Life of an Architect in 2012

January 3, 2012 — 22 Comments


Life of an Architect in 2012

So here I am, about to tell you what I plan on doing this year, despite the fact that I’m quite certain that nobody cares about what I plan on doing this year … except for the cops and I’m not supposed to be talking about that. No, this really has more to do with the cathartic process of sitting down and trying to figure out the who, what, when, where and why … particularly the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ where this blog are concerned.

Listing some of the highlights (possibly low-lights) that I hope to achieve this coming year seems like a good idea but I haven’t quite figure them out just yet. Primarily I would like to see the blog continue to evolve and hopefully connect me with possible clients. I haven’t ever hung my sign out there letting people know that I am in a position to be hired. Not every project I work on is high end, large, and/ or modern. Given the opportunity, I will help you pick out a front door for your house. Hopefully before the end of next week, I will make that a little more obvious here on the site.


Bug House - Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses

click the photo to see all the posts on all the playhouses

A big project I will be taking on – I think – is the first ever Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition. Frequent readers at LoaA know that I have been heavily involved with Dallas CASA,  a charity here in town that has one of their largest outreach and fundraising events through the event ‘Parade of Playhouses’. The short version is that I would like to get some sponsorship money (actually donated to Dallas CASA so you can receive the tax benefits), host the competition here on my site, and actually build one (or more) of the playhouses that get submitted. This competition will be open to anyone in world who has the ability to design a playhouse. I’ll get into the details a little later this month but I am excited to try and pull this off – because everybody wins on this one.


Scott Taylor and the Lion Avatar

I have also taken on a collaborator of sorts. Starting this week, Scott Taylor, a good friend of mine, will become a fairly regular contributor to this site (read Scott’s inaugural post ‘Beards of an Architect‘). I have mentioned him before but he and I have been talking about ways to get him involved. Scott makes me laugh and is still incredibly idealistic about being an architect and as a result, I think he has an audience here. What we don’t know is whether or not he has some long term interest in participating. Let’s be honest, the pay on this site is terrible so you have to really want to do it. Writing these posts isn’t always easy but it gets better the more you do it (at least that’s what I’m telling him). We are going to start off slow so look for Scott about once every other week.


the American Bob Borson

the (only) American Bob Borson .. on Interiors UK. Click photo to see all the posts I’ve writen so far

Also planned for 2012 is guest writing … and a lot of it. From me. On other people’s site.

If you actually read those 3 sentences (were they even sentences?) in that last paragraph (was it even a paragraph?) you are probably wondering the same thing I am every time I get asked to contribute something to someone else’s site – Really?!? I can’t explain it either. Just because I have finally made peace with my terrible grammar and abhorrent writing skills doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. I have never held myself out and proclaimed that I was a good writer … I am more of a talker that types up what he is thinking … exactly how it is in my head, which is normally jumbled (but my words per minute typing skills have really improved over the last 2 years!). I am currently on the hook for 33 posts on other sites (whew!) so in addition to the 3 a week I crank out artfully and delightfully create here, 2012 will see me write at least 189 articles. Can you say “overexposure” and “running out of ideas”? See?(tapping the side of my head) that’s why I got Scott Taylor to help.


Blogtour 2011

I also expect to do some traveling this year. Last year, due to the my blog and the courtesy of other generous, I was able to go to Spain (courtesy of Tile of Spain) and England (courtesy of Modenus) and unfortunately had turned down several offers to other exciting destinations. Unfortunately, the people who sign my paycheck have this crazy rule about me showing up to work … so as a result, I have to take precious vacation time to attend these junkets which puts a serious damper on my ability to go on these trips.


Wood Ceiling framing

It’s also why I am going to focus on design process more this year. The “Why did we do that?” sort of posts, things that will hopefully be of benefit to all the non-architects who read this site. I generally get a lot of interest whenever I write about details, technique, products, etc. so I plan on doing more, and I hope to continue in the tradition that makes it easy for the non-professional to understand – after all, one of my goals here at Life of an Architect is to create some transparency to what I do as an architect, show the value of working with architects, and prove that working with me would be interesting if not outright fun.

I always enjoy hearing from the folks who read my site so I hope some new people will feel compelled to leave a comment this year. Based on this post, if you have any ideas about what you would like to see here (or not i.e. Bob in a Speedo), this would be a great time to get it of your chest.

Bob-AIA scale figure

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  • Pat Eggleton

    Have a great New Year!

  • Love it, Bob! Excited to see the prospects of 2012!

  • Keep up the good work, Bob. You just might be the royal prince (and court jester) of architectural blogging!

  • Kyle

    I’d love to learn more about entering the CASA playhouse competition. Maybe I can convince my Drafting teacher to use it as a project for next semester. Thx

  • Sara

    You make me feel like an under achiever. My only plans this year are to get through the next year of school, come up with a thesis project and get LEED certified.

    Good luck to you on your plans for this year! I look forward to taking a break from studio to read about them!

    • Hah – I am my own master regarding the stuff I create and post here on the site. What you are going through involves actual stress and tests!

      You’ve got it way worse than me – good luck! 

  • Good luck with your 2012 endeavors, Bob!  I would love to see more posts on architectural historical renovations as well as a peek into the homes of other architects (Is that creepy? Just brushing up on my stalking skills…I kiiiiid.)  I also loved your posts on the Playhouse Design Competition.  Great design!  It would also be great to hear about your favorite architects.  Cheers!

    • Those are all great ideas – I should reach out to some architects who work on historical renovations and get a few guest posts. 

      A list of my favorite architects seems to change from month to month – I’ve had a blog post on this exact subject sitting the the draft folder for almost 2 years. 

      One day…

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and give me some ideas – much appreciated! 

  • Are you going to work any in 2012? Like at your office? Seems like you got a lot of extracurricular going on there Bob! Only joking my friend. Looks like you certainly do have your hands full for the coming year. Also I like the new intent for the blog. Looking forward to it.

    • I work all the time because I get so much out of it I think my extracurricular activities are blurring into work, I might need to broaden my hobbies just a bit (I think that actually needs to happen)
      If I get this playhouse competition off the ground, I am going to expect an entry from you – count on it!

  • Good luck with your 2012 ambitions, Bob. You’re ahead of me since you’ve taken the time to write them down and share them (the scary part) with folks who can track your progress.  Let me know when one of the playhouses needs a mosaic floor – I’m in!  Julie

    • ha – I don’t think too many people are keeping record of the stuff I say here. I will most definitely keep you in mind when the playhouse stuff kicks in and we find ourselves in need 😉


  • Nancie

    Egads, Bob.  Your list for 2012 leaves my brain weak and my fingers trembling.  but, if anyone can pull it off, it is you.  Just wish I had a closet in your neck of the woods for you to work on.  I think collaborating with you would be a wonderful experience.  The contest sounds uber-groovy.  I wonder if we could get a mosaic-driven one going?  Contact me when the details are down and let’s see what we can come up with!

    • Nancy,

      It’s not as much work as I like to make it sound. As long as I stay organized, most of this stuff takes care of itself.

      There are lots of mosaic tile fans on here – maybe I need to come up with a way to take advantage of that…

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Sounds like some great plans!  Best of luck to you…maybe I’ll get the hubby interested in the playhouse design…could be good for his design course 🙂

    • Amy,

      You should make him do a playhouse. I’ve done a bunch and they are always loads of fun. Besides, I have sample construction drawings on my site from past ones I’ve created so he’ll have something to look at and use as a go-by. He’ll find out how addicting it is.


  • Roxanne Button

    “I am more of a talker that types up what he is thinking … exactly how it is in my head….”

    That made me laugh – I think the same thing everytime I sit down to write a post.  Which is why I haven’t published anything in a long time!  But I do enjoy what you write, Bob, and it’s because you type exactly what you’re thinking.  That’s the best part of it.  Keep writing!  I’m really looking forward to reading what you have to say about process.  I have always liked the post-mortem period of projects, where we look back at what we did, and why we did it like that, and why we will never do it like that again 😉

    Cheers –

    • Thanks Roxanne,

      I try and limit my “we will never do that again” moments – at least the ones I’m responsible for creating. It will be interesting to see how things develop this year, hard to believe that it’s already been 2 years.

      Here’s to #3!

  • Anonymous

    Keep up the good work Bob!


    • Thanks Doug – and I got your email, I will respond a little later


  • I actually don’t need the technical details, but I definitely would hire you if I ever needed an architect. I love the posts that show how you think and feel because those are so amazing and engaging. You’re a sort of rogue genius and your posts reflect that. You know, a subversive type who actually sees the benefit of having rules. The whole “let’s shoot rubber bands at targets during work” thing. I’m glad you will keep posting, and I’m sure Scott will have fun. Here’s to 2012, Captain Awesome!

    • Thanks Alexandra – I’ve got you down!

      I expect some big things this year, hard work should count for something (other than a good nights rest).


      ps – I think you meant “rogue genus” because there’s something not quite right about me 😉