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Lonely Mentor

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Lonely Mentor

Howdy, It has been a while since we published a post around here, but it is time once again for an #Architalks blog post. For those of you who don’t already know, Architalks is a monthly (I sometimes miss a month or two) coordinated blog post. A fair amount of Architectural type people from around the globe write on the same topic at the same time. This month's topic is “mentorship”. Take a look at the end of the post for links to a lot of other really great thoughts on what mentorship means to architects.

First, I want to give a little bit of background for anyone who doesn’t know the full bureaucracy that needs to be penetrated to become a licensed architect. After going to college for some number of years, (for me it was some number plus a few) would be architects then go get a job in a firm where they begin to learn a lot more about what architects do day to day. Here is a little hint, there is a lot paperwork. In this time after college and before getting licensed dutiful candidates are highly encouraged to get a “mentor”. Having never been one for formality (and I thought it would be a strange conversation) I never walked up to a person and said

“Will you be my mentor?”

Maybe I missed out on something by not creating this more formal arrangement, but until I talk to the me in an almost parallel universe that did ask for a mentor I will never know.

All of that said, I have had, and still have, many folks who teach me about what it means to be a good architect and a good human, at least for now I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. I started to write a list of different folks who have taught me valuable lessons, but the list was getting too long and I am sure I was forgetting people. So I will just say that there have been many who have taught me about how buildings are built, how to make sure that the architect and contractor are on the same team, and how sometimes you have to swallow your pride and admit that you have made a mistake and start figuring out how to resolve it.

Now a days I am making my way as a sole practitioner with a home office, but most of my life in architecture has been in pretty decent sized firms. Now some days the SOLE is more solitary than others. In getting mentally prepped to write this post I have been reminded how I miss those informal mentor relationships. There isn’t someone I can turn around to and discuss the intricacies of a particular flashing detail. My family loves me, but they REALLY hate discussing the building code. In fact, most of the time their eyes glaze over and I don’t even think they are listening. But I also miss the other side of the coin. I enjoy teaching, not enough to try and be a professor or anything, but kinda the mentor type of teaching. In the last firm I worked I had become someone who could be asked regarding software questions, and I normally had an answer. It was nice to help.

After searching and thinking about mentorship for this topic I have determined that in my current stage I need to make a lot more active effort to put myself in a position to be a mentor and to be mentored. I don't know exactly how that will play out (probably not asking "won't you be my mentor"), but I know that it is my responsibility to make sure that I won't be a lonely mentor.

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
This is NOT Mentorship

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: Mentorship

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Mentors, Millennials and the Boomer Cliff

Mark R. LePage - EntreArchitect (@EntreArchitect)
Influence

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
ArchiTalks: Mentorship

Collier Ward - One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Mentorship

Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
teach them the way they should go: #architalks

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Bad Mentor, Good Mentor

Stephen Ramos - BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
The Top 3 Benefits for Architects to Mentor and to be Mentored

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
I've got a lot to learn

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Gurus, Swamis, and Other Architectural Guides

Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Mentoring with Anecdotes vs. Creating a Culture of Trust

Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Why every Aspiring Architect needs SCARs

Nisha Kandiah - ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Mentorship : mend or end ?

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Mentor5hip is...

Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
My Mentor

Tim Ung - Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
5 Mentors that are in my life

Mark Stephens - Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Mentorship

Gabriela Baierle-Atwood - Gabriela Baierle-Atwood (@gabrielabaierle)
On Mentorship

Ilaria Marani - Creative Aptitude (@creaptitude)
Mentorship

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What's Your Style?

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What's Your Style?

What’s your style? Very few questions elicit the same angst for this architect. Even to write the word sends shivers down my spine.

This month's #architalks topic is “style”. If you didn’t already know, Architalks is a group of coordinated blog posts. There are a bunch of incredibly talented architects that each write their thoughts about a specific topic.  It is amazing to see the variety of thought that exists among architects. Check out the links at the bottom of the post to read some of the other thoughts on this topic.

I have been asked “what is your style?” many times. The honest answer is I don't know. Maybe it is because (in architect years) I am young. Many architects don't really have a personal style until near the end of their career. It also might be because I really don't like to apply labels. Especially self applied labels. Labels have the power to remove all of the nuance from a project. Any they also just tend to be another piece of jargon.

Far and away the most confusing style label is “modern”. Strangely “modern design” was a self determined label from nearly 50+ years ago. But, at the same time, the actual definition of the word is “relates to the present time”. So the more time that passes the less modem “modern architecture” becomes. Really strange. Among the intelligentsia the word used for present architecture is “contemporary”. Hopefully that word always means current and at some time in the future people with the benefits of hindsight can apply a label to early 21st century design, if they must.

When forced to think about style  (like for this post) my definition for style is a group of buildings that have responded to similar context in a similar way. The Native American teepee was what it was because there were thousands of factors that dictated it be exactly that. I love learning about the unique conditions that caused a particular set of design responses to evolve. The origins of style are almost always rooted in the environment where the style originated. From there inevitably culture and fashion coop the aesthetic. Then after the passage of time you are left with a style.

All of this is just a really long (and soapboxy) way to say that when we, at di’velept, place a significantly higher premium on responding to environmental and programmatic factors than on achieving a specific style. There is serious beauty in simply solving the those difficult problems.


Now, take a few minutes to check out some of these other posts on style. I am sure they are going to be great.

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/style-do-i-have-any/

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
style...final words

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
The AREsketches Style

Collier Ward - One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Name That Stile!

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
Style

brady ernst - Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
What Style Do You Build In?

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
You do you

Michael LaValley - Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Defining an Architect's Style

Greg Croft - Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Architectural Style

Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Should You Pick Your Architect Based on Style or Service?

Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
5 Styles of an Aspiring Architect

Kyu Young Kim - J&K Architects Atelier (@sokokyu)
Loaded With Style

Nisha Kandiah - ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Regression or Evolution : Style

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Stylized Hatred

Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
What's in a Style?

Mark Stephens - Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Architectalks 23 - Style

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UTAH = JELLO

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UTAH = JELLO

For a brief moment, this post was going to be about mashed potatoes. It is the item that I am asked to make most often for large meals. And I LOVE MASHED POTATOES. But then I realized there are two problems.

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Define First

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Define First

This month on #architalks the topic is "first project". This makes me question how do you define first. Well, for me it all started with cows.

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