Making a Leather Tote Bag

Back in October 2017, I set out on a new adventure with my life and blog to explore the world of leatherworking. Looking back at the original blog post where I shared some photographs of the steps that I took to make the tote bag, I realized how far my leatherworking abilities have come and decided it was time to update this blog post. Here’s a short guide to how I make leather tote bags for Mars Leather Company.

The Last Project

As I brainstorm the last project for the 30x30 series that I set out on with Journey of an Architect 3 years ago, there’s a bittersweet feeling that crosses my mind and quite honestly, my soul. When I embarked on this journey, I never thought I would find so many other passions in my life; writing, product design/craft, podcasting, and reading. So what will the last project for the 30x30 series be? Let’s start with what I’ve accomplished and my vision for where I want to be.

Three Tiers of Prefabrication

In the 21st century, architects often talk about prefabricated buildings as large assemblies of the final construction that are delivered to the project site, craned into position, and finished on site. However, there are different tiers of prefabrication that start from individual parts that come together into a component and eventually combined into an assembly that becomes the final product. Having a deeper understanding of the term “prefabrication” will allow us to utilize more efficient methods of building and shift the preconceived notion behind the terminology. Let me explain.

Young Architects and Our Journey Through Debt

As young architects, a majority of us graduate from architecture school and enter the workforce with substantial amounts of debt. A majority of us are faced with earning at or less than the average salary as starting architects. In hopes of changing the perception of the younger generation as being entitled and selfish, here's how debt cripples a majority of new architecture graduates entering the workforce in the 21st century.

Refocusing the Blog

In early 2016, I started Journey of an Architect and jumped right into designing 30 theoretical projects to refine my design process, find my style of architecture, and eventually start a practice of my own. A little more than two years after starting this blog, I’ve completed 27 projects and diverged into product design and writing. Slowly, but surely, this blog is turning into more than I ever envisioned it would be and it’s time for me to redesign and refocus Journey of an Architect.

Sustainable Modular Home Precedent

An architect that I’ve recently discovered and have been fascinated by is Michelle Kaufmann who wrote a book called prefab green. This book focuses on Kaufmann’s vision to design sustainable modular houses that the middle class can afford. As part of my research for my 28th project of my 30x30 series that focuses on kit houses, Kaufmann’s work is influential in the way that she deconstructed the kit house model and redesigned it based on the standards of the 21st century. Here’s what I’ve learned about the possibilities of a 21st century prefabricated house.

Eames House as a Modern Kit House

Recently, I borrowed a book called Eames House: Charles and Ray Eames (Architecture in Detail) by James Steele, which gave an overview of the case study house project and the development of case study house 8 (AKA Eames House). My fascination with the Eames House is the simplicity of its design, use of off the shelf products, and the estimated cost per square foot based on a quick Google search. After reading this book, I have some doubts about the cost estimate and some encouraging ideas for the kit house of the next century. Here’s a quick overview of what I’ve learned about the Eames House.

Buying My Latest Computer for Architecture

After a great 8 years of using a desktop computer that I pieced together, the time finally came when the computer just couldn’t handle the architecture and design projects anymore. It was tired. Worn out. Checked out. So, as fate would have it, I had to go out and search for my next computer to conquer the world of architecture and product design. Then came the age old question. What computer should I get to run my architecture programs and Netflix simultaneously, side by side?

From the First Kit House to the First Starchitect Kit House

Why were the initial kit houses developed in the world? Where were these kit houses delivered and built? One of the best books that I began to read this week called Prefab Houses by Arnt Cobbers and Oliver Jahn gives a great primer on the evolution of kit houses over time. Starting with the first one that we have documentation for, this research is beginning to reveal more ideas and purposes of the kit house idea. Here’s why the initial kit houses were developed in the world and some interesting facts about one of the first star architect developed kit houses.