THE COMPLEXITY OF SIMPLICITY

January 20, 2017

Many have heard the instructional 1960’s acronym from the U.S. Navy: K-I-S-S.

It stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. These days, this pithy recommendation is delivered from anyone in the role of doling out advice, from architecture professors to life coaches, from advertisers to attorneys, from editors to campaign managers.

But life gets complicated, and keeping things simple is not so easy. So what do we do?

EIGHT THINGS I LIKE ABOUT ARCHITECTURE

January 6, 2017

ONE. The social importance of what we do. Architects design everything from a retreat home to a veterinarian office, from a homeless shelter to a public school, from a park to a temple. Doctors have been plagued by insurance headaches. Bankers have confronted corruption. Well, lawyers? Not too much new to say there. What fields still have nobility?

THE MEEK AND THE MIGHTY

December 23, 2016

I recently had the joy of visiting two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: a modest design and his most ambitious.

The cozy Pope-Leighey House in Virginia totals a mere 1,200 square feet. In stark contrast, the visionary estate known as Fallingwater in Pennsylvania has a 2,900 square foot residence, 2,500 square feet of terraces, and a guest house of 1,700 square feet. Surrounded by 5,000 acres of the Bear Run Nature Reserve, this house cantilevers over a waterfall.

When historians speak of Wright’s homes as being intimately scaled, was this because Wright had a unique interpretation of domestic life, or was it because he was petite? Only 5′ – 7”.

THE WORLD FAMOUS FRANK GEHRY AND THE BEST JOB I DIDN’T WANT

December 9, 2016

I got the job! Unfortunately.

Not too many architecture companies were hiring during the economic recession of the 90’s. Though I held an impressive piece of simulated parchment that stated in fancy calligraphy, “Master of Architecture,” I could only find temp work as a paralegal, basically a data entry person.

After two years, one of my hundreds of resumes reached the right person. I received a call from the offices of Frank O. Gehry and Partners!

GOOD APPLES

November 25, 2016

I have clients that make getting out of bed worth the effort, after I have fallen asleep at 2:30 a.m. working on their project. These are clients that show up early to my office, eager to see the freshest designs for their vacation house or new church. They find joy in my creative process.

For a good client, architecture takes on an extraordinary role.

BAD APPLES

November 11, 2016

No client names are mentioned. This essay will not kill my career, but I certainly have no shortage of battle scars from ridiculous clients. When it comes to what a client can demand of their architect, I am sure that they are not yet done with me.

Yes, clients.

© Poon Design Inc.