Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What The... : an ongoing series

"Column center lines are imaginary, please send drawings that dimension from the edge of the foundation."

(from a GC, no less!)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Practice: Climbing the Data Mountain

This is the second in the "On Practice" series - see the first entry here: On Practice: A Fistful of Notebooks

So you've got your project notebooks and your pens and your sticky flags. You're ready to keep your own notes organized - first milestone on the Data Mountain path cleared. Now let's look at how to manage the project files.

I had the very good fortune to work under an extremely organized project architect when I started working full time after graduating architecture school. I still use his methodology (with some minor tweaks and customizing) to keep project files in order, but each office will be a little (or sometimes a lot) different. He was the senior associate, so he oversaw most of the projects in the office and was in a position to make sure his standards were enforced - not always the case!

Where do you start if you're the one setting the standards?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On Practice: A Fistful of Notebooks

I started working in an architecture firm in 2003. 

 It was a tiny residential firm; just the principal, one employee, and one intern (me). Because it was so very small, this office was still using some fairly antiquated technology, including parallel rules, a typewriter, Letraset, and an ammonia printing machine with that UV-light-sensitive paper (!!).

Parallel Rule - check out those drafting dots!

Letraset - the coolest and most tedious lettering method imaginable.


The most up-to-date pieces of technology in the office were the fax machine, with the old-style roll of slippery thermal paper, and the printer/copier, which had no scan or fax function. It was only in 2005 that AutoCAD made it into the office, shortly followed by sending out files to a remote printing service and abandoning the poor stinky ammonia printing machine.

The reason I mention all this (other than #humblebrag) is that there wasn't an overwhelming amount of correspondence and documentation to track. Meeting notes, field notes, site photos (on film!), letters, transmittals, billing documents, the occasional fax; nothing like the landslide of pictures and renderings and submittals and RFIs and product brochures and emails (Lord, the emails!) today.