Monday, January 10, 2011

Onward & Upward

22:06 - My little blogger blog is moving!  Because finally I figured out how to use Wordpress as my website platform.  From this day forward I will be blogging from here:

Or for those of you who would like to cut and paste:


14:52 - Anyone out there want to buy me one of Edgar Medina's paintings, pretty please?  I saw one at the Langford Market in Austin that made my heart skip a beat, and it continues to do so every time I think about it.  At 285 dollars it is something I will have to save for, so hopefully it doesn't get to go home with someone!  Although there are plenty of other beautiful paintings to view on his website, I couldn't find the one I really liked.  It was a vivid mix of lilac purple, teal, and golden yellow and I thought the name of it was "Cavern."  The colors he uses make my mouth water!

Here's a little about Mr. Medina:

At an early age I learned to never take anything for granted.  At birth I was diagnosed with a serious lung disease, which meant many childhood days of confinement to a hospital room in Tamaulipas, Mexico.  During this time my parents introduced me to the world of creative art, which provided me with a great strength and solace.  From crayons and coloring books to painting on canvas,  I  realized  I possessed a natural talent for artistic expression, a passion that continues to grow in me.
       My paintings are considered contemporary abstracts, they are rich in texture, culture, color and my signature style with the use of the palette.  They reflect a fusion of both Mexican and American cultures.  Allowing the combination of my environment and its abstraction to fulfill my art to create a uniqueness in each of my paintings. From the beginning, it has been a journey for me to get to this point, feeling confidence in my work, learning from my mistakes as a self taught artist, and discovering new techniques. The value in my struggle, is the final composition of my artwork.
            What first inspired me to become and artist was my love for arts in general and my innate talent to paint.  I started visiting museums, art galleries, and exhibits, learning about different artists and their techniques. This led me to start working on a canvas and I found that painting was an outlet to express my inner emotions and thoughts. This was the birth of a new passion for me.  I always knew I had talent to draw, but felt I needed polishing.  Since then I have taken art appreciation classes this past spring, where I became rooted to understand the very meaning of my own compositional work.   


11:55 - For the next two weeks, starting this morning, Martin will be in the field again.  Then he will come home for a week (or weekend) and leave for a leaders training course in California for a week.  Then for the entire month of March he'll be at Fort Irwin, California again for NTC.  Seriously Army?  I am so sick of expecting him never to be home.  Check got it, he deploys for a year at a time but let him be at home when he's "at home." 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Business Planning For Dum Dums

16:40 - After reading about the "death of the architectural profession" yesterday and realizing that many architects do not bill by the hour, I thought up my own little business plan.  Sure it is probably missing a lot of important things that I just don't know about yet but the bones are there.  My point of reference was how we operate at BTHI.

Images by Megan Manion

Divine Intervention

16:28 - Oh me, oh have to see my latest blog obsession!  The Vamoose!  I am continually amazed by all the creative people out there in the world.  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Can This Be True?? (And it isn't the first time I've heard this argument.)

14:33 - From the blog Archi Alternative

Actually I think the architectural profession is dying. The sad part is architects and their special committees have done it to themselves in my opinion. Potential new architects like myself can now easily come up with the deduction of becoming an engineer instead. Considering I don’t see many perks to being an architect nor do I see the terrible pay per work ratio worth it. I have decided to not pursue an architectural degree or license. I would rather become a creative engineer.
* I can develop and design buildings with out an architect’s signature or seal.
* I can easily obtain customers over an architect because they will readily know what I am liable for.
* I have the choice of making my level of commitment of how involved I want to be with a project instead of taking it on or not which still provides me income on those projects I could care less about.
* I’ll invest less money and time going into an engineering field than being an architect and I will get a better chance of an education that will help me succeed also
* If I don’t like one discipline of engineering I can simply change disciplines with in 2 years of schooling
* I will get paid about 2x as much money
* I will spend 1/2 the time an architect does on a project unless I am designing the overall project also which gives me more time to have a family, friends and a personal life
On that rare occasion I do need an architect’s signature and seal I can simply purchase it like anything else in life. After all what are they really legally liable for again? I honestly can’t see very many liabilities that are not either over lapped or completely taken over by other professionals involved in the project. Comparing an architect with a structural engineer when a building fails to stand up properly is a perfect example of this. People don’t chase down the architect they go hunt down the engineers and contractors instead.
I honestly can’t see even one benefit that isn’t severely offset at all for being an architect. Most of the time the actual person doing the designing of the actual project isn’t even getting credit for the design either. So why even invest the time and money towards it? I feel they have successfully killed their own profession and the liability part of the equation is only one aspect of it. When you put all of the other pieces in place it only gets worse.
Bravo, Chris. My third “Why” I will dedicate to you. Your last paragraph basically sums up our pathetic efforts to answer few simple questions…
P.S. Don’t be shy, you get only x2 much money? You’re cheap then… ;) Once I had a dinner with our consultant (we were on a business trip, we had few drinks and got loose) so we calculated his ratio of “efforts+time / fees” against architectural proportions. He was around 4 times more efficient in terms of money making. And he was not the most expensive guy I’ve seen around.

Chris, thank you for pointing out why the process to become an architect is so difficult – it’s to weed out people like you with no passion or compassion for the job. You say you can do just as good as an engineer? Bullshit. Your buildings will be even more apathetic, sterile and antiseptic than the worst hack architect out there. Sure you’ll make a little more money, but your “designs” will speak for themselves and after a couple projects no one in their right mind would let you near their project to do anything more than what is expressly allowed by law for whatever current engineering “specialty” you happen to be practicing.
Should architects be compensated for the level of work they do? Yes. Do we need wide sweeping changes in the profession on the issue of compensation and liability? Yes. Should we follow the idiotic advice of someone like you? No. In college you were the guy sitting to the left AND right of me at orientation when they said “get a good look, cause they won’t be there at graduation”. Being an architect is something to aspire to, not sneer at. You don’t see any benefit because you have no passion for the profession, so I’ll ask you to hippity hop to the barber shop with that shit and leave the real designing to us.

This has been very entertaining.

As a side not: I am DYING to get into an architecture firm just to see how the business aspect works.  I've been lucky enough to see how a small interior design firm operates but there are gaps in my knowledge regarding the architecture field.  

"I honestly believe that is we were able to transition to a fee system based upon billing for hours spent versus fixed or percentage based fees, we would be in better shape."  (here)

This is interesting because we do bill by the hours spent working/designing at BTHI, it begins at the In-Home Consultation on day one.  We create a design proposal and determine how many hours in the design studio it will take to complete the project.  Then multiple that by $50.00 an hour and bam you have the Design Fee.  Is this not how it works at Architecture Firm X?  
12:32 - More room interior sketches from work.

All drawings and images by Megan Manion