Dwelling on common questions about our profession

A handful of architects had pizza at Lou Malnati’s (River North) a while back at the American Institute of Architects National Convention.  It was a great way to make real connections with a bunch of online friends and colleagues.  We have all been fortifying that real connection by some great interaction since then through social media and getting really pumped up to carry some serious momentum into the 2015 convention.

Architects online meet in Chicago for some real face time and real pizza #AIAcon14

Beginning with THIS post, we are doing a blog thing where we will each be writing about some common questions that people interested in becoming architects ask.  This was organized by Bob Borson at Life of an Architect who invited a handful of others to participate. #ArchiTalks for more. I will edit this post to add links to their answers as they become available.  I hope you enjoy this and take the time to read the different posts.  It will be evident that architecture, while often stereotyped, is a profession that is diverse in opportunity and has plenty of room for all types of people who enjoy creating spaces.


What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as an architect?

Restaurant renovations, residential as-built reconnaissance, hotels and stadium seating movie theatres.


How many projects can you expect to be working on at once?

Two or three large projects with one or two smaller jobs was the most I ever remember having at once.  It is different from firm to firm.


How often did/do you work in a team?

Most of the time I was on a team of three or five others.  That was back in the good ole CADD days…things have changed with BIM.


How important is an innovative mind to the company?

Innovation is something YOU have to make important.  Figure out where the firm has room for innovation.  That is never the title block. NEVER go to your boss with a re-designed title block.


What key things do you look for in potential new hires?

First, a follow-up after sending a resume.  Second, some humility, and realization that they are not  the end all be all savior to our profession.  Third, being willing and able to roll up the sleeves and get down and dirty in to production, model building, post hole digging or whatever will be the learning, creative, productive thing the firm does that day.


How important is diversity to your company?

Diverse teams lead to diverse solutions and design.  Diverse solutions and design are very important at MOD because we believe that each project should reflect the client and their culture or lifestyle.


How big of a role does HR play in your company?

It is a typical role for the small firm…Know and keep up to date on the dos and don’ts and consult an HR specialist if in question to stay out of trouble.


Would you say Architecture is a field for everyone?

No.  It is a field for people who have a giving spirit, a generous demeanor and can barely contain their creative energy.


What is the best asset in your company?

A comfortable and ergonomically correct work space that lets creativity flow.


Describe your best employee in one word?



What style architecture do you love most?

I have a well-rounded taste for architecture.  I like the style that most lifts the spirit.


That was fun.  Thanks Bob!

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT Big Time Small Firm Vlog Entry

Also, check out the answers from my friends, in  order of appearance:

Bob Borson – Life of an Architect  @bobborson on Twitter   Being an Architect

Marica McKeel – Studio MM @ArchitectMM on Twitter  Q+A with a Small Firm Architect

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture @enochsears on Twitter  Life As An Architect

Evan Troxel – Get Method @etroxel on Twitter  11 Questions About Architecture

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect @EntreArchitect on Twitter  11 Big Questions 

Jeff Echols – Architect of the Internet @JeffEchols on Twitter  11 Frequently Asked Questions About Being an Architect

Nicholas Renard – Cote Renard Architecture @coterenard on Twitter  Answers from this Architect

Andrew Hawkins – Hawkins Architecture, Inc. @HawkinsArch on Twitter  Being an Architect: Questions Answered

Lee Calisti – think|architect @LeeCalistit on Twitter  architecture :: eleven questions is less than twenty

Jerimiah Russel – r|one studio @ronestudioarch on Twitter ten plus one is better than eleven plus none