All Posts By

jwa

architecturebusiness

Picking Up the Pieces

Never fire your contractor. Unless, of course, you absolutely have to. I was reminded of this in a recent conversation with a contractor/friend who I’ve worked with on past projects. He had been brought in about halfway through an extensive home renovation to pick up the pieces and finish the…
jwa
September 17, 2021
architectureLife

Stairs Are Evil

There. I’ve said it. Stairs. Are. Evil. Fresh-out-of-school interns can attest to the drudgery of drawing and detailing stairs. More than once I’ve heard students heading off to larger firms being told to enjoy drawing stair details and restrooms for a few years. I cannot imagine, nor do I want…
jwa
September 10, 2021
architectureLGBTLiferenovation

That Was Unexpected

A few years back, the host at a neighborhood July 4th party shared how she handled the inevitable “What do you do?” while traveling for work. With each conversation, her answer changed and was always something quite out of the ordinary. Her most recent trip had involved a story about…
jwa
August 27, 2021
architecturebusiness

Unapproachable

Once in a while I am reminded of why people don’t see architects as approachable. Very rarely am I reminded of that twice in the same year. At a new project meeting in January, the contractor thanked me for coming and then dropped this little gem: “Most architects I meet…
jwa
August 6, 2021
architectureFood for thought

Zoomed Out

I am officially Zoomed out. I never thought I would find myself saying that, considering how much Zoom (or Teams or Google Meets) has been a part of our lives for the last 18 months. Sure, the first few times were kind of awkward, but meeting virtually wasn’t too difficult…
jwa
July 30, 2021
architectureLifeTravel

Sense of Misdirection

Architects should have a good sense of direction, for no other reason than our professors pound that into us in nearly every studio. We’re taught the importance of siting a building to take advantage of natural light and topography. Then when we finally start working, every plan drawing is marked…
jwa
July 23, 2021
Food for thoughtLife

Faceless

“By the way, we’re on Facebook and Twitter.” That was my introduction to social media in 2009. One of my partners walked in and made that declaration, and of course, her two older partners had no idea what that meant. We just looked at each other and said “Okay.” But…
jwa
July 16, 2021
Food for thoughtLife

Sweater Weather

I’ve started going to the gym again. I may need to take a sweater. After forsaking our gym membership in the middle of the pandemic, James and I realized the time had come to return. Sitting in our office chairs watching our asses spread wasn’t doing anything to get rid…
jwa
July 9, 2021
Life

Gone to the Dogs

I’m meeting a lot of dogs lately. Not bad potential clients or projects. Actual dogs. More and more, I show up for that first meeting to find that the owners have at least one pup running about the house. Which always leads to the question: “Are you okay with dogs?”…
jwa
June 25, 2021
LifeTravel

Same Heat. Same Humidity. Same Smell.

Honestly, New Orleans should just make that part of their travel branding. Stepping out of the car at the hotel last weekend, we realized we might not be prepared for the heat and the humidity after nearly two years away. Except we didn’t really care. We were just happy to…
jwa
June 18, 2021
Spotted Dog Architecture