Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to share his architecture and design ideas through speculative projects. His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Slowly and steadily designing the renovation project

Slowly and steadily designing the renovation project

After getting out of the office, I drove downtown to a meeting for the emerging professionals committee’s quarterly meeting, which was held across the street from Larkin Square in Buffalo, NY. Today happened to be food truck Tuesdays where all of the food trucks in Buffalo come together at the plaza and serve amazing food, drinks, and dessert to a crowd of people.

So I quickly drove to one of the free parking lots and was able to grab a parking spot from someone who happened to be leaving. After I parked, I immediately made my way to one of my favorite restaurant’s food truck, Amy’s, and bought a delicious chicken kabab wrap.

With my food in hand, I crossed the street, went to the office, and joined the meeting!

View of Larkin Square Plaza from the meeting room

Getting involved with local organizations

During the meeting, everyone was brought up to date with the most important news from the national counsel and we had a general discussion about ARE 5.0 workshops and workshops to explain the change from IDP to AXP for both unlicensed architects and supervisors. We also spoke about one of the bigger events that we’re planning, which is a workshop to teach emerging professionals the essentials of starting an architecture practice.

Currently, we’re waiting to hear back from the Fellows of the AIA about our application for funding through their grant and we have a good feeling that we’ll be approved. I’m extremely excited about this particular event because we’re planning to bring together a practicing architect who recently started an architecture practice, an attorney to explain the legal side of practice, a marketing professional to discuss important skills in branding, social media, and essential marketing tools, and a financial planner to explain the business side of practice.

Within a 4 or 5 hour day, we’re planning to provide an amazing opportunity to learn from professionals outside of architecture and we’re also offering learning units to the attendees.

I can’t wait to get this started and to learn more about starting an architecture practice! I know that I personally struggle with understanding the legal sides of an architecture practice and I’ll be sure to take lots of notes during the presentation.

Are you planning to start an architecture firm in the future? If so, what area(s) of owning a practice do you think you’ll succeed and struggle in? Let me know in the comments section below!

Designing my friend’s renovation project and multi-tasking

Just like most of my days, I made it back home around 7:15pm and decided to take half an hour to finish eating my sandwich from Amy’s food truck. I didn’t finish it earlier because a few people and myself showed up to the meeting early and I felt bad gobbling away at my food in the conference room in front of everyone else.

Anyhow, I ate my dinner while talking to my girlfriend on the phone, took a shower, loaded the washer with clothes, setup my steamer with vegetables and chicken for lunch, and prepared the rice cooker. By the time all of this was done, it was 8:00pm and I finally sat in front of my computer. On one monitor, I had a Facebook event open with a chat box because my friends and I are planning a mini-vacation later this summer, and the other screen had my friend’s renovation project open in Revit.

Just as a side note, most of the things that I was multi-tasking were unconsciously done because I’ve made most of them a habit. The last two at my computer made it difficult to concentrate on one task at a time, so I ended up spending 10 minutes figuring out the vacation plans and made my friend’s renovation project my priority. For anyone interested in learning a little more about multi-tasking being detrimental to your focus, check out my friend Mike’s blog post on why multi-tasking is actually terrible for you.

Finally by 9:15pm, my laundry was dry, folded, and put away. Facebook was completely closed. My phone was in another room. All that was left was my friend’s renovation project.

So I picked up from where I left off yesterday and focused on designing the studio apartments’ kitchens. My thought was that I should take my remaining time tonight to finalize the design of the next program and work my way from one end of the building to the other.

While designing this kitchen, I had trouble deciding between two different layouts. The first was a simple “L” shaped counter that would run along the bathroom wall and the party wall between the two units. The second, which is the one I decided to go with, was a galley type of kitchen with an island. This would allow people to sit and eat while someone else was preparing the food or cleaning. Although it may seem like a small kitchen, keep in mind that this is for a studio apartment, so there’ll most likely be one or two people living in each apartment.

Studio Apartment Kitchen Design

The next steps for my friend’s renovation project

I’m anticipating that I’ll have about 30 minutes to 1 hour every night to focus all of my attention on designing my friend’s renovation. This project is important for me because it’s for a good friend of mine, so I want to make sure that I move slowly and steadily as I make design decisions.

So my next step will be to add the existing closed fire places to the model in both units, figure out the multi-purpose space that will be used as a living room and bedroom, and storage. I’m already imagining a wall of cabinets for storing clothes, objects, entertainment items such as a television, and perhaps a murphy bed. It’ll be very similar to my 1x30 Micro Dwellings project in New York City.

My only concern with developing both this project and a competition that I’m working on is whether or not I’ll have enough time to focus on each of them every night and weekend. I have a few trips coming up this summer for both work and leisure, so I have to stay focused and plan ahead.

I wonder, what is a typical day for you? What do you usually do after getting out of the office and do you find that you don’t have enough time to do it all? Let me know in the comments section below.

As always, thank you so much for reading and following my on my journey as an architect!


Designing a narrow studio apartment

Designing a narrow studio apartment

Beginning a renovation design for a friend

Beginning a renovation design for a friend