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 2014 Chair of the Digital Communications Committee for the Texas Society of Architects as well as the Executive Board for the Dallas Chapter AIA as the Vice President of Programming.
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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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  • Akrem

    I am a MA student at University of Brighton, the UK. I am doing it in Architecture and Urban Design.
    I really liled your essay about whether architects can be artists or not.
    Akrem, thank you

  • Taylor Klein

    Hey Bob, I’m just starting college this year and deciding on what I want to study. I have always been really interested in being an Architect but I have a decision making problem. Reading your blog has really helped me and inspired me to go forward with majoring in Architectural Design. I loved everything you wrote and I hope to one day become and amazing Architect, thank you so much.

  • John

    Hey Bob,

    You are the weirdest looking robot I have ever seen.

  • Kevin

    Believe it or not Sir, your blog has helped me quite a lot in my decision to start an architecture course here in London. I’m sure you have heard this before but I just wanted to let you know that what you have done here is such an inspiring thing and it has been a great help in terms of mind mapping my goals in life. Thank you very much

  • jch1952

    How does somebody go about having a house designed? I have a lot in very desirable conservation district. It’s possible this will be one of the few lots, if not only lot, to ever be available as the district has severe rules preventing demolition of existing homes. 1920s mansions in all directions; way up on a cliff over a golf course; great views. Premium location on a very private, dead-end street.

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

      I’d say that you look for architects in your area and interview them. Identify which ones design houses that you like and give them a call – maybe some of them have experience working in this conservation district (which would make many things a bit more simple).

      If you don’t know how to find architects in your area, call the closest AIA chapter office and get a list of residential architects from them.

  • Ike

    I just came across your blog. It is amazing how you provide such a wonder information regarding every aspect of architecture.
    I will check your blog frequently later on.

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

      terrific!

  • Cattleya

    Hi Sir Bob! I’m an architect here in the Philippines and I was inspire by a book life of an architect and I found this blog. I’m also inspired by your blog post so I also create my own blog what it’s like to be an architect and share my stories behind the drawing board. Do you mind if I some of the topics here and discussed my own perspective, what it feels like being an architect here in the Philippines. Thanks.

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

      I encourage people to leave comments on the articles I write so that there are different perspectives represented. If you are wondering if you could submit a guest post – that’s a different matter as I don’t accept guest posts on the site. It’s a control issue for me – I have standards (low as they may seem) but most people generally have an angle they are trying to work, or the image quality is poor – there’s always something – and I have a hard time once someone has put in the work to tell them I am not going to run their article because it isn’t up to what I expect.

      Hope that make sense – and good luck on your own blog

  • Jawad Ali Shah

    Hello Bob. i have nothing to ask but i will surelly appreciate you for guiding and inspiring the architects. Job well done

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

      Thank you very much – I greatly appreciate your kind words.

  • Franziska

    Dear Bob,
    I recently started studying Architecture and right now I just have a moment in which I feel so thankful for the people who helped me with that decision. Thank you so much for your inspiring blog!

    Keep on doing it your way! I really appreciate it! :)

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

      You are welcome and I am glad that you are enjoying the site and find it beneficial.

      Cheers!

  • AJ Galaviz

    Hi Bob. My name is AJ. I entered the playhouse contest. I understand the dead line was April 21.. But when i sent in my design i got back a notification saying “Delivery Timed Out” .. I’m not asking you to try to fit in my project for the judging, but at least take a look t it.. I would to hear what you think. This was my first project I ever work on and I took a lot of time to design my playhouse. Hope to hear back from you Thanks.

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

      sure – send it on through again
      bob[at]lifeofanarchitect[dot]com

      I received some that were as large as 40mg so I don’t know what would have happened.

      • AJ Galaviz

        Yea my project was not that big at all. But thank you for replying ill send it in again.

  • THL

    Have you done the cost+ yet?

  • Mamta

    Hi Bob,

    I’m a student at CSM, London working on a project that requires me to study architects in USA. I was wondering if there was any kind of classification you could make in terms of categorising firms on basis if their approach to design?

    Any inputs from you would be very helpful

    Regards,
    Mamta

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

      Hi Mamta,
      Nothing is coming directly to mind so I’ve nothing to send your way. Seems like you’ll have to continue your research – sorry.

  • ap

    Hi Bob, I have followed you blog for quite some time now, it’s surprising that this is the first time that I am posting on your
    site. I was wondering if you did a post or would be interested in posting about how architects can prove their value to
    a potential customer. You are on the higher end of residential design than I am and more affluent clients appear to have a greater understanding and appreciation for an architect’s time and are willing to ensure that they compensated adequately.
    But, have you had any experience with clients on smaller projects not seeing the value of hiring an architect and/or paying a fair price for one. Most seem to be ok with defaulting to a contractor because to them you “only” supply drawings.

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

      Hi AP – this is a great question, one I’ve thought about on numerous occasions. I have held off talking about it because a) I think the approach to any client or any project should ultimately be the same and b) isolating it out by distinguishing that there is a difference between clients with different financial wherewithal’s, seems like it would be condescending. I don’t think people who are interested in architectural services at any price point value them differently, they just have different priorities as to how they can/should spend their money.

  • Katelynne Huynh

    Hi my name is Katelynne. I want to be a architect when I grow up. Do you think that you can answer some questions for my project?

  • Clive Walters

    Bob, I love your architecture-ware…how about a baseball cap? The irony of it would be fun (irony in that I’ve never thought of architects as baseball cap types, at least I’m not, unless the logo is distinctively different): the periodic table stuff would fit…as would some cunning text games. I just can’t think of any right now.

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

      something to consider – funny that I’ve never really thought about it before either but most of the architects I know don’t wear baseball caps either – unless they are in Uni. (and that’s probably because they haven’t showered in a while)

  • Depressed Architecture Student

    It’s been a really hard time for me over at Architecture School. I’ve had trouble with my grades, not just in my design subjects but also in other required subjects like Math and Physics, subjects i’m honestly not good at. I’ve failed my math and physics and i got really low grades on my major subjects. It’s hard, really. My friends would talk about attributing a specific style within our circle over at architecture school. One works with a modern and geometric governing style. One goes a lot with gothic. One tries to follow Zaha Hadid’s footsteps. Each person reminds them of a style or concept. And well, they never talked about me. I feel lost. I have no style i could actually call my own. I’ve submitted really shitty works. One of my professors even noted, “You are an architecture student, not an engineering student. Anyone can do this design. This is too boring.” I’ve had my share of glaring eyes. I have really good concepts and honestly, I always get excited whenever i present my concept over at our classroom. I’d get good comments during critique sessions but they were mainly for the concept. My design translation though has always been poor. My sketchup’s not that good. My CADs arent good either. My drafting skills are poor. And it scares me that perhaps all i could ever do is convince a client but back down on the offer because I can’t do it. Recently, we were to pass our design plate in a portfolio. I spent sleepless nights developing my design, but I was slow. I was only able to submit half of what was required of us. My portfolio was thin and poorly rendered. The concepts were great. But other than that, it had nothing special in it. I was sick that time. My immune system was giving up on me. No, I’m not fat nor am i thin. But I felt like dying, something architecture students often feel after pulling consecutive all-nighters. My hair was uncombed, I had runny nose, I was wearing my slippers to class and well I brought nothing else other than my portfolio. I was coughing and I was dizzy and my sweat was cold. I arrived and saw everybody. They looked okay. Some were laughing. Some were mingling with others, presenting their thick portfolios. And well, there I was, lost in the frenzy of engrossed architecture students. I’ve never done good in my plates except for when I was in my first year. I wanted to cry. I handed my portfolio to my classmate for her to submit my work because I felt sick, and honestly, I felt embarrassed. I run back to my boarding house, locked myself in and cried the whole time. It has always been like this, and well, I’ve tried my best but nothing ever works for me. And yes, it’s true what you said. It’s easier to question one’s abilities. It wasn’t the lack of dedication and passion that was holding me back. Perhaps I’m not meant for architecture and that the world won’t be better even if I do become an architect. Perhaps everyone and everything will grow indifferent to my presence. It’s so ironic. I was so sure I’d become a great architect when I was in my first year and everybody else was unsure and doubtful. But now the tables have turned. Everyday I try to battle with my insecurities and well, I’ve been helping myself. But the problem can’t resolve itself with a cease-fire. Turning your emotions off to things that were done in the past hasn’t done me much. What must I do? Will that “eureka!” moment ever come to me?

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

      I can’t tell you if you will ever experience that “eureka” moment. The tale you shared sounds pretty miserable and I would suggest that you take some time to reflect upon what you want to achieve in your life. Since I get a lot of emails from people who are in some state of distress over becoming an architect, I tend to give out the same advice to every.
      You should try to be happy, not an architect. If you are able to achieve happiness, I think the rest will sort itself out … and it doesn’t sound like architecture is currently making you very happy.

      • Architecture Student :)

        You are right about that. I guess it really didn’t make me happy. It all seemed like obligation to me. I look at a building and I adore it for a couple of minutes. But after that I feel the obligation to know it, not just adore it. Know the roughness and smoothness of the details. Are the standards met? Why are there no railings? You have to decompose it cause apparently that’s what architects in our university do. You must see the individual elements and well, that’s just tiring for me. It floods my mind with too much details and I’m obliged to take all of them in or else I won’t be a good architect. Well that’s how I felt of it before I came to you with my dilemma. I love architecture. But it burdens me that I have to learn at a pace that i’m not comfortable with. I was very afraid to admit that I wasn’t happy anymore. I had to wait for someone like you to say it. Thanks, Bob. Hope in 10 years I’ll be giving the same advice to people who look up to me. Have a good life, Bob! :)

        P.S. I’ll enjoy my remaining years learning architecture. I’ll learn with reckless abandon. I’ll have you to thank for this step. :)

  • Syed Ahsan Bukhari

    Hi Sir Bob Borson !
    I’ve been into deep of my thoughts the whole day ,for a chance I couldn’t have till now .I wanna show my existence in the world of Arts and Design .It’s strange but I wanna do it for once and for all, either I did or I died but my first try gonna make a sample for others .
    I wanna be a blog writer, my fingers have the thirst for the words that can flow right upon the pages that nobody can count .I just need a start up and I need a direction .

    • Clive Walters

      Find something you like and write about it. Maybe review things you see, introduce ideas of arts and design to a public that for whom it is currently foreign territory…stuff like that.

  • Devin

    Bob,

    I have read a few of your articles and I actually came across them doing a search about the Architecture field. I can relate to quite a few of them, and they have made me think. A little about me first, I am a 24 year old post Bachelor’s graduate of Business Management and Marketing, Class of 2013. Prior to heading off to my first college career, I was originally looking at Architecture Schools. I was swayed away in 2009 due to the economy and decided I should be able to get by with a Business Degree and still do housing like I hoped. I used to sit in Middle and High School all day and draw home designs on graph paper. I love everything about home design and residential architecture. My ideal career is owning a Building and Developing business, combined with some real estate investing. Though here I am looking for advice. Advice on where to go. I have great skills with Google SketchUp for someone who has never been to school for design. We did do a class that included a couple weeks of SketchUp, though, at which I was elated to hear we got to design our dream dorm rooms. I have since taken mentorship from a college professor’s husband who does work in Rochester, NY with drafting and design for large companies in the central NY region. (I am originally from Buffalo myself, and went to school in the Finger Lakes). So far my career paths have been retail sales and customer service (which I have grown to despise). They provide no outlet for my creative process. I have hundreds of graph paper houses and am working now on my first full scale SketchUp house from one of my drawings. I also hold my Real Estate License in CT.

    I guess to end the babbling a little, my main question and mind goings on have been where do I go from here to get where I want to be? Do I go back to school for either a Master’s in Arch (of which money would play a HUGE factor since my loans are already astronomical), get just a regular associates in design or even construction management (still money, but significantly less), or are there avenues for jobs and openings for me to go into with the degree I have currently and the few skills I hold? I am an extravagant learner and understand computers very well. I just don’t have the professional construction experience, or the degree to put on my resume for design/construction/architecture. I have reached out to some connections, I have applied to an array of jobs that could help, I even had an interview with Ryan Homes and NVR after graduation in 2013 for a Production Supervisor, of which would have been a dream, but they declined a position for lack of experience. I just don’t know what else, if anything, I should do.

    Now that you know my life struggles, lol, I would GREATLY appreciate any advice you might have for me. I have known I’ve wanted to work with housing and design for a very long time, and I don’t want to regret not doing everything I can to get there (as I already feel I should have stuck with the Architecture program in the first place).

    Thank You!

  • Kim Peterson

    Bob, my contractor charged me an upfront $1000 “deposit fee”, and is now saying it is non-refundable since it was a fee to start my cost+ project. Does that sound normal to you?

  • Scott E.A. Davis

    Happy Holidays – I was shown your blog by a friend.

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

      Some friend … my apologies in advance.

  • Samantha

    Could you do a post about requests for environmentally friendly homes? Thanks. P.s. love your blog.

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

      I could but I probably won’t. That is an ever moving target and other than some best practices, what makes an environmentally friendly home today won’t be true in 5 years. Also, each part of the country (and the world for that matter) might have different design considerations for what constitutes an environmentally friendly home.

      • Brad

        Actually everything stays exactly the same; the physics that make a wall assembly resist heat flow, for example, will not change in 5 years. The sustainability of certain materials may change based on their availability, but this is a small part of sustainability, and principles such as using local, rapidly renewable materials with low embodied energy can govern effective material choices. Certification systems such as LEED will change over time, but these do not *create* environmentally friendly homes. These are only useful because most people do not have a thorough understanding of building science and many specs are not accessible even for those who do.

  • Gaudi

    Hi Bob, ive just started reading your blog, because I was actually browsing on google, “difficulties of an architecture student”… Im on my third year of architecture, and I dont feel Ive learned enough… my first year was great, then everything started falling on my second year. When I was about to start my third year I dropped design studio because of personal circumstances and a year after im back in third year studio trying my best, but I dont really feel I have what it takes. Do you have any suggestions of what are the best first steps to take and what to do in the first stages of design when a project is assigned?

  • Dan

    Hi Bob – first of all congrats on your blog – lots of important information for clients like myself. I am having a very hard time with my architect and want to terminate the agreement and find other help. We just finished Schematic Design and although we like the distribution of rooms and sizes of the space (because we were heard on what we wanted – mostly because we were insisting on it all the time), we don’t like the exterior design, the shape o the house, the feel of it in perspective, colors, nothing…
    My question is – if I move on to another professional – can I take the schematic plans and use them as a basis? I have payed all the fees associated with it and assume I own in – even though copyright belongs to the architect. My understanding is that I can use it for the purpose it was intended (i.e. to build my house, in the same lot), but I do not understand how much of it can be modified (the parts I do not like, and never approved). Can you shed some light?
    Thanks

  • Bryan

    Hi Bob, I really enjoyed the article you had written a while ago about line weights, and manipulating out-of-the-box Revit to draw the way you, the user, wants it to draw. We are currently working on a project with a separate architecture firm and noticed, through sharing models, that our line weights are significantly different from one another. I was wondering, have you manipulated yours? Have you chosen to delete some of the 1-16 options Revit gives you? I have attached a JPEG of our model line weights, I was hoping you could share yours to compare? Thanks for your time.

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

      I don’t actually know the answer to this question – let me ask our resident Revit expert and see what I can come up with.

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

      Here it is – I haven’t ever seen this before so I suppose I should look it over …

  • Annaiyah Harris

    I just got into the 9th grade and my academy I chose was Architecture. My skills are not the best but Im getting better. Im scared that I may never learn the skill to become a successful architect. Though I have hope should I stay in that academy all 4 years of my highschool years?

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

    No – there hasn’t been a lot of demand for SIPs down in this area (and to clarify, I mean “no interest”)

    One day …

  • H

    Hi Bob! I stumbled upon your blog today, and I must say, you sure have inspired me to push through architecture even more. I am a sophomore architecture student from Asia, and I just transferred to a university in America, Fall of this year. Whenever I look this major up on the internet, I almost always end up reading sad negative reviews about it, and thus, I do, at times, I feel discouraged to pursue my dream. So thank you, Bob. I will be visiting your site more often. Godspeed and best of luck to you!

  • http://VidalConsultingGroup.com Rudy Vidal

    Hi Bob, really enjoyed your site. I’m working on a project related to why/how people purchase luxury kitchen appliances. might you be willing to speak with me about the matter in the next week or so. I apprecaite any consideration you might offer.
    thanks. Rudy.

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

      send me an email with your questions and I’ll see what I can do. With all this out of town travel, all the work I’ll be putting in on the website will be at crazy hours (evidenced by the fact that I am responding to this comment at 1:21am)

      • http://VidalConsultingGroup.com Rudy Vidal

        Bob, I appreciate your consideration.
        Is there an email you would prefer?
        you can send to rudy@vidalconsultinggroup.com
        Thanks again.
        Rudy V

      • http://VidalConsultingGroup.com Rudy Vidal

        Bob, thank you for your consideration in answering my question.
        I am working on project to better understand the key differences between the Mass-Premium Range market (bosch, kitchen aid, etc) and the luxury market.
        There seems to be a line that is not crossed (around $3K) that is not crossed by MAss-premium brands. While the luxury brands (Wold, Thermador, etc) seem to pick up at around $4K. Can you give me your thoughts (off line on my email below) regarding the what keeps this line in place for so long? Is it a mind set of consumers, a distribution issue, or the fact that the gap is being addressed by brands with less “top of mind” strength like Verona, Bertazonni, Five star etc.
        Also, as an architect, I would like to understand your role in guiding clients towards the right appliance package.
        I really appreciate your consideration.
        all my best.
        Rudy Vidal
        rudy@vidalconsultinggroup.com

  • Premith

    You’re a funny funny… guy bob… :D….

    lolz… “put my pants on both legs at once”….. yea.. jump…
    and love the pic… adorable…

  • blagica

    Hi Bob,
    i am an interior design student and now i’m working on my thesis project. the project is about multifunction in a multimedia space ( everything is with a multi :D) so, i have difficulties of finding materials on the internet about the multifunctional spaces in the past and how it evolved till now. are yo familiar with this and can you pleas help me. thank you in advance. regards, blagica.

  • sgiovanni

    Hello Bob,
    this may be a bit lengthy, but I was wondering if it would be better to get a B arch and then an M arch, or should I get a BFA interior design, and then the M arch. I have found some programs that will accept me for the M arch with a BFA in interior design. Call me naïve, but I ultimately want to design modern residential apartments in the city, any city. I want to design the buildings as well as the exterior. The design course I am starting has a lot of architectural courses in it, some people call it an “interior architecture coarse”. I feel as though this would be a better fit for me as apposed to b arch then M arch, because as iv said I would like to design the interiors and exteriors of the residential buildings. I did some research into the school that I plan to attend to get my M arch and they said that I can get licensed with the BFA in interior design and the M arch. So I guess my question to you would be, how would the two course paths differ in terms of my preparation. would getting my b arch then m arch make me a better architect than getting my bfa interior design, and then M arch? if so, which part of my game would be lacking, ( or not) I Imagine it would be a give and take situation, gain some knowledge to lose some. Thanks in advance.
    Sincerely
    Shawn Giovanni Norbert

  • Sharmitha Mohan

    hey bob,
    i am doing b.arch n india chennai. during fourth year we are supposed to go for internship i am plannin to do in US if possible
    is that ok? because i am planning to do the whole one year over there. i need some advice
    with regards
    sharmitha