✱ Our industry needs great, licensed architects. We need you.

My goal here at Method is to make you worth more. One mantra I bring up from time to time is to invest in yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. You have to take the first step on this long journey. And then the next one, and the next one...

The more skills you have, the more you are worth. This not only allows you to get paid, but it makes the whole architectural industry worth more as well. You raise the value of everyone around you. This is something that is going to really help both you and our profession in the long run.

The American Institute of Architects National Convention as going on last week in Chicago, and Method was there in spirit. Our profession really needs smart people to become architects to help shape our industry's future. A lot of visitors here are students or unlicensed professionals working in the field. We need to dig in, get out hands dirty, and create the change we want. The first step is make sure we are on the same playing field as everyone else.

This is what I'm doing, and I hope you'll join me. Once I get my license, I have plans. It is not easy, nor should it be. One step at a time.

My friends and I have been talking a lot lately on the Archispeak Podcast about the NCARB exams, what's involved in them and what's changing. We've also talked a little bit about what tools are available to help us pass them. And you know that this site is all about sharing tools with you that work for me. 

A friend of mine, David Doucette, has a great little company that makes study tools for the exams. People I know who've used them absolutely rave about them. On top of the affordable study guides for the exams administered by NCARB, David's company, Architect Exam Prep, also has a study guide (which is more of a bible really) for the California Supplemental Exam. This is an amazing resource, and I hope you'll check it out. If you use my link, I get a small kickback from David. My goal here is to help spread the word about this resource because I think it's great, and because I want you to pass the exams. Then you can help shape the industry even better. Simple as that.

You can find out more here.

✱ Methodcast 20: FormZ for Architecture Webinar Q&A Follow-up

✱ Methodcast 20: FormZ for Architecture Webinar Q&A Follow-up

This Methodcast is a follow-up video that covers the questions that were asked during and after the recent webinar I gave on FormZ for Architecture. Make sure you go back and watch the first video to see how I got to this point if you haven't seen it already. Additionally, I throw in a few great tips and tricks along the way so make sure you catch it all.

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✱ FormZ 7 Webinar Replay

✱ FormZ 7 Webinar Replay

Here is the hour-long screen capture video of the webinar I hosted with Novedge. The topic was architectural modeling in FormZ, and I started with a CAD floor plan and started building as fast as I could. We had a great turnout with a few minutes of live question and answers at the end from those that were watching live.

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Link: 3d Landmark Challenge - Stop the Moment!

There's a new 3d challenge going on over at CGTrader and I'm one of the judges. This one is all about architectural landmarks. 

The idea of a landmark for me goes back to my studies in architecture school. Kevin Lynch wrote a book called The Image of the City where in 1960 he wrote about the five elements that determine the imagability of cities. Imageability is the “quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer.” The five elements are paths, nodes, edges, landmarks, and districts.

Lynch further describes landmarks as readily identifiable objects which serve as external reference points.

You know the usual suspects: The Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Burj Dubai, stadiums, towers, etc. I like to think of landmarks as those things you see from airplanes or from really far away and can easily figure out relatively where you are in an instant. 

So this is your chance to show us what your favorite landmarks are, build 3d models of them, and enter the competition. There are some great prizes to make it worth your while.

I hope you pick something challenging and use this contest as a reason to push yourself and learn new modeling skills. You have about two and a half weeks you get you submission in by the deadline on May 11th.

Ready? Learn more and enter here.

Happy modeling!

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Link: The architectural industry needs to change and I want to be a part of it. Do you?

I have been thinking about a lot of this stuff for a while. Then in a fury over the last couple of days, everything came together and I wrote it all up into an article on my personal site. I hesitantly pushed the publish button before I allowed doubt to creep in, and now tons of people on twitter and linkedIn are talking about what I wrote.  


Read it here.

✱ My 2d Drafting Software of Choice

There's been quite a bit of talk about moving on to BIM versus continuing to use AutoCad, Vectorworks, or other programs for production drawings of architectural projects. I thought I'd share what I use for CAD on my Mac (and Windows and Linux too if that's your thing) because unfortunately it's still a necessity to have something for basic CAD work. 

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✱ Help Save Neutra's Kronish House

I have been following an unfolding story in Beverly Hills, California regarding one of the homes Richard and Dion Neutra designed called the Kronish house. It was completed in 1955 and is a beautiful residence that was recently bought while in foreclosure. It was then put up for sale at a much higher price but ultimately never was sold. Now it is under threat of being demolished for the land to be sold at an even higher price.

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✱ Fontana Courthouse Expansion & Remodel Project Wins AIA Design Award

I talk a lot about the tools we use for design here on Method, but I want to stress how much I get out of visiting my projects that have been built. I used several digital tools to model this project during the design process including SketchUp and Revit. None of the design and previsualization can compare to actually being in the space, which is what architecture is really about for me. It truly does invoke a personal, emotional response from me. This is why I do what I do. Space can indeed change us.


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✱ Back to Work

Following is a short transcript from my favorite podcast - "Back to Work" (iTunes link) by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin. The text sums up just how hard it is to really do something creative. I can directly apply this to my architectural design career. It's easy to design. Chew on this: it's incredibly hard to design something incredible. Not only that, but make that 'incredible' thing that's in a 3d model or in a sketch into something that other people actually get to experience and not get incredibly screwed up and compromised along the way to becoming an actual building. 

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