1900s Kit Homes as Architecture Products

What could architecture products look like for a majority of the population? Why do architects consider duplicating the same house designs at different sites to be bad? These are some of the questions that I’ve been debating as I’ve read through catalogs for kit houses from the early 1900’s to the mid 1900’s. During my initial research of my latest topic “Architecture as Product”, I’ve discovered a lot of very interesting marketing schemes and business models for kit houses of the 20th century. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Architecture as Product

After spending several months focusing on my newfound leatherworking hobby, I’m starting to find that my passion for designing architecture is growing. One of the big ideas that I had this week that is leading towards my next 30x30 projects is viewing architecture as products. This idea can go in many directions, so I’ll be dedicating the next few weeks to narrow the idea down. Here’s where I’m going with the architecture as product project.

Facing Early Career Decisions

Every year, I take a week in the summer time to relax with my friends by renting a house, home cooking meals, and spending time together. This year, our theme was “Lake House”, and last week we finally went on this much anticipated vacation. During my time there, I thought about where I started, how far I’ve come, and where I’d like to go with my career as an architect and creative professional. In short, I felt like I was reaching an “early life crisis”. Let me explain.

Focus on Details

When we hear architects and designers talk about details, we imagine all of the smaller components that were meticulously thought through in order to solve a problem and allow a building to function as designed, maintain a specific aesthetic, or differentiate itself from other buildings. Just like architecture, details for products are similar in the way that a designer will zoom into specific components of the product and figure out how it should be made in relation to the adjacent ones and holistically. Here’s what I learned this week by focusing on the details of my latest leather product, a weekend duffle bag.

Patience

Recently, I realized that one of my biggest pitfalls in life has been the lack of patience in pursuing some of my ideas and understanding that the best outcomes usually take the most time. This idea spans from my passion and career in architecture to my newfound hobby in leatherworking. Every time I start a project, I immediately get to work and I come up with an action plan, a timeline, a deadline, and possible ideas to get started. Once I enter the design process, I enter the battle zone where my lack of patience is driven by the deadlines and results that I’m pursuing. This is why I’ve decided to practice patience in everything that I’m working on.

10 Lessons Learned from Construction Administration

Continuing from my post last week on construction experience, I wanted to stay on the topic of construction and offer 10 lessons that I’ve learned through the construction administration process. There’s so much to learn from every project during the construction phase and these lessons will often change with the circumstances that we face. Here are the 10 lessons that I’ve learned this year.

Construction Experience and Young Architects

This year has been the most eventful and educational one for my life as an architect. The biggest contributing factor to my experiences this year has been taking the managing role on a large 12 million dollar renovation project that’s currently in construction. This project is about half of the way to completion and is being fast tracked. After one year of being on this construction project, I’ve become more confident as an architect in all areas of the profession. Here’s why I believe construction experience is important for all young architects.

2018 Update On My 30x30 Projects

About two and a half years ago, I started on my 5 year journey to design 30 projects by the time I turned 30. Over that amount of time, I’m excited that in retrospect, I can see the lineage of all of my completed projects as well as the growth of my life as a designer. From being an architect who focused solely on designing the built environment to now pivoting and exploring the world of product design, I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn about myself and the world of design. Now that I’m half way through my timeline, I’d like to reflect on the projects that I’ve done so far and take you down memory lane.

Never Stop Creating

As I continue in my career as an architect and product designer, I often find myself designing and creating things without second thought. This is likely due to the way that I’ve trained myself to push through moments of doubt and uncertainty with my projects. You know, those days when we keep trying to imagine a design in our minds or through hard lining in a BIM or CAD software and we seemingly get nowhere? To avoid this vicious cycle, I often revert to hand sketching and/or physically making something without doubting myself and criticizing my ideas. Check out some of the products that I designed and handmade this week for Mars Leather Company.

Why Prototyping is Important

No matter how hard we try to design something perfectly, there are always so many factors that will affect the final outcome of our projects. Therefore, it’s important that we take a moment to sketch, talk, and make prototypes of our designs to ensure that it meets its functional and aesthetic requirements. Through this process, we often realize that we forgot an important element and made minor errors that need to be corrected. Here’s what I learned from prototyping my first leather iPad sleeve.