Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Newsletter 029

Newsletter 029

For the past three weeks, I’ve been brainstorming and reading books/articles on sustainable architecture so that I could learn more about high efficiency construction technology and materials in the 21st century. While researching high efficiency architecture and design, I’ve come across several materials and design ideas that will influence my 30x30 architecture projects for 2017. Learn more about them in this post!

Now, without further ado, here is this week’s Friday Four!

1. Lesson of the week – Ask for opportunities to work on things that no one else wants to work on

As a young architect, there are many things that I still have to learn and skills that I need to develop for leading a practice. One of the ways that I find opportunities at my firm of employment is by asking the project managers and principals at the firm to be put on projects that will allow me to learn specific skills like writing specifications and addendums for bidding.

I’ve found that many project managers and principals are more than willing to pass on opportunities in these areas of architecture. For example, the moment I asked about addendums and if I could help a project manager put one together for a project that’s out for bid, there was a laugh, pause, then a statement along the lines of, “be careful what you wish for” and my response of “I’d love to learn and help, so let’s talk about it!”

Although these areas of architecture sound boring and full of words that very few people will ever read, it’s paramount to our work as architects and we have to make sure that we provide a complete and clear set of drawings, project manuals, contracts, and construction administration to our clients.

No matter where you are in the corporate ladder, it’s always good to offer and ask for help on projects. Most of all, never stop learning.

2. Best moment of the week – Going to an estate sale

Whenever I have the opportunity to attend a local estate sale, I generally attend with the intent of exploring the lives of the people who lived in that particular house. This weekend, Andrea and I attended an estate sale in a prominent neighborhood and explored the various collections of the owner. From furniture layout to interior décor, the house was beautiful and filled with objects – each representing a different time in the owner’s life.

After walking through the house, we decided to purchase a white couch that was beautifully designed and well maintained. We believe, as do our friends who helped us transport this heavy couch, that it was custom fabricated by the Kittinger Furniture company, who hand makes furniture for the White House.

All in all, two hours of exploring this estate sale led to several discoveries in home design, layout, and décor as well as a negotiated purchase of a one of a kind couch.

3. What I’m currently reading – Sustainable: Houses with Small Footprints by Avi Friedman

About a year ago, I came across the book Sustainable: Houses with Small Footprints by Avi Friedman when I was at the library and I skimmed through the beginning of each chapter. I finally decided to purchase the book and read it this week. The book was a very broad overview of several sustainable practices and showcased houses that implemented these particular design strategies in their projects. Overall, it was a good refresher for passive design strategies. This book was written for the general public, so if you’re an architect who has background knowledge of basic passive design strategies, I don’t suggest purchasing this book.

4. 30x30 Project Update – Preliminary research for this year’s projects is complete

With this year’s 30x30 projects’ focus on positive energy architecture, I’ve been reading books and articles on 21st century sustainable architecture, materials, and technologies. My hope is to learn as much as I can about these materials from their energy performance to potential cost benefits. As I start brainstorming ideas for project 2x30 – net positive housing in Buffalo, NY, I’ll continue researching more materials and construction technologies.

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Newsletter 030

Newsletter 028

Newsletter 028