Sunday, February 14, 2010

Start of Week 16

From the comments I am getting, I can tell there are a fair number of people reading this blog. This is great. It wasn't my original goal to be so public with it. Rather, the purpose was to let a few family members share our experience through pictures and simple explanations of what was happening each week. With the expanded readership, I'll add some things occasionally that give you a deeper background about the decision-making process.

My intent is to keep the tone of the essays straightforward. Hopefully you'll also learn a few things about design and construction through our experience.

I am by no-means a technical person. This renovation project is a learning experience for me and I freely admit that fact. There will no doubt be a few naive comments of mine that will make the contractor cringe.

The vast majority of my 30 years of experience as an Architect has been as a designer and project manager. Both roles rely on others to fill in the technical needs of a project. My job is primarily to communciate and educate. To be successful as a designer or project manager, one must connect to clients and co-workers with words and visuals that they can understand.

Some of my unofficial duties at work are educational in nature. Each winter for the past 7 years, I've hosted an Explorer group of high school students who are interested in Architecture and Interior design. Most have had no exposure whatsoever with the design process. Our meetings introduce them to basic concepts that all designers confront such as scale, color, form, and structure.

It is always my preference to have some of our design-leaning interns deliver parts of the program. Our interns are closer in age to the students and also need some experience presenting in front of groups. Few of the high-schoolers are confident enough to speak up, so we introduce the night's subject matter with images, then give them a hands-on project to explore the topic. As with every project in real life, there is an opportunity to present their work.

Two of our meetings will be field trips to see a project under construction. The first of these will be a visit to our Riverside house on Saturday, February 27. It seemed logical to volunteer our house renovation for this purpose. Construction should be early enough for everyone to see what is behind the walls - but far enough along to comprehend the design. As much as I've cronicled the project through the blog, I should have no trouble preparing things to tell them.

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