Architect Lexicon: Challenge

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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 […]

What Is Architecture?

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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 add to it from time to time. -DNM Architecture: the art of building in which human requirements and construction materials are related so as to furnish practical use as well […]

The Value of an Architect

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Through education, training and experience, an architect is the one professional person who is equipped to guide you through the design, permitting and construction of a building or renovation project. Unlike other specialized professionals (that may also be needed) such as structural engineers, mechanical engineers, geotechnical engineers, an architect is trained to be a generalist, […]

200 Years Ago, and Architects Were Already Cynical!

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In 1806, Benjamin Henry Latrobe wrote to Robert Mills,  “The profession of architecture has been hitherto in the hands of two sets of men. The first of those [gentlemen] who from traveling or from books have acquired some knowledge of the theory of the art, know nothing of its practice, the second of those [mechanics] […]

Distinguishing Profession From Business

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Recently, I was reminded of a good article by Richard Farson, a former AIA Public Director, from arcCA, the journal of the AIA California Council. The paragraph that resonated most with me – and should with any professional – is (emphasis is mine): “(The AIA) has to make a distinction as to whether architecture is […]

Creativity, Beauty, and Morality

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Creativity, Beauty, and Morality are the three standards by which every work of art – including architecture – should be evaluated.  To understand and apply these standards, however, we must also understand a basic premise of art: nothing is created from nothing. Every seemingly original work has a context and is derived from some preceding […]