While 2014 isn’t technically over yet, it isn’t going to stop me [cause I do what I want] from looking back at all the articles I wrote over the year to see which ones represented the very best that 2014 and I had to offer. This post represents the 106th post I’ve written in 2014 for Life of an Architect, a number that I find staggering considering how busy I’ve been … I’m not sure how I found the time to do it and still maintain any sanity.
For today, I thought I would look back and list the 5 most read articles from this year – maybe you missed them the first time around, or maybe they might be worth a second look.
You Make your Own Opportunities
April 21, 2014
Young architectural interns are awesome … full of promise and possibility. I’ve been around the architectural block more times than I care to admit at this stage of my career and I have learned a few things along the way. One upside of working many jobs is that you get to experience all sorts of different project types, firm sizes, and management techniques. I have felt that there were some jobs that prepared me to achieve success more readily than others but I typically learned something of value at every job I’ve ever had – sometimes learning what not to do is as important as learning what you should do.
Pier and Beam Foundations – KHouse Progress
June 12, 2014
How does a pier and beam foundation work? A close up look at the progress on the KHouse Modern and an opportunity to explain how pier and beam foundations work.
On the residential part of our practice, we do a lot of pier and beam foundations. There are other options available to us – some include post-tensioned slab on grade and plain ol’ slab on grade, and all of these options are fine under the right circumstances but if I had my pick (which I normally do) we recommend the pier and beam structural foundation. The soil in my area of practice tends to be expansive because it contains a healthy dose of clay, which expands and contracts as moisture enters the equation. Add water, through rain and irrigation, and the soil expands. Remove water due to hot and dry conditions, and the soil contracts. All this soil movement adds up to cracks in the house. Because we like to help eliminate the movement issues that come along with expansive soil, we like designing with a pier and beam foundation.
Should I be an Architect?
February 10, 2014
The last several years have been hard on the architectural profession. The tone of the questions I’ve received have shifted from:
“Should I become an Architect?“
“Why should I become an Architect?“
To be fair, the last several years have been hard on a lot of people, not just architects, but I’ve decided that it’s time to focus my thoughts on why I became an architect – maybe you can relate, find inspiration, or confirm that this either is – or isn’t – the profession for you after reading this article.
Your Projects from Architecture School are Silly
September 4, 2014
Projects in architectural school tend to be somewhat outrageous – designing something to exist on the dark side of the moon isn’t all that unlikely. But what is the point of designing these incredibly odd and silly projects?
Today is a first – I am doing something that I told myself that I would never do … show you one of my projects from architecture school. Why the change of heart? I’m not entirely sure, maybe it’s the presentation I am putting together for a group of freshman architecture students … or maybe it’s because I found some of this stuff during my recent move and I got a good laugh after looking through my work. Anybody who has successfully gone through architectural school and had a little bit of time pass since graduation will tell you; all those awesome projects that you did while you were in school … they’re kind of silly.
[drum roll please …………….]
Architectural Sketching or How to Sketch like Me
April 7, 2014
Ever wished your sketches looked like mine? I didn’t think so but that didn’t stop me from sharing the tips and techniques I use to get my sketches to look the way they do. Architectural sketching is becoming a thing of the past – at least that’s how it seems to me most days. I graduated eons ago back in 1992, back in the days that pre-date computers in the studio. This doesn’t mean that everyone who graduated in my era could sketch – far from it. What it means is that we learned how to think and communicate our ideas slightly different from the product of today’s architecture programs. Now that I’ve been at this “architect” thing for a little while, I can look back at my sketches, all the way back to my time in school, and see how my sketch technique has evolved and how that technique has shaped my architectural solutions.
I don’t know if I am surprised by these or not – but from my standpoint, I am glad to see that there was a wide array of topics covered. Since I try and write the articles on my site so that they appeal to a broad spectrum of interests, I can look at these Top 5 articles and see that there wasn’t one sort of topic over represented. (I am particularly glad to see the pier and beam post on this list, I am always concerned that the job site updates I post might be a little too technical for many of the people who regularly read Life of an Architect.]
I am already starting to formulate ideas for the topics I should cover in 2015 (can you believe it?!?) so if you are a regular around the site here, please let me know if there is something in particular you would like me to cover. I need to keep this interesting or I will probably quit doing it – I’m sure my musing and articles are starting to get a little stale if I’m not careful.
Thanks for dropping by the site – extra thanks if you left a comment and participated in the on-going conversations that take place in the comment section. I don’t take too many opportunities to tell you that I appreciate you … but I do, greatly.
Hope to see you in 2015!