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.

My Journey to an Online Retail Company

If you’ve been following me over the past 5 weeks, you’ve probably been wondering, “Why is this architect’s blog focusing so much on handmade leather goods?” I know it might be confusing for many of my followers and I’m excited to finally share one of the biggest projects of my life with you in this post; starting my first online retail company whose focus is handmade leather goods. Without further ado, let me take you through my journey of taking my hobby, officially starting a business in New York State, and starting my online shop.

Inspired by Leather Working

After several months of dabbling in leather working and focusing the entire month of April 2018 on hand making 100 leather wallets, it’s about time for me to share my story of how an architect was inspired by the craft of leather working. Here's my story of how I found my passion for leather working.

Finishing my 100 Leather Wallet Goal

At the beginning of April, I set out on a goal to pursue my latest hobby that is now becoming an official online retail store. My goal was simple; design and hand make 100 leather wallets by the end of April 2018. The moment this goal was set, I started cutting my leather sides into the various pieces that would come together to make each leather wallet. I’m excited to say that I’ve been able to finish all 100 leather wallets before the end of the month. Here’s how they look and what I learned along the way!

Nearing the end of 100 Leather Wallets

Having one goal for the month of April has been a fantastic way for me to stay focused and to continue learning the craft of leather making. Over the past week, I finished stitching all 100 wallets and reached a fork in the road which was whether I would finish the edges by burnishing it or leave it natural and raw. Here’s what I decided and how far these leather wallets have come.

Starting my 100 Leather Wallet Challenge

As some of my projects come to an end, others are just beginning including project 20x30 which is designing and making 100 leather wallets. I know this isn’t an architecture project, but my journey so far has helped me realize my passion for design and leather making. After designing and constructing several leather bags late last year, I decided to take my leather making hobby to a new level. To pursue this newfound passion, I’ve set out to design and make 100 leather wallets by the end of April 2018. Here’s where I am after two weeks of hard work!

Starting the Unpacking Design Podcast

After months of planning, discussing, and diving head first into the world of podcasting, my good friend, Mike LaValley from Evolving Architect, and I just released the first 3 episodes of our new podcast, Unpacking Design. We came up with the idea to start a podcast together during one of our mastermind sessions and as we talked about what it could be, we narrowed it down to a general idea and turned on the microphones. Here’s what you can expect and where you can find the Unpacking Design Podcast.

Completing the High End Residence Project

Over the past week, I’ve been working hard to finish up project 17x30 the High End Residence project in Buffalo, NY. By focusing at least two hours every day, I was able to take the project from the point of final design to final graphics and complete the project! It’s been a week full of long nights and many moments of wanting to stop and take a break, but I made it through to the end and I can start focusing on my next project! Here’s how the project came together.