No, it’s all about me

January 26, 2012 — 25 Comments

Bob name tag - it's all about me


Life of an Architect contributor Scott Taylor wrote an article, It’s all about me introducing himself and explaining a bit about who he is and what makes him tick. He accomplished this by preparing a list of things that he felt defined his design sensibilities. In that post, Scott called me out to prepare a similar list (as if I could be so easily defined…)

I have prepared these sorts of lists before and I absolutely HATE doing them. Sadly, I don’t have many things that stay my favorite for very long. Does that mean I’m fickle? Does it mean I can’t commit? Maybe … but I think it means I become enthused rather quickly and easily which leaves little time for things to remain in the top spot for very long.

That having been said, here is a list I put together playing off the same sort of things that Scott culled together. It was painful putting this together but here goes:


Favorite piece of furniture: Eames molded plastic chair with eiffel base

Eames molded plastic chair with eiffel base

The Eameses adapted molding techniques developed during World War II to produce these shells. They also perfected another technique with which they had been experimenting—creating a bent, welded wire base. The result was the process that allowed the manufacture of the first mass-produced one-piece plastic chairs. I don’t own any of these but I have been coveting them for a long time.


Favorite Pen: Sharpie Ultra Fine point

sharpie ultra fine point pen

Hand sketch North Elevation

I am hardly an artist but I do think I can communicate well enough when drawing. I love my Sharpies and I am quite sure that between my office, my house, and my car, there are several hundred laying out. I always wanted to be able to use a fountain pen but since I am left handed, I would inevitably draw my hand through wet ink and smear whatever I just drew. These Sharpie pens lay down a nice dark line with little effort and the nib has enough give that I can get a little pen weight when I draw.


Favorite Deserted Island Food: Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls

Maybe it’s just me, but I used to play this game where I would pick the things I could have in unlimited supply should I ever find myself stranded on a deserted island. The premise is that you could select one single food item – that you could eat as much as you wanted, whenever you wanted – but you could never change. If I had to eat the same thing day after day, it would be egg rolls.


Favorite Car: 1969 Jaguar XKE II

1969 Jaguar XKE II

What’s there to say about this selection? The only reason not to choose this as your dream car is that you didn’t know it existed. Beautiful lines and proportions … it was, without a doubt, the easiest item to choose for this list. I didn’t even have to think about it.


Favorite Poster: 1934 Guinness “Good for you”

Guinness for Strength poster

I am going to say right now … who has a favorite poster?!? I have to admit that I do like the poster Scott chose but to have a favorite means that there are others up for consideration. Any of the Guinness posters from the 1930’s I think are pretty strong graphically and 7 glasses, 7 days of the week and 7 beneficial reasons to drink it (for strength, nerves, digestion, exhaustion, sleeplessness, its tonic effects and the blood).


Favorite Architect: Impossible for me to select

Architecture Personified - the most interesting man in the room

There are so many that I respect and that shape my interests but does one stand out head and shoulders above another? I wish … I wracked my brain on this one for the last 7 days knowing that I was going to write this post at Scott’s request. Sorry I let you down on this one so to make it up to you, I am going to provide a bonus topic and answer, you know – try and end on a high note.


Favorite Movie: Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona - the movie

This was probably the second easiest item for me to select. This movie was really popular when I was in architecture school and I’m sure I must have watched this movie 10x more than the No. 2 movie (Blues Brothers). To really drive this selection home, somebody in school copied the audio track to cassette tapes and we used to listen to this movie while in studio. This is the only movie that I could recite the lines to –

Parole Board chairman:   They’ve got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called “recidivist.”
Parole Board member:   Repeat offender!
Parole Board chairman:   Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?
H.I.:   No, sir. That’s one bonehead name, but that ain’t me any more.
Parole Board chairman:   You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?
H.I.:   No, sir, no way.
Parole Board member:   ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.
H.I.:   Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
Parole Board chairman:   Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?
H.I.:   Yes, sir.
Parole Board chairman:   Okay, then.


So there you have it – a peek into the madness or the brilliance. While I sweated the details on this post, with very small exceptions, this post would look significantly different in 6 months.

Except for the part about the egg rolls.



Print Friendly

even better stuff from Life of an Architect

  • Pingback: My Favorite Things ... Again | Life of an Architect()

  • Pingback: Architects and their pens… « Mark Stephens Architects()


    check it out…i took a historical tour at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hawaii and while on the tour we ran into an architect who is working with the base to maintain the historical homes.  anyways he drove the exact car kind of jaguar that is your favorite (the link is to a picture of his car that i took)!

    • sweet – it’s a nice car isn’t it?

      Thanks for sharing

  • Josh Herrman

    Bob- this is great stuff…two things…first, Raising Arizona is greatly under estimated, second, thanks for the inspiration on my latest blog ( your funny top ten lists accompanied by your favorite pen in this post seemed like the obvious thing to blog about!

  • Awesome post Bob. I’ll have to add “Raising Arizona” to my watch list.

  • Jorr

    FART. “ain’t that cute, junior’s learning his ABC’s

  • Nathan Arizona Sr: “Eight hundred leaf-tables and no chairs? You can’t sell leaf-tables and no chairs. Chairs, you got a dinette set. No chairs, you got dick!”  Loved that movie.
    You also have fine taste in Jaguars, sir!

    • Your quote had me laughing when I read it … so many good ones it was hard to pull one out-

      “… and when there was no crawdad’s, we ate dirt.”
      “you ate what?”
      “we ate dirt.”

  • I think I’m actually forbidden from indulging in Guinness because of a particular St. Patty’s Day experience.  Or maybe it was the whiskey.  I can’t remember.  No seriously, I can’t remember.

    But I, like you, am a Sharpie whore.  Often times when looking for a pen I find a Sharpie instead.  Makes signing checks a little hard.

    • you still write checks??

      the only person who gets a check from our household is the IRS (and I want that one to be hard to read)

  • Sara

    Ah Eames chairs are the best. Also Sharpies. I think my favorite car is one that will get me to school, work and home without too much hassel or gas.

    • but you have to admit that there is a bit of style involved with arriving in an XKE …

  • david

    Guinnes is well known for their advertisements.  They are pretty cool.  My wife bought me the book about the history of Guinness because she know’s it’s my favorite.

    • so is it the Guinness that’s your favorite or their advertisements? I suppose you can’t really answer this one incorrectly.

      Carry on

  • It would appear (based on the sample taken from this blog) that architects really like the Coen Brothers! I believe it has to have something to do with the extreme attention to detail in the production design of their movies – it subliminally resounds with our detail-oriented sensibilities.

    Watch Miller’s Crossing in black and white and you’ll also get an idea of how well they understanding lighting! It brings a whole new dimension to their early masterpiece.

    It’s also too bad Nick Cage doesn’t get (or seek) roles like H.I. McDonnough anymore. 

    • Miller’s Crossing is another one of my favorites and I know exactly what you are talking about. I don’t know exactly what it is about the Coen Brothers but I don’t think they’ve made a movie that didn’t warrant serious consideration as becoming one of my favorites … except for maybe The Ladykillers.

      Now how about your deserted island food?

      • Ah yes, The Ladykillers – JK Simmons was funny in that one…the rest of the cast, not so much.

        Deserted island food – I’d have to go with a fresh Margherita pizza! Though on second thought…Guinness qualifies as food right?

  • Bob

    Sharpies make me high

    • and that’s when you do your most creative work right? (light bulb)

  • Dustin Bopp

    Though I have seen it umpteen times, I just caught Raising Arizona on TV for the first time in years. Still holds up. Holly Hunter is absolutely brilliant.

    “We finally go out with decent people and you break his nose. That ain’t too funny, H.I.”

    • that line’s even better when you put her accent on it

  • Todd Vendituoli

    Great post Bob and the Guinness one instantly reminded me of a few years ago here when they were having a blood drive. A guy says he hopes I’ll be there to give blood and he sensed my hesitation so said we’re giving out a bottle of Guinness after you donate. I said what about before- Don’t see why not. 100% true story.

    • wow – not having completed medical school, I wouldn’t think they would want the alcohol in your blood. I suppose that guy had already been indulging a bit!

    • wow – not having completed medical school, I wouldn’t think they would want the alcohol in your blood. I suppose that guy had already been indulging a bit!