I recently applied for and received Emeritus Architect status in the state of Ohio. Curiously, the board of registration sent me a confirmation letter with a wallet card.
What is the purpose of a wallet card? I mean in 2014, not 1914.
I became registered in 1974. In the intervening 40 years I have been asked to prove that I am, in fact, an architect exactly zero times. No one has ever asked for ID, much less a wallet card. Which looks like it would take about an hour to forge. But there is no need to forge one because no one cares.
Somewhere, sometime there must have been some serious shenanigans going on.
I’m pretty sure the idea of registering architects only predates my own registration by about 30? or 78! years. (Whoa, looked it up. Illinois in 1897.) So what was going on back then? That was 25 years after the Great Chicago Fire. I’m guessing that after rebuilding the city there was a glut of architects. Maybe registration was intended to weed out any (future?) riffraff.
But wallet cards? Who was policing the architects? Or was this just some legislator’s idea? (You may have heard that Texas architects must now be fingerprinted! What are you Texans up to?)
Kentucky, my ’home’ state, didn't jump on the registration band wagon until 1930. KY offers a wallet card if you want to download one. I have never carried one.
Anyways, if you happen to know more about this practice, I/we could stand the enlightenment.
The more you know, the more you grow, the more you hold it all together. You are counted on. YOU have to do it. Now!
Creativity, deadlines, complexity, codes, budgets, coordination. Did I mention deadlines?
Where’s the balance? Where’s the serenity?
I don't know if anyone has THE answer.
One thing that I tried, that I was able to fit into my day, was meditation. Transcendental Meditation [TM] complements of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I think TM is a good system but there are many ways to go. I think the important thing about meditation is to do it. Twice a day. Every day.
The rules are simple. No eating or exercise for two hours beforehand. Sit up straight. A dining room chair is ideal. Close your eyes. Think your mantra (TM). Or any of several alternatives.
When you realize thoughts have intruded, return to your meditation. Continue for 15-20 minutes.
I find that once a day is better than nothing, but the real benefits come from twice a day. That second meditation is my bane. The ’day’ invariably gets in the way. I’ve often fit that second meditation in by sitting in my car in a parking lot. Where there is a will there is a way.
Give it a try. There are actual physical benefits to be gained.
Well, the Dalek Stress Toy comes highly recommended by Dr. Who; but, if you wan to try meditation, this Google Search might be more helpful.
There are also a number of videos on YouTube that you could explore.
The Apps Store might have what you are looking for, too.
I admit to being an Apple fanboy. Let's get that out of the way.
I bought Microsoft-based products from 1986 to 2004. In those 18 years the only thing to feel good about was your expertise with fixes and “work a rounds” in the Microsoft world. Eventually I found that I didn’t feel good about this expertise any longer. What I felt was exploited.
Counting computers for my architectural firm, I have purchased about 50 PCs. I personally used eight of them. Every single one of them came with a new operating system. Each one marginally better than the last. Wouldn't you think that after three decades you would have the design of an operating system NAILED? Especially at $200+ per copy times a gazillion copies.
Today I am installing Apple’s new OS X Mavericks on my second Mac. The first Mac was a 21" iMac. It worked great for 15 months and then figuratively burned up (overheating problem). Apple fixed it for free for five years on a one year warranty. Despite the one week out of each year that it was in the shop, I liked using it more than any PC that I’d had. I upgraded the operating system by myself twice ($129 each time). I don’t know anyone who would look forward to updating Windows themselves. In 2009 I bought a 13" MacBook for the portability. Mavericks is the fourth OS upgrade I’ve done on it. Most of those OS upgrades cost $29. This one is free.
Apple has been making operating systems for about three decades, too. The difference: they do have the design of an operating system NAILED.
Mavericks took two hours to install including downloading the software. The process was absolutely painless. I was given back my familiar desktop along with some new programs added to the Dock - iBooks, Pages and Numbers (new versions), Maps, Messages. The Mavericks OS also includes a major update to Calendar, the addition of Tags, which lets you tag everything on a topic so you can pull it together from wherever it is filed, iCloud integration for all your Apple stuff, added Notification Center like on the iPhone, and added Tabs to Finder so you only need one window to view numerous folders.
Apple understands that the end user has to be happy and knows how to make that happen. That is the fundamental difference between Apple and Microsoft.
#Mavericks #Tools #Technology
Star Architects are one of my pet peeves. Another is the LEED certification process. So I got a two-fer when I listened to this interview with Professor Jonathan Ochshorn, the author of the Critique of Milstein Hall, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas.
@Archinect reported on the controversy recently, providing a link to the interview that Enoch Sears, @BusinessOfArch, conducted with Professor Ochshorn. The actual critique can be found on Professor Ochshorn's site.
The interview is well worth the time (45 min) spent listening. Professor Ochshorn gives a very convincing explanation of how buildings that push the envelope get themselves into trouble because they become divorced from construction technology. This is something that only began to happen in the past 50 - 75 years after millennia of architecture that was always married to construction technology.
He also explains how LEED Gold Certification was earned by the Milstein project by layering enough sustainability credits onto a building that is inherently uninterested in sustainability. This is the dirty little secret of LEED certification - most LEED buildings do not perform better than normal buildings despite the extra time and extra cost invested in them.
Give the links a looks. There is more here than meets the eye.
I should preface this piece by saying sustainability is a good thing, and I believe it is a good thing. Nevertheless, “Sustainability” (initial cap) may be winding down in favor of garden variety “sustainability” (lower case). I doubt that any one will notice.
PROs for Sustainability
Economics - ignoring sustainability will lead to remediation costs that would not otherwise need to be incurred. Many sustainability ideas are more economical, even if their promoters can't do the math to show that they are.
Feel Good Factor - Sustainability feels good, feels right. Being sustainable makes you a better person, more in synch with the universe. Don't ask me to prove it. It's a right brain thing.
CONs for Sustainability
Complexity - Complexity is Exhibit #1. What are we talking about? energy consumption, oil consumption, greenhouse gases, waste reduction and disposal (landfills), recycling and recyclability, embodied energy, pollution, preserving nature (both plant and animal species). There is no agreement about what we mean when we say ’sustainable’. Some might say “all of the above”, which proves the point. The usual definition, “providing for your needs in a way that will allow future generations to provide for their needs”, is no help. All of this is worthwhile, but promoting sustainability is a wasted effort because no one knows what you want them TO DO.
Politics - being the darling of one party means you aren't the darling of all parties. Your future will blow hot and cold. The general inaction by the government in setting policy (at least in the USA) isn't helping the cause of Sustainability.
Trustworthiness - the lying for and against sustainability dilutes the seriousness given to the issue.
Moral Mandate - convincing everyone that they should be sustainable because it is the moral thing to do hasn’t worked for abortion, which is more immediate, and won't work with Sustainability.
Proof - There is no ironclad proof that if we do ’X’, then ’Y’ will happen. Every proof brought out so far depends on interpretation, or it gets too complicated for anyone to follow. That undermines the case for sustainability and deflates the ’Call To Action’.
Conclusion - Enough has already changed to say that we have improved our sustainability. Products and innovations will continue to reap the inherent economics of sustainability. But ’Sustainability’ as a concept will succumb to its inherent inscrutability for the masses, who will move on to the next Kardashian-like drama.
I'm just saying ...
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