about me

Architect Bob Borson with daughter Kate in Hawaii
My name is Bob Borson and I am a licensed architect in Texas. I mostly design modern residential projects but my firm also specializes in the design of lots of other project types and styles. In fact, I’d help you pick out a front door if that’s where you needed my help.
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In 2009, I received the Dallas Chapter American Institute of Architects “Young Architect of the Year” award, but it was probably for volunteering to do things that others wouldn’t, shouldn’t of couldn’t.  I started my blog on January 14, 2010 to learn the technology behind how people are starting to communicate with one another. I don’t really have a list of burning issues or a controversial social agenda to promote. For the most part, I’m just a regular guy except I put my pants on both legs at once (it’s just faster that way). I don’t take myself too seriously but I have a great deal of pride and a teeny tiny competitive streak. I actually take what I do seriously but I try to find a way to have fun while I’m doing it.
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I am fairly active in the American Institute of Architect where I am currently the 2013 Chair of the Digital Communications Committee for the Texas Society of Architects.
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Kate and Bob Borson - Halloween 2008
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I am happily married to Michelle, and I am too easily manipulated by my only child, Kate, and I can be found mowing my lawn in University Park, within the city limits of Dallas. For the most part, life is good and I am a happy guy.
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Architect Bob Borson's Desk

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  • Ed

    Hi there,
    I’ve wanted to be an architect since I was very young…and at my high school age the major choice is approaching. I was really having second thoughts about becoming an architect until I stumbled upon your blog. I always wondered about what I would be leaving with the world after I’m gone and I wondered whether being an architect would be fulfilling to me. Anyways, your blog brings me much hope and joy as I see that turning the impossible into the possible for people is the mark I leave on the world. Thanks for the invigoration. You’re an inspiration.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks Ed – I’m excited for you as you start your journey!

  • http://jeanricardbroek-architect.blogspot.com/ jeanricardbroek

    Hello Bob. “Anonymous 20th Century” Did you study under Leonardo Ricci?

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I did not.

  • Jeff Armistead

    Hi Bob,
    I am a General Contractor in Colorado and have been researching the ISBU thing for a number of projects recently.
    I would love to discuss some of these with you, if you are interested.

  • Charis

    Hello! I am currently waiting on the next season of community college to start my road in architecture. I want to know what area I should get me degree in, which made me curious with the job you hold, what exactly is your degree in? If you have any extra advice I’m all ears. Thank you. -Charis

  • Keefe

    Hi Bob,
    I have been doing some research for a school project and I came across your website. Would you mind me asking you some questions about architecture and experiences you have had during your career? I need to interview a couple of people for this project and it would be a big help if you would take the time to answer a few questions. If you are interested, we can do this over email or some other form or communication. My email is keefe.nottke@gmail.com if you want to contact me there and I can send you some questions. Thanks!

  • Diedra Case

    Bob,
    I stumbled across the EZY-Jamb Trimless Door Frame elsewhere and on your blog. Would you mind sharing your experience about the product with me? I am a home owner looking for options in achieving trimless doors and windows throughout my house.

    Thank you,
    Diedra

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      That project did not move forward so I still don’t have any practical experience with that product. THe other way to get the trimless look is to make sure that the contractor orders your new doors pre-hung and gets the frames the same depth as your finished wall. You can then use a reglet reveal to cover the shims used to set the door square and drywall up to the edge of the reveal. If you have a contractor, tell them what I wrote here and they should know exactly what I’m describing.

      • Diedra

        Thanks for your reply, Bob. Do you need to mud pretty far out onto the wall to blend the height of the reglet in?

  • Juris Laivins

    Enjoy you blog entries. I’ve got an image of you back when you graduated from UT and worked in my office drafting on a door slab covered with a drafting surface and a parallel bar. I’ll find it and forward it to you.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      That would be something to see! Quite sure I still had dark hair back then – looking forward to receiving the image, thanks Juris

  • Josh

    nice image of the draftsman at his desk…

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      it’s great isn’t it? I got it from an issue of the now defunct Architectural Forum magazine – an issue from the 1930′s.

  • Kristina Peterson

    I stumbled across your blog looking up vocabulary for my 15 year old son who has an interest in Architecture. He is home educated so our contacts are slim as far as architecture. If you have time, what skills or I’m not sure how to do I facilitate his desire to learn about this field. We are already checking out history of architecture books but I know there must be more. Thanks for your time.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      If you look in my side bar, I keep a running list of architecture books that I think are worth reading. That’s as good a place to start as any. You can also look for any book by Frank Ching – here is a Amazon search result for you:

      http://amzn.to/1cZy69W

      Good luck!

      • Kristina Peterson

        Thanks!

  • Robert

    Hi Bob, was wondering if you own all the photos on your blog. I’m a blogger too and there is one I want to ask if I can borrow. Can you write me and let me know: robertestahl@gmail.com. Thanks, R

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I own 99% of them. I started using my own photos as much as possible to avoid any sort of copyright issues. I’ll email you directly.

  • Phoebe Darlington Portraits

    Bob, I have a request for an architectural drawing of a lodge and landscaped grounds in MA that the owner needs by Jan 3, 2014. Do you know any students who might be interested in doing something like this and are available at such short notice? My pencil work does not lend itself to this project but I’d like to recommend someone to the client rather than just turn it down. Many thanks, Phoebe

  • praveen

    Hey bob I am a young architect and have considered your office as my case study, you mind telling me few details of your office such as ground coverage and built up area as such..please

  • Sabeeha Quraishi

    i am impressd with this website Mr. Bob
    im a young student and would aspire to scale heights in my career. reading such blogs makes u think otherwise and wake u up, if ur really serious and planning ahead for a career in architecture.
    the little words help a lot
    specially to the young generation of architecture students, with a keen hold onto technology and information

    sabeeha, b.arch , india

  • Gregg

    Bob, Great website! What advice do you have for someone with an Architecture Degree from 1982, who strayed off into other construction and engineering related interests for the past 30 years, and wants to pursue a second carreer as an Architect?

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks – I appreciate it. My advice for you is really not any different than it would be for someone who just graduated and was looking for work – get involved, meet some people, and find a job using your new connections. It’s not as hard as people make it sound, it just requires effort and some time.

  • Tim Glass

    I’ve been reading your posts for a few weeks now, and I wanted to say thank you. Your candid observations of the profession and exposure of your thoughts and feelings have been both insightful and inspiring. I’m 43 and beginning to pursue a M. Architecture program, hoping to become an architect in the not-to-distant future.

    Cheers to you! And, again, thank you for taking the time to share your life with the rest of us. I wish you, your family and your team the best.

  • Mike Doyle

    Hi, Bob. I’m currently in school (3rd semester) studying Architectural Technology in Canada. Next semester is our Co-op semester. Right now I’m working on my resume that I am sending to the City of Oakville in Ontario. I’m stuck. I’m trying to list my “Technical Skills”. I took your advice and left out anything related to knowing how to work Word and those other programs. So far I’ve listed skills in AutoCAD/hand drafting, knowledge of the Ontario Building Code, and operating an architecture/design themed blog with 6,200 followers. Can you suggest any other “technical skills” that relate to my program that I could potentially use?

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      technical skills are just that – technical. As a result, I’m not sure what skills you might have that would be appropriate to list. Padding the list is just as bad as putting things on there that are irrelevant. Keep things on point -

  • Teyesmith

    hi Bob, I’m an architectural student in third year. I really enjoy reading your blog, you’re doing great.
    I wanted to know if you allow students to partake attachment in your firm.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      every summer we have interns come into the office – this year we had three. Two came in as direct referrals from friends of the firm and I don’t recall how the third came to be. When the time comes to hire an intern, we tend to go back to the well of students who have worked here in the past and still have an interest in working here or the Dean’s of the local University send us people to choose from – it’s a nice arrangement for us and allows us to cherry pick the best students interested in working in Dallas, Texas marketplace. We don’t take on students we don’t need, even if they offer to work for free (a practice that we do not condone – we pay all of our interns).

      Cheers

      • Teyesmith

        wow thanks.

  • Sheetal Sonparote

    Hey Bob, I am architecture student…I am now in the last year doing my internship…I found your blog very interesting specially for a student it is very inspiring…I have got a problem, actually I am kind of confused…I have to do masters and I am confused whether to have experience or not before it….What you would suggest???

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Most of the people whose resumes cross my desk that have to get a Master’s Degree in order to be eligible to take the architectural licensing exam normally get both the undergraduate degree and masters degree back to back.

  • Alicia V

    Hi Bob, my name is Alicia and I’m an aspiring architect. I’d like to email you some of the questions I have or you could email me: Clink333@gmail.com. Thank you very much :)

    P.S. I love your blog!

  • P. Russell

    Hi Bob, great job and good work on Marfa houses. However, I didn’t see one that was once a standout and has plenty of history – some of which I did not know about when my family and I lived there (70′s & 80′s). The house is at Ft. DA Russell and was once the Colonel’s “mansion”. It’s my understanding that the house was later purchased by the Chinati Foundation. Apparently, previously the house was also a mortuary or the home of a mortician – guess that explains some strange things that happened while we lived there and some strange tools discovered. I haven’t visited Marfa in a while, but I’ve heard the house is not in great shape. It was once a beauty. Again, great job on the photography and history you provided.
    P. Russell
    California

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks and my pleasure :)

  • Shakera Rahman

    Hi Bob! I am a student wanting to become an architect in the future and I came across your blog which by the way is brilliant! As I live in England I wanted to know whether all these points you talk about apply in England too? For example in England we need to provide a portfolio but as we are on two different sides of the Atlantic I was wondering whether the content applies to English architects? Thanks, I await your reply!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Hi Shakera,
      Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate them. Since I am not in the UK, I really couldn’t speak to the specificity when comparing US conditions and English conditions. Many of the things I do talk about are applicable but when it comes to school related matters, I typically recuse myself from the process.

      Best of luck

  • Daniel Herrera Jr.

    Hi Bob, I am Daniel an Architect from the Philippines.. since I found your site, I always visit and enjoy reading your blogs. I am learning and relearning a lot that which concerns the profession. You just inspire in too many ways with your easy to read and candid way of telling stories and mentoring young Architects like me. God bless you more!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks Daniel – glad you find the site helpful.

  • GyeongHun Chun

    hello! nice to meet you….i’m korean architect/ you really deserve respect as architect!! i will also challenge anything like you

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Nice to meet you!

  • AMS

    Great website Bob! I especially appreciate the section on the ARE.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      thanks!

  • leo marin

    hola hola hola, i am venezuela architect, you have a great web site, very usefull in the creation work, i have so many experiences in design and building process, and you comment are very intructional becouse is other way to see the creation process, thank you so much,

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Thanks Leo, adding transparency to the creative process I think is very beneficial to the practice of architecture. The more people understand what it is we actually do, I think they more likely they are to add value to that process.

      Cheers

      • leo marin

        thank you bob, and nice to meet you, i will always here for you my fellow architect and friend… and sorry for my english

  • Matthew

    Bob, I just wanted to thank you for your always entertaining, educational and passionate posts. I try to stop by every once in a while when I’m feeling particularly cynical about this profession and your words and images help remind me why we follow this path. Congratulations on your new job and best of luck in your next set of endeavors. We eagerly await more posts! Thank you, Sir!

  • Glen

    Hi Bob, My name is Glen and I am a student on Architectural and building technology. I have a career research project and I was wondering if you or any architects on your blog could help me. It is around 12 very simple questions but at this time I don’t know where to start or where to reach for help. My email is gcelosegui@gmail.com If there is anyway anyone can help me it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • Shelley Collora

    Hi Bob, I just found your images of the building of the Perot Museum and I am very interested in using some of your shots for the CityScape exhibit at the Dallas Galleria where there is a Lego Sculpture of the museum. Could you please contact me?

  • Lewis

    I just came across your site, and I wanted to tell you that even after just reading a few posts, I think it is fantastic. I work as an architect as well, and it’s so hard to get a good perspective on the profession, sometimes, when you’ve worked so long within one firm.

    I appreciate your take on everything I’ve read so far, and my favorite at the moment is the one on architectural fees. I actually was not aware there were so many options, and as someone who has in the past few years started moving up into higher levels and proposal writing, I have been struggling with the per-square-foot fees my firm typically charges, and how woefully “short” this leaves us. I agree with your pros and cons on each different type–I have not used any other to date, but I can see how your descriptions of the different types would lay out, and they’ve all started me thinking about the problem from new angles.

    Thanks so much for providing some much needed perspective!

  • Douglas Wittnebel

    Bob,
    Finally dropped in on your site and had a good read. Will drop in again because you have captured some very good points about our truly difficult and rewarding profession.

    Douglas Wittnebel

  • http://twitter.com/BenLogan11 Ben Logan

    Hi,
    I’m 13 years old and have a keen interest in architecture and wish to become an architect. I have a Design and Technology scholarship at my school. Some people tell me that Art is more important for architecture, but others have said that D.T. is more important. Which do you think is more important?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chad.k.martin Chad Kelly Martin

    Mr. Borson,
    My name is Chad Martin, and I won a playhouse a few years back that you may have designed for CASA, at Northpark Mall. We will soon be moving to another house from Dallas to Plano and would very much like to take it with us, since me and our children have grown very fond of it. My question is, would you happen to know of a company that could move it for us? Your help would be very much appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Chad and Carolyn Martin
    214-938-0165

  • Larry Boen

    Question: what is considered a resonable anount of time for a residential plan of about 2000 square feet? And is it resonable to have clients run the design process out a year?

    Thanks,

  • John Panas

    Corrections: F.L.Wright, floors, took it out, less than i/4″ deep.

  • John Panas

    Bob

    I have an F.L.Right underground house in McLean Va, the froors are tainted cement.

    The previous owner prior to listing the house, covered half the house with carpet.

    I finally took out but in doing so I had to take out the wooden anchor strips plus pull the cement nails.

    That left the floor with round holes, less than a 1/4 “,

    How do I cover them and refinish the surface?

  • kseanbro

    Thank you for this Blog. I’m A Senior in HIGH SCHOOL. I WASN’T SURE ON WHAT I WANTED TO DO WITH MY LIFE , BUT THIS BLOG HAS HELP ME REALIZE I WILL BECOME AN ARCHITECT. NOW I JUST GOT TO GET INTO COLLEGE AND MAKE SOMETHING FOR MYSELF. AGAIN THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION……
    P.S. EMAIL FOR ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GET ME, I WILL APPRECIATE ANYTHING.
    kaseank.brown3@gmail.com …have a great day.

  • Kim

    Hi Bob,
    I stumbled across your site when searching for the proper way to build a beautiful horizontal fence that will last. Would you be able to enlighten me on what the other side of the fence looks like? I of course like being called a good neighbour, and I really don’t want any ugliness regarding my beautiful fence idea. My husband and I have extreme modern tastes, and we live in Canadian suburbia, where ALL fences are the traditional BORING vertical fence.
    Thanks for sharing what it looks like on the other side with me. Also should we be using deck board instead of fence board due to its supposed “Better quality”
    Kim

  • Robert Chickey

    Bob, You offer a full compliment of skills for your clients. It is not very often that architects have color skills. I am very impressed and wished you lived closer.

  • Greg Gobat

    This is a fantastic website. Funny I actually started a blog last semester called Life as an Architecture Student, to help open that window to the outside world to what we do. I’ll definitely be sharing your stuff often!

  • Jeanine H

    You’re very amazing at what you do. Great introduction. You can FEEL the love you have for your daughter through the computer ;) ! Thank you for being such an inspiration! I share many of your posts and blog entries everywhere, follow on all social media and just wanted to say I appreciate your work and great work ethics! Fantastic job Sir and thank you again for being such a wise inspiration, and more so, sharing all that wisdom with us is cyberspace!

  • StudentarchitectMum

    Hi, as a parent to a architect student you have made us laugh as we see these architectural traits in our son unfold. Thank you. Your blog has confirmed that he is definitely on the right path! PS you are a brilliant writer.

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Based on your comment, it seems like this is working out pretty well for all of us!

      Cheers

  • http://www.facebook.com/mariojose.gutierrezmorales Mario José Gutiérrez Morales

    i like your web, I am from Nicaragua, and I like to take conection with you. I am architect,

  • Nicole Ramsey

    I am a design at a Architecture firm in Roswell, Ga mainly focusing on graphic design but I have a background in interior architecture and art history. I came across your blog when looking for architecture blogs to show my principle to convince him that this is something we should be doing. I love it. My question for you in how would you suggest combining graphic design and architecture into a blog as my goal with our blog is to expend our graphic design department within the firm. Your blog is by far my favorite that I have come across, so if you have any time, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      I wouldn’t specifically do anything different. The only reason why some blogs are more successful or popular really has to do with the level of engagement from the people who visit – it’s on you to make sure that people feel welcome on the site.

      Visually I’m not sure my site is the example you should be using as I am using a generic template with minimal customization (since I do not know HTML and I did not wish to spend the money on a hobby site to have someone else customize it for me). Just find sites out there that you like and then try and emulate the things you like – in the end, you;ll hopefully have something that speaks to your firm specifically and gives some sort of peek into the culture and design ideals of the firm.

      Best of luck

  • MacyLake

    Hello!
    I am a high school student from Orlando, Fl. In my class we are doing a HUGE essay on what we want to be, what college we're going to, and how we'll get there. I have wanted to be an architect since i was in the 4th grade. i found your website surfing on google and was so releaved because we have an interview part in our essay. Not knowing any architects myself, I was wondering of you can answer 10 question that will be apart of my essay?

    • http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com Bob Borson

      Macy,
      I would be happy to answer your questions. Send them along to bob@lifeofanarchitect.com
      After I get a chance to read them, I let you know how fast I can anwser them and get them back to you – I’ll turn it around pretty quickly for you.

      Bob

  • bobborson

    Hi Stan,

    Thanks for taking time to post, I appreciate it. I am glad to hear that you think the posts I am writing are enlightening, as far as my directness and openness, that is probably a result of not having a properly installed filter between my brain and my mouth – it has gotten me in a lot of trouble in my life so I find it a little rewarding to be lauded for it now. Maybe something happens when you get older that people think you have something worth listening too (or at least will give you the benefit of the doubt and listen). I'm just glad that somebody out there is reading.

    Cheers -

  • bobborson

    Adrien,
    I am on Facebook – I finally got around to setting up a fan page a few weeks ago. you can find it here:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dallas-TX/Life-of

    Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.

  • Stan Tang

    Bob (may I call you Bob?),
    I just stumbled over your site here, and I must say it caught my eye. As an architect myself (I hope you won't hold that against me), I have found your observations and positions enlightening and delightful. I really appreciate your forthrightness, openness, and refreshing directness. (Hmmmm, having known other Texans they all seem to share those qualities . . . I wonder if its in the sun and water or if it can be an acquired characteristic.)
    I will read on, and like yourself try to find my way amongst all the electronic super-highway information overload and social media (my marketing director is really pushing for our involvement in this new wave . . . well it seems new to an old dog like me).

  • http://www.desport-architects.com Desport Adrien

    Hello Bob,
    Very nice to read your blog. Why are you not also in facebook to attract more readers ? It is through facebook (I love architecture page) that I have discovered your blog. Before I also wanted to make a similar blog to what you are making but when for a faster option (facebook).
    Anyway, great job here (and in your projects).
    Adrien