laws, Rules and Insurance There are many concerns in taking over a project, including, registration laws, the client’s ability to void a personal services agreement, the legality of software use, confidentiality, and trade secrets. Of course, there is the issue of professional liability insurance coverage to consider. Part of the arrangement for reciprocal backup would include exchanging insurance information, including carriers, limits, and deductibles. Unfortunately, many sole practitioners and small firms still do not carry appropriate insurance coverages. It is wise to exchange insurance information to confirm that both parties have the ability to defend their professional operations. Put it in Writing Once a backup has been identified and contact and insurance information exchanged, the reciprocal arrangement should be memorialized in writing. The agreement should provide the procedures to be followed if the backup practitioner is needed along with compensation decisions and any limitations on the authority of the backup. A provision that clearly indicates that the client reverts to the primary professional upon return to practice is prudent. The agreement should also provide for confidentiality and non-solicitation, not only of active clients but entire client lists, since the backup will have access to that information as well. The arrangement, of course, should be mutual. Develop the Relationship When the decisions have been made and put into an agreement form, the relationship can be nurtured. Tours of the offices should be arranged to familiarize each party with the location of files and the filing system and a demonstration of computer use and organization. Firms should share passwords and keys and candidly discuss office procedures. The reciprocal arrangement should also address the potential necessity to expand the power of the backup professional depending on the circumstance of an absence. Such information should be shared with legal counsel, a business advisor, or anyone else in the position of being the first to learn of an unanticipated absence from practice. The decision to practice architecture is one that should be considered with eyes wide open. Having a plan in place as you start your firm will put you ahead of the game and put you on the path to success. ■
The AIA Trust is a free risk management resource for AIA members that offers valuable benefits ranging from term life, disability and auto insurance to professional liability and business owners insurance to legal information and retirement plans. For more information on all AIA Trust programs, visit www.TheAIATrust.com
ARTICLE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH ACADEMIA
THE InSB Jeffrey Pastva, AIA LEED AP Pastva is an Assistant Editor for the YAF Connection, serves as Chair of the Young Architects Forum of Philadelphia, founder of The Designated Sketcher website and a Project Architect at Haley Donovan in Haddonfield, NJ.
Architectural education has recently become a hotly contested topic. A bevy of contrarian hypotheses have hit the streets; from an article by Aaron Betsky, who stumps for the idea that professional degrees should only be reserved for Master’s study, to the University of Minnesota’s degree-to-licensure program that will only take 7-years, and, finally, the elimination of a number of B.Arch programs from around the nation (and all of Canada).
argues Tabitha, is that it “forces individual students to realize that collaboration and a team attitude is required to succeed in the built environment”. Tabitha positions her approach to be more practical and collaborative, as all parties involved in the process must respect each other’s trade. For example, it seems to be a common stereotype that architects know how to design, but they may not know how to build. Contractors on the other hand, are often suspected of prioritizing profit at the expense of design. Tabitha imagines a world where builders value design and architects understand the need to adapt as budgets are slashed. The hope is that a shared vision will lead to less conflict, less finger pointing and result in improved quality where everyone “will have a larger piece of the pie because [the process] will be more efficient.”
If harmony is the final goal there are a couple of ways that Tabitha thinks the InSB can accomplish that. First is her target audience. It’s an intriguing dilemma and each stakeholder has its own reasons Even though she envisions the school being open to anyone out of or vested interest. Even the accreditation committees that oversee high school, the ideal inaugural class will enter with some experience the process are in constant flux as they tweak what they think will in the field. The field, in this case, applies broadly to anyone who be the best way to get pupils from academia to practice. But with designs or builds. A mix of trades is important since architects must so many differing opinions on what best prepares a student to start learn to manage engineers, builders need to understand design stamping blueprints, it’s very unclear which has actually been the process, and everyone needs to work together to make the most most effective. However, one point is clear. There is a significant efficient project. gap (and frankly a stark contrast) between what is taught in school In addition to exposing all parties to each other, Tabitha’s strategy and what is expected of interns when they graduate. is to introduce skills that are typically reserved for business majors. In the midst of this rigorous debate, I caught up with a motivated Even if accounting and entrepreneurship aren’t a designer’s strong individual and industry outsider, who has a unique approach to suit, they become essential skills for those who eventually want to preparing young architects for success in the real world. Her start their own firm. Her other weapon is to introduce “Lean Process” name is Tabitha Ponte and she is set to launch a movement principles into the curricula. In short, this is a set of ideals about called the Integrated School of Building that will “foster the next tirelessly working to eliminate waste from a process. Once the (best) AEC+ generation”. Aside from that, she has a wealth of students have an understanding of these principles, they move on experience across the AEC universe (including intern architect to project-based work. Through partnerships with local architectural and project manager, construction manager, and owner’s rep) and firms, every graduating class will be required to get their hands dirty on an actual project. This project will require students to address brings perspective from almost every angle. budget concerns, design on the fly, and ultimately help deliver quality During our discussion, we both agreed that many programs have built work. the unintended consequence of creating mini “Starchitects,” as evidenced by students often preferring solo studio projects, To date, the school has been the labor of an indefatigable bunch assuming an unlimited budget, and designing major institutional working at their own expense since September 2011. Eventually undertakings that a miniscule percentage of practicing architects InSB will become a full non-profit, but until they can work up a backlog of investible items, these pioneers are going to have to will ever see in their lifetime. take it course by course. But things are now in motion and by the Unfortunately, this leads to fighting every design battle, creating time this article is published, InSB will have opened its doors in a unnecessary correspondence and potentially missing deadlines downtown Chicago location. Though the school is just beginning its because of unresolved issues. Hour by non-billable hour, these journey to full potential, I urge you to check out the steps InSB has roadblocks create waste in the process and as any design taken to disrupt the institution that is architectural, or rather “building” professional can probably testify, the more time spent in CA, education. ■ the more money that is lost. The remedy, she says, is to create efficiency in the process and to encourage collaboration, not conflict, between the building trades. The Integrated School of Building, or InSB for short, is designed to desegregate the various disciplines of building when creating the next generation of designers. The value of integration,
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
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#TBH a virtual poll: STARTING YOUR OWN FIRM What is your favorite book on the topic of ‘STARTING YOUR OWN FIRM’? Replies to be published in YAF ‘Connection’! @wyattfrantom #aiayaf 24 days ago @wyattfrantom
Matthew Dumich AIA, Valerio Dewalt Train Chicago ▪ How to Start and Operate Your Own Design Firm by Al Rubeling, FAIA. “The best book I have seen on starting a firm.” Mark Shuler AIA, Principal, Shuler Architecture Seattle ▪ E-Myth Revisited and The E-Myth Contractor by Michael Gerber. “I read both of these every couple of years to get myself refocused.” Ryan Spruston AIA, Gensler Los Angeles ▪ The Business of Design by Keith Granet “A great primer on building a design practice and an essential read for both those who are working at a firm and those looking to start their own. Art Gensler provides an insightful foreword.” Jason Dale Pierce AIA, HOK St Louis ▪ AIA Handbook of Professional Practice by John Wiley & Sons “Maybe not my favorite book but a good resource … A new version is to be released in 2013 and it was developed with Emerging Professionals in mind so it should be an even stronger resource than in the past for those looking to start a new firm early in one’s career.” Scott Feltheim ALA, SDG Architecture Tucson ▪ Professional Practice 101: Business Strategies and Case Studies in Architecture by Andrew Pressman “Tricky question: when I started 7 years ago I used AIA Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice [re: above], Professional Practice 101, and more importantly, many online blogs and articles from others. However, I believe the forces that affect the start-up have changed so dramatically in the past few years that few if any printed books will be as valuable.” m ARCHITECTS Twitter Feed, Houston ▪ The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand “No doubt about it …” David Wischniewski, Frederic Schwartz Architects New York ▪ Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur “Business Model Generation helped me to get a first impression of how to build up a firm and its business model. It is a well written and good illustrated book, which covers a lot if topics (from design, marketing, technical infrastructure, to management).” Enoch Sears AIA, Christiansen Group Visalia CA ▪ BusinessofArchitecture.com “Haven’t found one I love ... lately, books are having trouble keeping up with the latest information.”
ARTICLE ADVANCEMENT THROUGH PRACTICE
FROM PARKING LOTS TO WETSLUMS Eileen Allaverdian-Orumie Allaverdian-Orumie is an intern architect at Waterstudio in The Netherlands, has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Toronto and has recently completed a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University.
Blue and orange, and then some more orange. For the past seven-and-a-half years, these two colors have symbolized the two universities that I attended, the University of Toronto and Syracuse University, while studying architecture. Today, I am an intern architect in the “orange nation” of the Netherlands. At the University of Toronto, I learned to see through the eyes of a contemporary, provocative architect. Most, if not all, undergraduate architecture programs in Canada today are not professional programs in themselves but stepping stones of rigorous training for graduate studies in architecture. I decided to venture all the way down “south” (for a Canadian) to upstate New York where I completed a Master’s degree in Architecture at Syracuse University. There, I saw provocative architecture take form, and most importantly, I learned to find potential and relevance in the ordinary, and that architecture is found outside of the way things appear. This eventually led to my thesis: Good Things Happen in Parking Lots, where I proposed to redesign the typology of the parking lot into a flexible public space, which could transform into unexpected functions when not in use. I see potential in the banal and overly pervasive infrastructure of the parking lot. Its simple poles, flat ground, and spray paint lines can be imagined to generate a malleable public space. Think of all the empty parking lots in cities, often near stadiums and exhibition centers that are prime real estate, but underused. By introducing new elements like audiovisual equipment or lights that can easily slide vertically on poles, screens that can span across poles, embedded tent structures, and storage bins for rolled surfaces like turf or water storage that can make ice for skating rinks, ordinary parking lots can become vibrant public spaces.
At Syracuse University, I also assisted teaching freshman history, theory, and in my final year, design. I enjoyed getting to know a large number of designs at a time while being a student myself. In critiquing others’ work, I was also able to critique my own, while feeling like I was getting a break from it. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach at Syracuse, and hope to be in a position to teach again one day. Two years ago, through Syracuse University Study Abroad Programs, which has one of, if not the best, study abroad options in the US, I spent some time in The Netherlands. Although positions are scarce today for young architects in The Netherlands, the opportunities still remain unique. For the past months I have been working at Waterstudio, a firm led by Koen Olthuis, that designs and builds architecture on water. What attracted me to this studio was how uniquely Dutch their design ethos was and how the firm is based on a concept and vision that is actually similar to my own. Although as a Torontonian I have never thought to design floating buildings, I was drawn to Waterstudio because I think they see water the way I see parking lots, as something underused that has an untapped potential for improving city life. Floating architecture can not only combat rising water levels. What I find particularly fascinating is the possibilities for flexibility and planning for change. Floating architecture can be transported as functions become obsolete. The firm is working on building a floating, movable platform for a wetslum in Bangladesh. Interestingly enough, there are plans for Waterstudio to design a floating complex for Oswego, New York, near my alma matter. Needless to say, the learning experience I have found in the Netherlands is unique and I have significantly grown a designer in the past two months. As an emerging architect, the discipline has challenged me for the past eight years and is surely continuing to do so. The possible applications of international internship experiences open the door for many opportunities. This is the great thing about being an architect: you don’t know where it will lead you. There are so many venues to explore, like public spaces in dead infrastructures or floating buildings, but as long as you open your eyes to see great things, you can only go great places. ■
The parking lot as a large, outdoor concert hall with skating and a market.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
ARTICLE PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT
HOW DO I GET “THERE”? Matt Murphy AIA, WRID, LEED AP BD+C Murphy is an Architect at RMTA in Kansas City MO, a recipient of AIA National’s Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship and serves on AIA Kansas City’s Leadership Development Group.
Advancement in our profession is not linear whether one goes down the conventional path of working for firm or perhaps takes a non-traditional approach. For each person, the understanding of advancement is varied but what is synonymous is not necessarily having a luminous route for getting “there”. One person’s interpretation of amelioration will likely deviate from the next. Positions, salaries, education, history, ambitions, licensure, firm culture, project profiles, partnership and giving back are just some of the throng of betterments which drive all of us, one way or another. But how does one get “there” wherever “there” is or whatever it is?
paper) qualified for. You never know. •
Find your perspective.
Know your shelf life and understand when it’s time to turn the page.
if you were given the chance. •
Look fondly upon those who have tripped you up.
Be honest with people. Be brutally honest with your friends.
Make lasting connections. Use LinkedIn. You never know when you will need to reach the masses quickly.
For me, there were no hardened rules and no proverbial ladder to climb. It is experience and hard work that has prevailed in getting to my own, personal “there”. I know if I keep my head down, put in the time and focus on quality work, all of the other advancement mechanisms will fall in line.
The following is a list of quips, quotes and witticism I have gathered over the years while trying to figure out how I was going to advance. These are not a “how to” on succeeding, rather they are what has seemingly worked for me whether I was cognizant of them at the time or not. I advocate any student or intern to simply take them as advice from a recently licensed architect who has had some reasonable prosperity in the industry. ■ In no particular order: •
“You gotta wanna.” From Mr. Mueller, a sixth grade teacher who demanded students to have passion.
Hard work is knowledge.
This industry is much more rewarding when you give time and efforts beyond the workday.
Remember who you love.
Be relentless in your pursuits even if it means being annoying.
Pass the ARE as soon as possible.
You have a mentor. You are a mentor. Realize those opportunities.
Take responsibility for the future of your profession.
Know your role then ask for more.
Apply for salaried and volunteer positions you are not (on
Recognize how you would or would never operate a business
Hand out business cards every chance you get. It’s a personal interaction.
Put the company’s best interests first.
“Write down your goals on paper.”
Titles are meaningless.
Your degree and where you earned it from does not matter
Don’t dismiss your education, rather know you can get licensed despite NCARB’s “rules”. Take it from me, I have a pre-professional, non-NAAB accredited fine art degree.
“It’s just a job.” No, it’s not. Love what you do.
Find ways to evoke people’s passions. Create a passion plea.
Keep your head in the clouds.
Except praise only if you are onto the next task.
Be impatient. Tell them your goals, what you want and ask how you can achieve those goals.
“You will never make any money in the arts.” Not true.
Join things, anything. Any group that will expand your network and vouch for you is worth it.
They should tell you in school that this profession follows the trade tract in that there will be apprenticeship, journeyman and master stages all of which take years of experience.
Never accept the status quo.
Lead by example not intimidation.
Where hard work meets opportunity you find luck. Take it and use it.
Thank everyone, always, for everything.
ARTICLE PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT
UNDAUNTED Valerie Amor Associate AIA Amor is the Visionary Founder and CEO of Drawing Conclusions in Fort Lauderdale FL, contributes to national and local periodicals, chapter co-author of 21st Century Security and CPTED and a 2012 Jason Pettigrew Scholarship recipient.
It has been a long and arduous road since I lost my position at a local architectural firm in 2008. From then until the present, these have not been good years for architecture. With so many professionals out of work and firms closing down on a weekly basis, my decision to open an architectural firm in 2010 seemed akin to slowly committing suicide in public. Still I remained undaunted and after a nearly one year struggle with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of Florida, I was finally granted an architect corporation license in December 2011. It seems ironic now that I really thought that if I opened an architectural firm that somehow the work would flow in my direction. After a few discouraging touches with work probably left better untouched, I came to the realization that following the path of what might be constituted as a normal architectural firm was not going to work. Since that “aha” moment of realization both my firm and my own identify as an architectural profession has morphed in some really remarkable and wondrous ways. I have literally emerged as what I have come to consider the new evolution of architect. I no longer view my role as simply satisfying the needs of the clients rather first exploring and then sifting through the so many talents that an architect brings to her profession. We are master planners, designers extraordinaire, expert listener and makers of miracles creating masterpieces from budget-empty clients who have no concept and even less willingness to embrace sustainability on any level. While some may say that this is fading into the past, still clearly it is all about the bottom line. With these challenges and the lack of any real chance at local projects as heavy hitting architectural firms from outside the area come in regularly with bidding resources that a small, resource-limited architectural firm like mine cannot muster, I have taken a different approach. About four years ago, I designed in concept a multi-phased project that is to demonstrate in real time how architecture can be an economic, environmental and social driver. Clearly, overly ambitious, I approached the City of Fort Lauderdale and was informed as I was shown the door to make sure it didn’t hit me on the way out. I thought it was perfect and brilliant, undaunted (this seems to be a theme with me, did I mention that I am not good accepting “no” for an answer), I hunkered down and re-examined my proposal, ran it past a developer only to end up in what would probably be great material for a comedy routine.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
Eventually, I decided to become my own developer. Lucky to also be a licensed Florida Real Estate broker, I began to search for possible sites and after much exploration, I finally chose one. Lacking in resources to actually buy the neglected, abandoned property perfect for the start of my urban infill multi-phased project that is to suppose to serve as an example of what is possible, think living research lab that is to be real time responsive, a living environment; I entered the recent AIA Adaptive Reuse Competition. While I pestered them for a response, I found out that my project was not selected as a winner. Undaunted, I again approached the city with my vision entitled s/he#1, translation - Sustainable Helical Experiment #1 as the first phase in my proposed project. This time, with pretty pictures in hand, (a picture is worth a thousand words), it took. While I can’t say to date I have either purchased the building or have successfully managed to get the project financed, it is in progress and I am being taken seriously. With a structural engineer eagerly waiting to sign my non-compete non-disclosure agreement, I continue to build my collaborative team demonstrating that architecture not only can transform the built environment, it can also transform communities, it can transform people’s lives. Some of the directions the firm and myself have been successful have been unexpected and yet within our realm of being expansive, inclusive and connective, making absolute sense. As an example, SCALE (sustainability, community, architecture, leadership and education) is a children’s educational program that I created and currently direct; having started as a one-week spring camp and blossoming to an eight-week summer camp last year where we explored, designed and built with all recycled materials what the City of Fort Lauderdale might be like in the year 2112. This next year we take on the task of collaborating with city staff as both children (ages 5-18) and adults review and, through the power of art, begin to understand and create a personal connection with the city’s Sustainability Action Plan. This is to serve as a prototype replicable with the other thirty cities in the county. Next plans? an i-zine (internet magazine), a re-purposed interior furnishings department, building a box city with the Museum of Discovery and Science, writing climate resilient zoning and lecturing regarding sustainability, scale and evolution and … undaunted. ■
ARTICLE PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT
REFLECTIONS ON ADVANCEMENT Jeffrey A. Ehrnman is Owner of Architect’s Consulting Services in Rancho Cucamonga CA and has over 25 years of experience as an Architect, Construction Manager, Q/C Plan Reviewer and Building Inspector.
Advancement in architecture is the topic. As an Architect myself, I would offer the following observations and thoughts from my experience to young practitioners. First, the joke, “Back in my day we had to carry our drawing boards through the snow to the 12-hour registration exam and then … actually DRAW our solution.” But the practice of Architecture and the exams has changed a great deal since I first worked in an Architect’s office in 1978. Now it is more complex with the technologies and computer programs utilized to communicate and present your ideas. So, I would like to share some of the things that I’ve learned in my career that are a part of the profession of architecture, and being an Architect, that do not change. Be positive In this field, and on a daily basis,, you will be faced with problems or, as a colleague of mine used to say, “challenges”. The client will want changes as soon as you’re done with Construction Documents. Then the Building Department will have their say. Once into construction and on the job site, there will be a multitude of issues to resolve. Be proactive and focused On starting a practice, I recommend a strong client base or a steady source of work. Be sure to have lots of insurance and that all your business licenses and registrations are current. If you are in a smaller community; reach out to local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Service Clubs to become known as the ‘Architect’ in the neighborhood. I have been through ups-and-downs in the economy that have allowed me opportunities to experience many aspects of the building profession. I have worked in two large firms, starting as student Intern and advancing to a Project Architect. A layoff. I was fortunate to find a position as a Construction Manager. This change opened my eyes to the logistics and reality of the builders of we Architects’ visions. For a while I did work as a Plan Quality Reviewer and On-Site Inspector and this shed more light on our field. I believe this diverse experience has advanced my career as an Architect.
Be engaged Architects need to be engaged with Contractors, Owners, AIA, CSI, Building Department Officials, and ultimately our clients. We cannot sit in a vacuum and assume we are in control. I advise all young Architects to be involved in all aspects of the building and design trades. This includes the Arts, Design, Building Codes, and Details down to specifications and the concrete mix design. Be alive Now, for you as a person, by all means have a personal life! Don’t get sucked up strictly into a “professional” life. The wisest advice that I had received in architecture school was from Calvin Straub, FAIA, in a first year lecture. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Go outside and experience the environment, go hiking, cook a meal, have a love affair ...”. He was reminding us, as students, not to take it too seriously and have a well-rounded life. Just know that the field of architecture is fragmented and complex. As you advance in your career, be ready to turn on a dime and be adaptable. Meanwhile focus on the details and have fun. ■
ARTICLE PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT
ARCHITECT + Kristi Daniel, Associate AIA Daniel is an architectural intern at Callaway Architecture in Dallas, Texas. Daniel is also actively continuing diversity in her career development and professional education.
I started my journey towards becoming an architect on the traditional path to licensure. I earned a Master’s of Architecture in 2006 and started my first job two short weeks after graduation. I was assigned to a team working on an exciting and engaging project, and a year later I found myself in the role typically reserved for a Project Architect. Not only that, this project was of the kind that I never could have dreamed of, regardless of my stature or experience level. While my dream situation played out in real life, I continued to burn through my IDP hours and I steadily cranked through my registration exams. I had momentum My career was rolling along at an encouraging clip, regardless of the economic floundering in 2007. Even as conditions soured at my firm, I consistently survived staff reductions because layoffs couldn’t break our solid core team. Eventually we completed my project and it was a lock to seamlessly move onto Phase II. We quickly celebrated the turnover with a sense of triumph and focused on our proposal. We were confident our commendable effort would override the other macro-economic factors at play and it would be business as usual. In the summer of 2009, we got the bad news that subsequent phases would be awarded to another design group. The moment that I heard the verdict, I surveyed the office and realized that there wasn’t much else to work on. In my naiveté and self-confidence (a hallmark of my generation), I couldn’t believe that I could lose my job as long as I worked hard and produced well. In fall 2009, I was laid off I found some comfort that several of my peers were cut at the same time and I had even fared well against my fellow interns across the state of Texas. Unfortunately, solace doesn’t pay the bills and reality set deep and fast. Suddenly my whole life was unfocused and my motivation fell victim. The lack of direction led me to spend entire afternoons wandering and losing myself in the monotonous pseudo-grid of my suburban neighborhood.
Two weeks later, I only had one bite – a nibble really – from a mechanical contracting company and it was tentative pending a potential contract award. In my current position, I didn’t have much to bargain with, so I held by breath and awaited the outcome. Shortly thereafter, the company was awarded the contract for a design-build barracks in central Texas and I was hired on as a Project Engineer. I felt foreign at first, even disoriented, but I found a role as translator between the design team and the build side of the operation. I had to fight the urge to jump into the role of “architect” and be the go-to problem solver because my knowledge had become entertaining trivia in my new environment. I had to start at the bottom (again) and learn a whole new skill set that was outside of my original focus. But I adapted, I adjusted and I accepted the challenge. I learned more about MEP than I ever thought would be necessary, I learned the costs of labor and material and I learned about documentation from the school of hard knocks. At the end of the proverbial boot camp, I gained a more intimate knowledge of how a building is built than I believe I would have had I stayed in architecture. I gained valuable insight and experience in contracting and as I write this I am pleased with the opportunities that I had in the contracting world to develop these skills and knowledge. True love is hard to shake I still want to be an architect, even if that dream is on hold. My tangential experience in design-build is something that I believe has made me a stronger candidate for the architectural job market, but am anxious about whether the market values my skills the same way. Luckily, I am not alone in my plight. There is a considerable chunk of my generation who have emerged as “hybrid architects”; those who have assumed non-traditional roles with an eye of returning to architecture. So, despite my anxiety, I’m excited at the possibility of working side-by-side with other crosstrained individuals and can only hope that the rest of the world sees the same value as I do in being “architect +”. ■
Then my resilience kicked in I bucked up and started the job hunt. I quickly became discouraged by the non-existent opportunities for an unlicensed three-year architectural intern, so I cast my net across a broader spectrum.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
At the time that this article’s publication, Daniel was pleased to report that she is enjoying her new position at Callaway Architecture where she is glad of the opportunity to re-enter her chosen profession and continue in her career development.
DESIGN ADVANCEMENT THROUGH PRACTICE
SOMA Architects SOMA has been the vanguard of New York City architecture since its 2003 inception. Mexico City and Beirut subsidiaries subsequently opened in 2006 and 2009 respectively and ensured around the clock success of projects of all scales. An international amalgamation of a young and highly developed workforce spanning 13 nationalities and led by the Principal Michel Abboud allows for the ease of execution of creative and complex programs within complex sites, globally.
SOMA works closely with clients to understand their needs and desires in relationship to external constraints in today’s ever changing cycle of occupancy and uses of buildings; providing adaptable planning so that the buildings they design evolve with their clients. Rather than imposing a ‘parti’ onto a given site, SOMA tends to deploy patterns which are seemingly self-organizing and grow with the site and its intended and un-intended future uses. It is this ability to work in the virtual space of organizational tools, while deploying concrete structures, materials, and things, that places SOMA at the cutting-edge of architectural practice; constantly attempting to extend the boundaries of architectural design while incorporating craft, digital technologies, and environmental responsibility. ■
Workshop Kitchen & Bar. Palm Springs, CA. Completed October 2012
Workshop Kitchen & Bar: Palm Springs, CA. Completed October 2012 Aura: Master Plan. Erbil, Iraq. Ongoing (2014)
BOBO: Condominium / Beirut, Lebanon / Ongion (2013)
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
DESIGN ADVANCEMENT THROUGH DESIGN
Rob Drury, Assoc. AIA NCARB Drury is the Founder of Napkin Sketch, Inc. in New York City. Drury is also involved and engaged with many collaborative open-source design publications including workmosis.com & nyc2060.
THE LEAPS AND BOUND
Transit terminal design concept. 2013. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
Downtown Manhattan residential building feasibility study. New York, NY. 2012. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
Being aware of cognitive senses and how I translate inner thoughts and reactions to experience and image influences my process of designing. As a bi-product I become obsessed with point of view. Architecture, as a profession today has the same omnipresent issue as it seems. It has benefited me to some extent that my mind has and will always work backwards. We are all wired differently and our customized hardware has been applied in a plethora of configurations whether we are a designer or not. The term advancement to me has been the quest for self-transparency and acknowledgment that others can provide amazing collaborative experiences, however similar or different. Now that I’ve been working and experiencing the role of a designer, in a variety of forms and capacities for the last decade, I realize how important it is to celebrate and utilize other honed-in design points of view both obvious and subtle. The way I acted on my interest in being a part of design, in a general sense, started with the specific task of sketching over design-to-build house magazines when I was very young. This repetition became regimented in nature by my dissatisfaction until I mastered the given techniques. With my realization of task-to-accomplishment behaviors both visually and theoretically I eventually realized it was the activity of attempting to achieve the perfect 1:1 reproduction rather than the actuality of a finished product. Although enlightening on a literal level the activity unfortunately drove me to apply its analogous process to my career path. I believed, as many, that the path to becoming a sensitive designer was prescriptive. The concept that architecture was to be bundled into a magazine spread itself was intriguing to me at a young age but has become even more prevalently noticeable in my production and engagement with professional tasks. The concise nature of the delineation of architecture and design work, whether in the design-to-build house magazines I sketched over when young or Architecture Record, I continue to enthuse over. This ingrains a deep sub-textual voice within reason while actively participating in the design process that influences and dictates to some extent my shared evaluation of successful design. What is most recently noticeable in my aspirations to build upon the ever-changing path of continuing to refine my methods and ideology while practicing design, is that the indicative qualities of time and place can be utilized as controllable tools in unconventional ways.
“...advancement to me has been the quest for selftransparency and acknowledgment that others can provide amazing collaborative experiences, however similar or different.”
NDS OF This perspective benefits both my own production methods but also the related finished work. The phases of exploration, discovery, and engagement with design from adolescence, architecture school, to entering the professional world, all have provided their respective share of ingrained sensitivities. Juxtaposed to projected notions of â€œadvancementâ€?, a fluid value system unfolds apparent patterns that I continually reevaluate to inform future decisions. I have cemented my own idea of advancement to translate simply to providing a fundamental sense of keen malleability to the basis of relating and contributing to all aspects of my professional work.
As we all do, I went through many phases with questioning motives and impact on the world. I still do not fully comprehend and understand what my meaning of advancement is apart from broad philosophies and relative discoveries Iâ€™ve picked up over time. Knowing that the unknown will always exist regarding perceivable practices in design has become embedded with ease into my consciousness of self-productivity. The rapid change of both technology in general as well as the connected change of how we experience the world based on new technology continues to mold and manipulate my own design ideas and the decisions made from those thoughts. I believe this is happening across all facets of the architecture and design interconnected professions. We have already realized the developmental reactions to media over-saturation and now we are becoming aware of the produced result in relation to pace and processing time.
parametric tower concept. Napkin Sketch, Inc. 2012.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
Detroit Riverfront Masterplan Concept. 2012. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
While entering the workforce I confronted all of the ramifications that new applied work-flow behaviors and production methods produced, culminating with instilled irrational expectations of time and a disproportionate understanding of what the value of deliverables would ever surmount to both with respect to personal sweat equity and company overhead. With the realization of an omnipresent niatevity (including my own) to the shockwave of dramatic change that is continueing to occur as our buildings begin to fit on indesign spreads and our modeling has the ability to encompass a wealth of metadata, the moment to react happened. How much information is enough? Is it necessary? Should I be focusing on these activities related to a project or another? These are constant questions that gave me a red flag that it was time to put the Home Design-to-Build book away and start sharpening my other skills, senses, and developed utilities to engage and tiein to a macro conversation that ultimately still is ad-hok chatter on the side-lines of pretty pictures and consice presentations. I still fight my own hypocricies and continue to experiment with the bundled execution of making contributable works.
â€œ...now Iâ€™m realizing a clever title is burdening in a world where clever lasts in a fifteen second soundbite of time and 3d rendering and photoshop has allowed us to design before digested.â€?
Campus commons mixed-use masterplan FAR study. Collaboration with Architecture, Inc. Reston, VA. 2012
Transit terminal design concept. 2013. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
Community Hospital Addition and Revitalization Plan. 2012. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
Campus commons mixed-use masterplan FAR study. Collaboration with Architecture, Inc. Reston, VA. 2012
I jumped off the deep end and launched a company. Napkin Sketch, Inc. and now I’m realizing a clever title is burdening in a world where clever lasts in a fifteen second soundbite of time and 3d rendering and photoshop has allowed us to design before digested. I’m finding myself moving very quickly in setting up initiatieves and goals but having more and more trouble filtering and applying the evaluation criteria I have gained to trust. Confrontation of my own design ideology was like going to rehab. I was deeply paralyzed and felt as if I had looked into something too nuanced to understand or too big to bite off. A breath of fresh air mixed with reality keeps the dynamic state of running a small creative agency fluidly optimistic. With the slow days and the busy, the ups and downs, I can take homage in applying newly learned skills to my former means and methods. Leaps can and need to be made, steps within professional careers are never perfectly chronological, but I’ve realized that advancement is the synthesis of these harmonizing elements. With the bits and pieces of new knowledge that continues to pile up delicately, the more vast scalar moves start to stitch themselves together. For the time being, I have found my version of advancement. ■
Downtown Manhattan residential building feasibility study. New York, NY. 2012. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
“...and now I’m realizing a clever title is burdening in a world where clever lasts in a fifteen second soundbite of time...”
YAF CONNECTION 11.02
AIR-TRAIN NYC. workmosis nyc2060 concept for express artery connecting 4 major transit hubs in the New York City metropolitan area. Napkin Sketch, Inc.
A STORY OF LEADERSHIP AND ENGAGMENT Matthew Dumich AIA Dumich is an Associate and Project Manager at Valerio Dewalt Train Associates in Chicago, serves on the Executive Committee for the AIA Chicago Board of Directors, formerly the Programs Advisor for the AIA National Young Architects Forum Advisory Committee from 2011-2012, and cofounder of the AIA Chicago Bridge mentoring and leadership program. Matt has been honored for his leadership and service with the 2011 Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40 award, 2012 AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect Award, and 2013 AIA National Young Architects Award.
I have been fortunate to be mentored by strong leaders that have taught me the value of hard work and committed service. These lessons have shaped my career, instilled an obligation to lead and create an environment for others to thrive. I am dedicated to promoting the value of design, mentoring and professional development for design and construction professionals. BACKGROUND I didn’t grow up dreaming about being an Architect. I have always had a variety of interests ranging from sports and art to psychology and sociology. I was named “Most Involved” in my high school class for participating in sports, leadership and other extracurricular activities. I was drawn to Architecture because I was fascinated with the idea of becoming a “Renaissance man”. While in architecture school at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, I juggled my studies, while playing on the club volleyball team, and working as a resident assistant. I enjoy exploring my broad interests, but I commit to fully engage in everything I take on. I have a mindset for implementation that compels me to move beyond idle talk and take action to execute good ideas. PROFESSIONAL I received my Bachelors degree in 1999 and went to work at a design-build firm for two years before returning to graduate school at UWM. While completing my Masters degree, I worked parttime for a small firm where I completed the IDP process. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to work for DeStefano + Partners, a respected large firm specializing in large-scale urban projects. In two years at D+P, I earned my Architectural license and was very fortunate that all four of my high-rise projects were actually built in Chicago. I joined Valerio Dewalt Train Associates in 2006. VDTA is a highenergy, national design practice known for innovation, service, and agility. As an Associate in the firm, it is a privilege and responsibility to have a key role in our projects. My work includes a range of commercial, residential, institutional, and mixed-use buildings and interiors throughout the Midwest. I am known for developing strong partnerships with clients, consultants, and contractors that have led to a series of successful projects. SERVICE Architect’s have a responsibility to be leaders in our communities. I believe, to be recognized as a leader, one must lead by example. I
joined the AIA after completing my undergraduate studies, to network and learn more about the profession. There I found a group of passionate leaders that mentored and encouraged me to get involved. As a graduate student, I was selected to serve as Associate Director for the AIA Wisconsin Board of Directors. When I moved to Chicago, I continued my involvement by serving as Chairman of the AIA Chicago Young Architects Forum. I went on to serve as YAF Regional Director for Illinois and the YAF National Advisory Committee. I am now very proud to represent the Chicago architectural community by serving on the Executive Committee for the AIA Chicago Board of Directors. MENTORING My mentors taught me to nurture the next generation of Architects. I have become an advocate for emerging professionals and a leading voice for the future of the profession. In 2009 I co-founded Bridge, a mentoring and leadership program that pairs a select group of Chicago’s young architects one-on-one with local members of the College of Fellows. The participants and their mentors meet regularly to discuss career goals and the future of architectural practice. Bridge has guided over 50 emerging professionals, while becoming a new Chicago tradition and a nationally recognized program. While serving on the YAF Advisory Committee, Clark Manus, FAIA, the 2011 AIA National President asked me to lead a marketing task force focused on reaching new, young members. Our goal was to develop a campaign that captured what it means to be an AIA member. The outcome of our teamwork was a singular message focused on the individuality of AIA members. “I AM AIA” is a call for individuals to engage in the profession and create their own path. I have also been invited to share my thoughts on the future of the profession during the opening plenary address for the 2011 AIA Illinois Annual Conference, keynote presentation for the 2011 Chicago Architecture and Design College Day, and “Future Visions” discussion with Architect Magazine’s Ned Cramer during the YAF Summit 20.
“Matt has improved the profession and the community through his dedicated service to both. He has an outstanding commitment to demonstrating the power of leadership within the architectural community to serve the world at large.” Zurich Esposito, AIA Chicago Executive Vice President
COMMUNITY As a leader in the profession, I strive to increase the value and public awareness of Architects. This responsibility includes working to encourage a dialog about design and issues affecting our community. PechaKucha brings creative people and the community together around the world. I advise PechaKucha Night Chicago by recommending emerging young designers to share their ideas and work. I have also joined the PechaKucha Chicago organizers in sharing our experiences sparking a public dialog about design and creativity in presentations across the country including a sessions at AIA National Conventions in Miami and New Orleans. CONCLUSION Through my service, I have found the more that I contribute to others; the more I personally gain in return.
I have had the opportunity to meet amazing, dedicated professionals from around the country that continue to teach and inspire me. My involvements have helped me to develop organizational, teamwork, and public speaking skills. These experiences have given me the confidence to lead and build the foundation for a successful career. There has never been a greater time for architects to step up as leaders in our communities. We have the skills to address many of the world’s problems through strategic, design thinking. Join me in leading, serving, and shaping the profession and our communities together. I am excited about the future.
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The YAF Connection Editorial Committee is actively and continually seeking content for inclusion in upcoming issues of CONNECTION, the official bimonthly publication of the Young Architects Forum of the AIA. We are currently soliciting articles for the MAY 2013 issue focused on the subject of LOCUS
ARE YOU AN EMERGING VOICE? THEN BE HEARD!
YAF GET CONNECTED ADVANCE YOUR CAREER
CALLING ALL GLOBE TROTTERS AND JET SETTERS! SHARE YOUR ‘ON LOCATION’ STORY!
Have you worked in an exotic location? ... Do you measure your project phasing by frequent flyer miles and expense reports? ... Does your firm have a particularly regional design thesis? ... or do you just have some interesting photos from your last family reunion? ... if so, be heard!
CONNECTION welcomes the submission of ARTICLES, PROJECTS, PHOTOGRAPHY and other design content. Submitted materials are subject to editorial review and selected for publication in eMagazine format based on relevance to the theme of a particular issue. If you are interested in contributing, please contact the CONNECTION Editor-In-Chief Wyatt Frantom at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS THE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM? The Young Architects Forum is the voice of architects in the early stages of their career and the catalyst for change within the profession and our communities. Working closely with the AIA College of Fellows and the American Institute of Architects as a whole, the YAF is leading the future of the profession with a focus on architects licensed less than 10 years. The national YAF Advisory Committee is charged with encouraging the development of national and regional programs of interest to young architects and supporting the creation of YAF groups within local chapters. Approximately 23,000 AIA members are represented by the YAF. YAF programs, activities, and resources serve young architects by providing information and leadership; promoting excellence through fellowship with other professionals; and encouraging mentoring to enhance individual, community, and professional development. GOALS OF THE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM To encourage professional growth and leadership development among recently licensed architects through interaction and collaboration within the AIA and allied groups. To build a national network and serve as a collective voice for young architects by working to ensure that issues of particular relevance to young architects are appropriately addressed by the Institute. To make AIA membership valuable to young architects and to develop the future leadership of the profession.
celebrating years of advancing the careers of young architects
The American Institute of Architects Young Architects Forum 1735 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006
YAF GET CONNECTED ADVANCE YOUR CAREER