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.

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Newsletter 035

Most people, including myself, have dreams that they’re hoping will come true in their future. At some point in our lives, we decide it’s the right time to take action and work towards these dreams one step at a time. My first step towards realizing my dream was creating an initial budget for my architecture firm and creating a list of things holding me back from pursuing this dream. Here's what my startup budget looks like and the fears that I have to overcome.

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

1. Lesson of the week – When you have momentum, don’t stop

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been simultaneously working on several architecture projects all with close deadlines. Once I completed the NYC Net Zero Housing project and submitted it to a competition, I immediately started working on my good friend’s restaurant and apartment project and finalized the schematic design by the deadline. Now, I’m focusing on my second round of submissions for the Amsterdam Light Festival

To say the least, I’ve built a habit of steadily working on multiple projects at the same time. In the past, I would’ve slowed down and told myself that I deserved a vacation to relax before jumping into the next project. Whenever I did this, it would take a long time to get back in the mood to work on projects. To put it simply, I would lose focus during my short break, rebuild my habit and momentum, then repeat this cycle.

This time, I decided to simultaneously develop multiple projects so that I could have a constant workflow of architecture. If I decide to take short breaks, I brainstorm ideas for more projects, ideas for starting an architecture firm, or read a book. This has strengthened my good habits of focusing on my ideas and projects and dedicating time to cooking food, exercising, and hanging out with my loved ones.

2. Best moment of the week – Traveling to New Mexico

If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen multiple time lapse videos, aerial photographs of mountains, and lots of food! This week, I traveled with my girlfriend, Andrea, to Albuquerque, NM so that she could give a seminar to the researchers over at Sandia National Laboratories. I tagged along on this trip to see the area and experience a new culture.

So far, the trip has been fantastic and filled with food adventures and drives around the city. To my surprise, Albuquerque is a car dominated city where highways are the main connection between multiple locations. Although I don’t like the urban plan of Albuquerque, the food has been great and the adobe architecture is beautiful. I’m learning a lot from visiting places, talking to locals, and spending time in coffee shops reading or writing.

As architects, traveling is a necessity because it allows us to see different types of architecture and construction that could be used as a basis for future designs. During my time here in New Mexico, I’ve already started developing ideas for using mass as a thermal regulator in future designs!

3. What I’m currently reading – Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

One of my favorite people to follow online is Tony Robbins who has written multiple books on finances and constantly has seminars all over the world. On the day that Robbins released his new book, Unshakeable, I drove straight to Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy for myself. During my flight to New Mexico, I read through half of the book and learned so much about finances and how to be an intelligent investor. He explains the importance of having investments and how to stay strong through dramatic market drops. I highly recommend this book to all millennials and younger generations who don’t know anything about investing and don’t want to spend the time learning about investing and the markets.

4. 30x30 Project Update – Finalized the schematic design for 5x30 – Restaurant and Apartments

One of my ongoing projects is the restaurant and apartment renovations for my good friend. We’re putting together a package to send to the national parks services for review for historic tax credits. This process will take some time, so we’ve done our best with our historic preservation consultants to put together a compelling design package. Our hope is that our design package will be approved and the project will move into design development in the next two months!

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Newsletter 036

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