Here’s the pitch for my upcoming novel. “San Francisco cloaked in fog and secrets: Architects are being murdered as they compete for a new museum of art at the notorious Alcatraz Island. This mystery of death and intrigue examines ego, arrogance, and redemption within the creative process. Who will win and at what cost?”
Michael Webb: Let’s finally get to restaurants. You’ve designed more than 50 varied examples, working on both generous and frugal budgets. Like schools, restaurants have to accommodate all their uses in the kitchen and dining area, and in between. How do you choreograph those movements?
Anthony Poon: That’s a good word, Michael, choreography.
It’s a popular myth that you see in TV and movies, that an architect is rich. From Greg Brady supporting a family of eight (nine if you count Alice) to the architect duo of Richard Gere and Sharon Stone, from charming Tom Hanks to Steve Martin playing an architect twice, the world seems to think architects are wealthy—rolling in money.
Well, we are not. Not at all. Not even close.
I have a secret to share. What is the formula to success when your team is being considered for a big contract? It could be your design team being interviewed for a new shopping center, or a law firm being considered for a huge case. Maybe a financial group is being evaluated to take a start up public, or a real estate company for a national property deal. How to you hit a homerun during the interview and presentations?
It must be asked: What is good architecture? What is bad architecture?
A 3rd century B.C. Greek adage has become the seminal motto, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But who are these “beholders”? And is architecture subjective—to be determined on a case-by-case basis by whoever is beholden, whoever is the random casual visitor?
To capture the spirit of a proposed architectural design, the human hand once held a pencil. For better or for worse, that same hand uses a computer these days.
Long before the advent of technology, architects drew by hand—ink on paper, for example. Sometimes meticulous and detailed, other times expressive and abstract—handmade presentations communicated the design vision for a client.