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 032

Newsletter 032

This week, my focus has been on developing the design and Revit model for the ground floor of the NYC Net Zero Public Housing Project. Just like any architecture project, I faced several programmatic layout and façade design issues on the ground floor of the building. Here are my architectural design resolutions for these issues.

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

1. Lesson of the week – To network is to make friends

Ever since I was young, I always felt awkward at events and gatherings where I didn’t know anyone in the room. My eyes would wander, I’d go grab a drink and a plate of food, and stand by myself in the corner thinking about how I could start a conversation with someone else.

However, once I entered my Junior year of architecture school, I began attending more events and finding a general interest in meeting and learning as much as I could about people at the event. I would set a goal to meet several people, have a fun and engaging conversation to learn all about them, and walk away with the ability to tell someone else about them as if I were telling a story.

This week, I attended a local event for young professionals on developing skills for networking and learned so much about first impressions and having conversations with new people. After the seminar, I realized that my approach to meeting new people and having engaging conversations about their lives, not just about their occupation, helped me make new friends and develop everlasting friendships.

As architects, we all face moments where our nerves get the best of our introverted selves at any networking event. The best advice that I can give is to stop before entering a room, take a deep breath, straighten up, tell yourself you’re meeting your future friends, and enter the room ready to meet new people!

2. Best moment of the week – Attending a workshop on creating a personal budget

Over the past month, I’ve been signing up for workshops on entrepreneurship and personal finances so that I could learn more about saving money for the future and leading a successful business in the 21st century. This week, I attended a workshop on creating a personal budget along with about 20 other attendees. During the presentation, a slide came up that gave an example of a 30 year old person who earned “X” amount of dollars per year, put “Y” percent of their income towards their 401k, and owed “Z” amount of dollars in student loans.

The moment that slide went up on the screen, you could hear most of the people in the room groaning and saying that the person in the example was lucky for owing only “Z” amount of dollars in student loans and being able to earn “X” amount of dollars per year. Seeing the example and hearing the groans gave me a sense of ease and made me feel good about my financial status in life. I’m currently earning and investing more into my 401k than the person in the example and we owe relatively the same amount of money.

Best of all, I learned so much about investing money and the value of saving in the short, medium, and long term! Although I always feel like I’m falling behind others in my age range, attending events like this helps me realize that I’m doing great.

3. What I’m currently watching – Al Gore’s Climate Change TED Talk

While browsing through TED, I saw so many new recommended videos and decided to watch Al Gore’s talk on climate change from 2016. He gave another TED talk about a decade ago where he gave a very compelling presentation on the global climate change crisis and pushed everyone to aid in our battle against it. In this recent TED talk, Gore gave another compelling presentation with statistics on how much renewable energy we were utilizing in 2002 and went on to explaining where we are today. Check out his TED talk here.

4. 30x30 Project Update – Designing the ground floor of the Net Zero NYC Affordable Housing Project

This week, I focused on finalizing the design of the apartments in the Net Zero NYC Affordable Housing project. After finalizing the design of all apartments, I began designing the ground floor of the building and ran into several design issues. One was deciding on a program for the backside of the building on the ground floor, which was solved with the decision to have additional apartments.

Another issue was deciding on the type of public programs that would be placed along the street in front of the building and whether or not the concrete and glass façade would extend down to the ground floor. I’ve decided to put a fashion boutique store as well as a bookstore on the ground floor of the building because it would relate to the education taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which is located directly across the street. The bookstore would become a neighborhood destination that would sell both new and used books.

My goal for the upcoming week is to design the interior layouts of the public areas on the ground floor as well as the reflected ceiling plan for every floor. Once this is complete, it’ll be time to set materials and views to render the project!

Newsletter 033

Newsletter 033

Newsletter 031

Newsletter 031