Professional Practice

New Year, New Business

New year, new beginnings. I am excited to announce the launch of my own architecture practice in Austin, Texas.  Watch this webspace – Architecture By George is officially open for business! I have submitted my resignation at work and I am wrapping things up in the chapter of my life titled ’employee architect’.  Over the last 16 years, I’ve had many titles – Intern, Architectural Intern, Intern Architect, Project Manager, Project Architect, Lead Architect, Senior Architect, Director of Architecture, in that order. As fancy as the title “Director of Architecture” sounds and is, and as many opportunities, responsibilities, and authority it has given...

Work = 1/3 Life #Architalks

Three-day weekends with no particular plans are the best!  I didn’t clean out the garage like I planned. But I feel refreshed and revived. Burnout averted! Note: The following is how (the-about-to-burnout) I was going to start this post about work/life. Whoever came up with a 40-hour workweek, or particularly an 8-5 work schedule, had no responsibilities other than to one’s self, no kids nor a commute, but was a single-minded workaholic who was cutting the rest of us a lot of slack! There are, after all, 168 hours in a week, and man only needs 8 hours a...

Check your bias blind spot #EQxDGetReal

It starts at the very beginning – girls vs. boys The societal problem became crystal clear to me when I had my first child.  All the pink toys, princess dolls, and kitchen sets screamed – GENDER BIAS.  At first, it was just an interesting observation, harmless really, compared to some other egregious offenses.  But it’s not so benign, is it?   A year after my epiphany, Sheryl Sandberg gave her popular TED talk about women leaders.  A few years later, I discovered Equity By Design .  I am glad there is open dialogue about the challenges facing professional women.  If...

Continuing Education as an Architect

I spent the last 2 days at the AIA Austin Summer Conference, which was chock full of a wide variety of topics.  It was unlike some other conferences I have attended that are filled with fluffy topics (sometimes too academic) that cater to ‘the theme’ of the conference and make you feel like you are on a professional vacation (or worse, back in architecture school).  Thankfully, this one was very education-oriented, relevant, tangible, with many practical ideas and take-aways.  The only unifying theme was that it was all related to local happenings and people. I attended sessions that discussed the City’s initiatives to...

Why I am an Architect, when I could have been a Mathematician #ArchiTalks

The short answer:- I am good at math and I like to draw!* To draw, draw, raw, aw…. Not only do I like to draw, I can draw well, a talent I inherited from my father.  That skill came in handy when I had to draw a still life, to prove that I was worthy of attending the College of Architecture.  I remember sitting at a drawing board in a studio, alongside a batch of other applicants, sketching the objects that were carefully arranged on the table in front of us.  That was 21 years ago, so I don’t...

Replacing the “I” in “FIRM” with “WE” – acknowledging the team

I struggled with this post, not just because I am expressing a personal frustration, but because it goes against the grain of the way of things in the architecture profession (and all creative fields), as revealed by my survey of 100 architecture firms websites.  Is that worth writing/reading about? The trigger: Last week I came across an online posting showcasing a project that I had worked on a few years ago.  It was a custom residence for a retired couple, empty-nesters, expatriates. As their Project Architect, I got to know them pretty well over the course of the year that I...