Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Architecture vs Shootings: An Impossible Fight

First, I want to express my rage and grief at the mass murder in Orlando on Sunday. This was the act of a man propelled by hate and bigotry against people who have been systematically abused and made vulnerable by the lawmakers in this country. It is obscene for public officials to bleat on about "thoughts and prayers" and in the same breath condemn the queer and POC communities to yet more discrimination. I fear there is no end in sight for these events, and that our country and government will continue to abandon our families, our neighbors, our colleagues, and our friends to men with guns.

There simply isn't enough time or space to list every mass shooting in the US in this blog; we don't even have a confirmed record of the mass shootings in this country. The best we have is the National Violent Death Reporting System, which is a state-based program under the CDC and includes only 32 states. And the House recently vetoed a proposed amendment to allow the CDC to research gun deaths.

But we need to start somewhere. If we use the definition of "four or more people are wounded or killed", there have been more mass shootings in the US this year than days passed of 2016. Let me repeat that.

There have been more mass shootings in the United States this year than we've had days in 2016.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What the...: an ongoing series

"Our new house is too big and too expensive. Maybe we should just demolish the foundation, steel, and framing we've built so far and start over."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Quitting to Win

Almost exactly one year ago, I quit my job at a well-respected architecture firm. This was the first full-time job I had in a new city, and I'd been with the firm for almost nine years, including through the recession in 2008. I got on well with my colleagues, and enjoyed the caliber of design that we were building. The partners were extremely prominent in the local AIA chapter, so I met through them a number of other prominent architects and AIA staff (some of whom actually recognize me on sight).

I got to take a business trip to Europe to see the factory where one of our specified finishes was being fabricated. I had recently been promoted to Senior Associate, and I was the project architect on two multi-million dollar residential projects with excellent clients and (much more rare) excellent general contractors.

What was I thinking?