Navigating Technological Change in Architectural Practice

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Starting somewhere in the 1980’s with 2D CADD software on mini and microcomputers, through the internet, worldwide web, 3D modeling and simulation, BIM, and, more recently, artificial intelligence, fast changing technology has often disoriented architectural practice and potentially threatened it both economically, but even existentially.

Power of Ten Design


Architectural design can be thought in terms of multiple levels or “altitudes.” Up close is the building itself, its walls, roof, doors. Further back is the building’s physical context, and further back still – with the building now out of direct site – might be its symbolic context or the role it plays in the larger society. All of these views are interdependent.

Palm Springs

Welcome To Palm Springs

What is the allure of a 110 degree suburbia? Is it post war exuberance? An act of defiance against climate and logic? Is it a statement of democracy and free will? Sunstroke? Isn’t it a little bit weird?

A Humanist Architect

Sugarloaf 1st Floor

I am an architect, and I think of myself as a humanist. There are many definitions of humanist (it makes sense that there would be), but among the shortest I have found is “an approach to life based on reason and our common humanity, recognizing that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone.” As a self-defined humanist, I tend to accept people as they see themselves, assume they know more or less what is best for them, and do what little I can to help them along their way.

Architectural Quotes

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling by Joseph Karl Stieler

Architecture is frozen music. Frederic von Schelling: Philosophie der Kunst This is part of a personal collection of what others have said about architecture. Profound, cynical or silly, it is relevant to me; perhaps it will be for you as well. It is in no particular order and I will share from time to time. […]

Joining the AI…ehhhh

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Image: Vintage Drafting tools, copyright Adobe Stock/Grigory I am a loyal, frustrated, enthusiastic, passive member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). I watch it commit tactical errors, abandon initiatives, be fleeced by corporate sponsors (full disclosure: I was one such sponsor in a past career), and generally spend too much time looking in the […]

The Building Is Alive!

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Mark Twain said of his Connecticut home: “To us, our house was not insentient matter — it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace […]

What is Architecture? A Collection of Quotations, Part I

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From time to time, I add to a personal collection of what others have said about architecture. Profound, cynical or silly, it is relevant to me; perhaps it will be for you as well.  -David Marlatt, AIA Architecture is life, or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest […]

Architect Lexicon: Challenge

Lexicon Blog header

CHALLENGE. OPPORTUNITY. OBSTACLE. We often say that we don’t like problems, but, in fact, we can’t live without them. More precisely, we can’t make a living without them. Problems are so important, that architects (most professions, actually) have three words for them. Challenge: Any problem before it has been analyzed. “Well, Ms Jones, razing a […]

DNM Architecture is Part of the 2030 AIA Commitment.

Lycee Francais First Floor Plan

Becoming a 2030 signatory is a commitment to addressing one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and becoming a leader in fighting climate change.  According to AIA surveys, 2030 signatories are more likely to value energy efficiency and to use energy modeling than other architects. We are also more likely than their peers […]