“WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE”

July 14, 2017

Late 80’s, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley. This public review of my studio project concludes my undergraduate studies. The class assignment: design a hypothetical church on the banks of Lake Merritt, Oakland. Analogies of good vs. evil, discussions about faith, designs representing religion, etc. saddled every student’s work.

More than an academic exercise for a mere letter grade, The American Institute of Architects co-sponsored our class, structuring it as a design competition. The winners’ drawings and models would become a public architectural exhibition.

WHITE ON WHITE ON WHITE

July 7, 2017

Seeking a nice white paint for a client presentation on colors and materials, I am lost within our Dunn Edwards paint samples. Alongside the Usual Suspects, Swiss Coffee and Pearl White, there are 98 other choices for white. Literally, ninety-eight choices. Is there any other color in the world that comes in so many variations? In contrast, there are only ten choices for black.

B PLUS VS. A MINUS

June 23, 2017

Inside the catacombs, we professors graded our architecture students. The Ancient Order, Secret Society, Illuminati, covert handshakes and all—I was there. Inside.

WANNA HIRE AN ARCHITECT?

June 9, 2017

After interviewing your architectural candidates, hire one based on character. Know that the connection between client and architect could be a relationship of many years. I am blessed with repeat clients that appear to like me, as well as find me qualified as their design expert. Such relationships last more than just a few years; they can last a lifetime.

You will want to hire an architect that you actually enjoy being in his/her company, that you will be excited to come to their office each week to see the latest ideas—and to converse not just about your project, but perhaps, a recent weekend of skiing.

SOME KIND OF BEAUTIFUL

May 26, 2017

What is beauty? How is it defined, described, discussed, deconstructed?

Looking at personal favorites, I ponder four themes of beauty: 1) man-made, 2) God-made, the 3) Grotesque, and 4) the ethereal.

PARAMEDICS IN ATTENDANCE

May 12, 2017

My business partner, David E. Martin, points out that we all say, “We are practicing architects,” and “We are running a practice of architecture.” Then he winks, “We say this because we are practicing, and still can’t get it right!”

To have a practice as an architect, to legally call yourself an architect, you must be licensed by your state. When I received my license to be a real and true architect, not merely an intern or designer, it was after an excruciating lengthy road of testing—one that involved day-long tests, hotel room interrogation, and paramedics.

© Poon Design Inc.