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jwa

businessLife

Details Are A Bit Furry

Did that guy have a tail? I spent the end of last week in San Antonio at the Texas Society of Architects annual conference. And although this was the first in-person conference in two years, everything – and I mean everything – felt pretty much the same. Continuing education sessions.…
jwa
October 15, 2021
Food for thoughtLife

Waiting for the Fall

This isn’t another blog post about me barreling down a flight of stairs. And wouldn’t it be sad if it was? Instead of writing about another injury, I’m sitting at my desk, staring out the window, and wondering exactly when fall is going to arrive. Our local weather guy teased…
jwa
September 30, 2021
businessFood for thought

Non-Virtual Event

How’s that for saying “live conference” without actually saying it? In two weeks, I will not only be attending but also helping to moderate a panel at the Texas Society of Architects (TxA) annual conference in San Antonio. And in person no less! Saying that out loud sounds a bit…
jwa
September 24, 2021
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
Spotted Dog Architecture