There are no two ways about it, hanging pictures is a drag. A total drag. The dragiest of drags. I know what you’re thinking “Is that even a thing?” Yes – it is, because I just hung a whole bunch of pictures and I am an authority of things that are a drag:
See – and that’s just a small sampling of how often I point out things that are a drag. I know what I’m talking about. And now I get to add “Hanging Pictures is a drag” to the drag specific list of posts.
Most people who swing through Life of an Architect know that we recently changed the firm name to Malone Maxwell Borson Architects AND that we just moved into our new offices this last weekend. That’s right, I had the pleasure of working till midnight on Friday, and then a couple of 12 hour days on Saturday and Sunday in an effort to get everything up and running come Monday morning. Guess what?
I didn’t make it.
My last office sucked and drained a little bit of my life force every single day and I am very happy and grateful to move out of that space, but as the moving company kept dropping off more and more crates of stuff to our new office, I’ve been wondering to myself thinking “How we did we ever have so much stuff in our old office?”
I took the above picture around 11pm Friday night and despite the fact that I felt that a lot of progress had been made, you certainly can’t tell by this picture. While I was planning on wowing everybody with a post today on my awesome new office, it isn’t going to happen. Not yet at least.
I thought I would show you one aspect of how I spent 3 hours of my Saturday afternoon – organizing and hanging pictures to populate one of our “Glory” Walls. Every architectural office has one – some are bigger than others but I’m not going to focus on that today. Instead I am going to focus on the misery that is hanging pictures.
These are a few of the awards and certificates that we have framed – all have been sitting in a box for a while but now we have some room to put them up. I looked around for volunteers to tackle this particular task but as I scanned the room – expecting to see hands enthusiastically raised in the air, pumping up and down in “Pick me! Pick me!” fashion, all I saw was people looking down their shoes.
and a tumbleweed rolled by …
Okay, I suppose that means I have to do it and that’s okay. I don’t ask people to do things I won’t do, just the things I don’t want to do. It might be a subtle difference, but it is a difference.
Whenever I need to solve a problem, I reach for a pen and a roll of trace. It slows me down enough to typically avoid careless mistakes. In this instance, I needed my pen, some trace and a calculator. Who says you don’t need to know some math to be an architect? Okay, nobody says that – you do have to know some math to be an architect … but this was easy math.
The only thing that was really tricky about hanging these frames was that they were all different sizes and we know that there are a bunch that we are still missing and we’ll need to swap out some that are on this wall with ones that are currently in the process of being framed.
So how does that work? Well, since I know that these frames will/might need to be interchangeable from time to time, rather than align them along the top of the frame, they are all aligned through their center points. This creates the illusion of alignment but the reality is that all the interstitial spaces between one frame and it’s neighbor to the top/bottom/left/right is different. The spaces don’t appear to be irregular but they are … this is when 3-dimensional thinking really pays off. The only thing about this method that was a drag was that it required a lot of measuring. Not just the size of the frames but the slack in the cord attached to each frame.
So, lots of easy math later, we were able to start driving nails into the wall.
Somebody (it was “Augrey“) said that they might be a little concerned about somebody (me) standing on top of the new Knoll desk benching system we just installed … something about a “weight limit” and blah blah blah. So I had to get Ryan to drive in the picture hangers since he weighs less than I do.
For the record, I’m taller than Ryan.
I don’t think that the desk would have had a problem holding my weight, but Ryan does have smaller hands than me and I probably would have hit my fingers a few times. If Ryan did hammer a finger, he kept it to himself. He knows me well enough to know that I had about 20 “hammer” jokes at the ready.
So here is our Glory Wall. Looks terrible doesn’t it? We haven’t put the level on them yet and if you don’t use a level on your pictures you aren’t really hanging pictures, you’re tacking stuff up on the wall … like a poster.
From this angle, everything looks pretty good. My space, in case you were curious, is the double wide “work” area on the left-hand side. I get to walk by everybody to get to my desk, but unless you are coming to see me, there’s no reason for you to walk all the way down to my space.
Unless you’re Augrey Maxwell, she sits in the double wide work space to the right … for now.
The picture above is a little deceptive. You might be thinking to yourself that the space looks okay, nice and tidy … pretty close to done. Right?
Let’s back up a few steps …..
Holy “Everybody else’s space looks like crap!” Well, there’s a reason why everything looks all cluttery and piled up despite the fact that we tripled our square footage. We have a big space out front (that will house ‘Voltron‘) and we are waiting for the concrete floor to get finished.
And they are definitely NOT finished.
We moved in and there were lots of “red drops” on the floor … but under the wax. They look like blood to me and when I pointed them out to the contractor his response (after a very demonstrative display where he whipped out a big pocket knife and scrapped on the floor) was less than reassuring.
Bob: [pointing at floor] What are those? Did someone bleed all over the concrete floor?” Why didn’t that get cleaned up before you waxed the concrete?
Contractor: Those were already there.
Bob: I was here over the weekend and I don’t remember seeing those drops. [looking around] There are a lot of drops everywhere.
Contractor: Do you have a picture showing them not there?
Contractor: [whipping out his pocket knife and scraping the floor] That’s in the concrete, nothing we can do about that.
Bob: Is that a joke? There’s plenty you can do about that. Grind them out.
Contractor: They’re in the concrete, they’re old … they’ve probably always been there and the waxing just made them more noticeable.
Bob: Really? [mental face palm]
Needless to say, our space isn’t really ready for the big reveal. At the very least, there is some blood that needs to be removed. In the meantime, avoid picture hanging as best you can … it really is a drag.