Loss, Love, Architecture Choices Reflect Values Travel and Architecture
Loss, Love, Architecture
"Architecture is not really about buildings, any more than poetry is about vowels."    Life is full of disappointments, small and large. Then there is loss in life, an entirely different matter. The former, time will surely reveal to be relative, perhaps even trivial; the latter is absolute, dimensionless. Time does not heal loss; loss is loss. Grieving only allows us to slowly learn how to cope with loss, Read More →
Choices Reflect Values
"Simplicity, clarity, singleness; these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy." ~ Richard Halloway Imagine that in your left hand, you hold a bottle of very low cost wine... and in your right, something like a Willamette Valley Pinot or a Napa Valley Cabernet. The similarities are obvious enough; 750 ml of fermented grape juice, in glass containers. They have roughly equivalent alco Read More →
Travel and Architecture
One of the most addictive aspects of a career in architecture is the level of ongoing learning that it engages one in throughout the entire arc of a career, of a lifetime. The sources of this 'continuing education' need not be distant or exotic travel. The insights offered by local interactions and every day life are generous indeed. But to expand ourselves beyond the boundaries of familiar contexts and references, Read More →
Cultivation of Expression
Buildings are anthropomorphic interventions in the natural environment - in other words, we live in a built environment that we create largely in response to the way we live within our bodies. Architecture serves far more than physical needs, but the human body is a primary determinant of architectural form. Everything from the scale of enclosed volumes to elements like windows, cabinets, or doorknobs is a response t Read More →
Life on Water
Dwelling in architecture, we live between earth and sky.  Architecture is about a specific situation, bound to a fixed location.   It defines a particular place, shaped and sometimes defined by where it stands.  Place, in this context, is both physical and cultural.  Most of the globe is covered by water, of course, and for many reasons throughout history, we have ventured for Read More →
Choice and Cultivation
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to confront only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." ~ Henry David Thoreau To function, even at the most basic level, we must be selective in our interaction with our environment. We must filter the majority of the flood of potential information aro Read More →
My Mentor's Mentors
"There is one timeless way of building. It is a thousand years old, and the same today as it has ever been. The great traditional buildings of the past, the villages and tents and temples in which man feels at home, have always been made by people who were very close to the center of this way. It is not possible to make great buildings, or great towns, beautiful places, places where you feel yourself, places where yo Read More →
Restorative Intervention
We designed and built our home on a site in a small development enfronting wetlands. Rather than extending the ubiquitous domesticated landscape of American suburbia into the native landscape, we instead pulled the wetlands and native landscape back into the domesticated realm of the housing development, weaving our building into it.  The Mallard couple pictured here takes up residence every March on one of t Read More →
Building A Timeless Wooden Boat
"In my view, the connection with the processes of making continues to be seminal, and a wise architect today searches deep personal friendships with craftsmen, artisans and artists to reconnect his/her intellectualized world and thinking with the source of all true knowledge: The real world of materiality and gravity, and the sensory and embodied understanding of these physical phenomena."~ Juhani PallasmaaI have bee Read More →
How I First Noticed Architects
The Boy Scouts have a merit badge for architecture. And yes, I have one. On my journey toward the rank of Eagle scout, my world opened up in many ways, but surprisingly, it was the experience of earning this relatively obscure merit badge that influenced the course of my life. R. G. Nelson, the distinguished Coeur d'Alene Idaho architect, was my counselor. This was just a little quiet volunteer community servi Read More →
Teachers are Heroes
Good design is supported by vibrant culture.Vibrant culture is built on rigorous, critical, and broad education.Strong education requires a partnership of engaged parents and a close community of powerfully empowered support to create meaningful challenges and co-create open possibilities for students of all ages. It's happening out there, and it's amazing. Go Pirates! Go Dragons! Go Bulldogs!Passionate teachers ar Read More →
Experiencing Expression
I know a lot of skilled architects who know what great architecture is - and really appreciate it - but can't create it. They have many skills, lots of talent, and deep knowledge, but lack some essential capabilities that are required to be a well rounded architect. They usually play an important if specialized role on a team, in a larger firm. Their contributions to the profession are often exceptional within the Read More →
Lessons From Being a Developer
Becoming licensed as an architect is a long, challenging process, but that is just the first step toward becoming an Architect, which is a lifelong journey. In my particular case, it has included decades of experience as a general contractor, building our designs for our clients... as well as becoming a project developer, simultaneously acting as the architect, contractor, and client for a multi-million dollar invest Read More →
The Peril of Political Polarization
My thought is that liberal/conservative does not equate to good/bad, or the other way around. I tend to see it more as a yin/yang situation. Balance being the ideal; each perspective needs things from the other. I think that is likely to be true in general across history, and true in politics at least since the French Revolution.Polarization is getting us nowhere, and we don't have time for it. We need active, sinc Read More →
Smoking and Motorcycles
I live with six material objects handed down to me from my Swedish immigrant father, one of which is a hand carved cigar box fashioned into a representation of a log cabin. Lift the cabin, and it raises on an concealed internal pedestal. Lower it, and the cabin will dispense a cigar, cradled on the ridge beams of the roof. I enjoy dwelling with this little artifact that, as he was fond of saying, came from the old Read More →
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