This is Exciting – The Beginning of the End

August 21, 2014 — 27 Comments


Out with the Old and In with the New


Today is an exciting day for me – a little less exciting than it should be still … very exciting. We are wrapping up the process of ownership in my firm and within a few days my name officially goes on the door. What was once Michael Malone Architects, will now become Malone Maxwell Borson Architects.

… and it only took 22 years (back story: How to become a partner in 21 years)

Bob Borson contact information

The other super-terrific exciting news is that I am finally leaving behind “Bob’s Box of Hell” and moving into our new office space. Well, we are “technically” moving into our new offices this Friday (and Saturday and Sunday …) but feel free to send me an email at my new address. The website hasn’t been moved over yet because, you know … I am not a miracle worker.

Seriously, I couldn’t be happier.

Well, I could be happier if I didn’t have to do the moving part myself but we’re calling it a “team building exercise” and I plan on bringing beer.

MMBArchitects new office

Guess what? Our space isn’t actually ready yet … I love that part. As of this writing there is still the punch list work to address (and the air conditioning) but I am working with some ah-mazing architects and I know that there is a plan in place. Of all people, we know that in the world of construction things don’t always go the way you plan. The true mark of a pro is measure in how you deal with it. So after I finished stamping my feet and holding my breath, I think I got my way and things are going to get wrapped up tomorrow morning.

*Pro Tip* Using the technique of “I know you are but what am I?” works like a charm on contractors, but the trick is to not break character, otherwise you’ll just look like a child.

Office under construction 01

Just a few day ago there was a lot going on. Thankfully I was in Wisconsin at the time (Scary Story: Cabin in the Woods from my Wisconsin trip) and I was able to miss out on what looks like a tremendous amount of coordinating fun.

Top O' the morning to ye

I’m not sure why I included this picture (yes I do) … some of you might get it and think it’s funny, some of you won’t. Either way, I’m not talking.

MMBArchitect conference room

Aaaaaaand here’s the conference room. Some of you hardcore observant people might recognize ‘Voltron‘ down there in the corner – at least 1/12th of it. Voltron has a giant footprint and there is space specifically dedicated to where this beast of a model will live. I haven’t shown anybody what it looks like yet. It will eventually get its own post … I worked on the design and one of our summer interns – John Charbonneau – built the table that it will sit on the weekend right before he left working in the office and returned back to school. More on that later.

Once the office is completed and populated with stuff and finishes, I’ll do a proper post covering what we did and the products we used.

All I can say is that this is a very exciting time for me. I can’t help but feel that all the long hours and hard work have finally paid off and I am part of something that really matters

AND I have my name on the door. This is truly the beginning of the end.


Bob AIA signature

This was the second post in what I am trying to organize into a series of posts called “ArchiTalks”. There are a few other architects who maintain blogs who were given todays topic “This is Exciting” with very loose instructions as to what they are to talk about. We have all agreed to publish our responses on the same day – that way none of our answers will influence somebody else. If you would like to see how other architects responded to this topic, just follow the links below. As the links get sent to me, I will come back and add them to the list.

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (twitter @ArchitectMM)  “From Dreams to Reality – THIS is Exciting”

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (twitter @modarchitect “This is Exciting – It is All Comes Together”

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (twitter @enochsears) “This is Exciting: Marketing for Architects that Works”

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (twitter @EntreArchitect) “This is Exciting: Making a Difference at Entrepreneur Architect” 

Jeff Echols – Architect of the Internet (twitter @Jeff_Echols) “This is Exciting: 5 “Re’s” to Change the Future of Architecture”

Lee Calisti – Think Architecture (twitter @leecalisti) “this is exciting :: start + finish” 

Oscia Wilson – Boiled Architecture (twitter @leecalisti) “This is exciting they’re fighting it out”

Matthew Stanfield – Field9 Architecture (twitter @FIELD9arch) “This is exciting”

Jeremiah Russell – Jeremiah S. Russell, Architect (twitter @ronestudioarch) “I’m so excited!”

Cormac Phalen – Archispeak Podcast (twitter @archispk and @archy_type) “The End is Like the Beginning”

Evan Troxel –  (twitter @etroxel) “This is Exciting … Because it’s real”

Nicholas Renard – Cote Renard Architecture (twitter @coterenard) “This Right Here … This is Exciting”


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  • ArchOne

    Congrats to all. Looks like a great space to come to work to everyday… every…day….

  • DESIGNrealized

    Congratulations Bob! A great adventure lies ahead.

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  • Congratulations as it is well-deserved, I’m sure of it. Yes, construction is planned but unforeseen things always happen. There are a lot of moving parts in a project of that size and inspections can’t always be counted on to pass or be scheduled on time. Last year one city we worked in had a five day lead time for inspections. Five days.

  • Steve Mitchell

    Congrats Bob and good luck on this new adventure. Keep those sketches coming.

  • Paul O’Brien

    I sincerely hope that “Voltron” is actually Voltron.

  • Congratulations Bob, entirely deserved & most likely well overdue in my humble opinion. Love the business card design too. In our recent rebranding we got cards with differing front & back colours which is really nice, although I think the inverted black & white of yours has a design-simplicity edge! It does make me wonder how many months of the ownership negotiation were focussed on location & alignment of the names in the branding though! 😉 architects eh!?

  • ArchiBob

    Congratulations BOB!! I hope the Partner Status doesn’t mean you have to give up any more sleep to continue the blog. FYI: I spent 20 years at a Firm, negotiated a Partner Position/ Ownership Transition Plan (along with 3 others) three times and helped move twice. My result was not as good as yours…never reached terms that were acceptable for the Ownership Transition to work and so now seven years later the Firm is out of business and the Principal/Owner is in court settling Client and Consultant Claims. And I’m looking for a job again. Three of the five Firms I’ve worked at in the past seven years are out of business (not as a direct result of my working for them…at least I hope) and one is in bankruptcy reorganization with at least seven of the former twelve Partners having left. Be thankful for the Blessings You have earned! Best wishes on the move, exciting times indeed!

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  • Kevin Parent

    Great post Bob and congrats on the new digs and new adventure!

  • Tina Ryan

    Not Bob, Not Bob & Bob

  • AlmostJane

    Congratulations on your well-deserved partnership and the new digs too. Even in its incomplete state, it looks just as I would imagine an architect’s office to look. PS – is that a cork floor in the conference room? Or no floor at the moment? :>)

  • Ann

    Congratulations Bob!

  • Dave Cornett

    Congratulations Bob

  • danielcaudy

    I know how you feel having your name on the door, it took me a long time also. I
    finally said, To Hell with it!”, gave notice and a week later opened my own

    Best wishes for the move and the partnership. You will do well!

    the office of daniel c caudy LLC
    architecture and strategic planning

  • Bob, congrats on the new digs.

  • Bob, I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on the ownership transition process at some point in the future. 🙂

    • painful, tedious and glacial.

      Other than that, I probably won’t get into on the website but feel free to email your questions and I’ll share what I can.

  • Kerry Hogue

    moving and car trouble are my favorite pass times. Since I have been at the firm I work, we have moved three times. Each time the move in date came and we moved, and guess what? Right, just like you, the space was not ready. We moved anyway and worked around the inconvenience of a partially completed space. it can be fun with hammers and drills going, and we actually had jack hammers this last time. The joy of concentration.
    good luck with the move and congrats on the name on the door thing. Oh and congrats on the new project that you guys interviewed for while you were out making cheese in Wisconsin. A new building type for you guys and I know you will shine.

    • Thanks Kerry – I appreciate the vote of confidence.

      Moving isn’t ever fun but it is exciting. This last year has been stressful in that I’ve never been busier – but it’s also been on of the more rewarding years of my professional life. I suppose it’s true – Nothing worth doing is easy.

      See you soon.

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  • aaswilson


    Congrats! I hope there’s a pot of gold hidden somewhere…

    • Robert Moore

      I’ll ditto that !

    • If there is, I think I’ll keep that discovery to myself!

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