The Journal
Spokane Architect's Journal - Loss, Love, Architecture
Loss, Love, Architecture
It's not about buildings

"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 absolu...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Art as a Way of Life
Art as a Way of Life
Six minutes of inspiration

A quiet conversation with artist David Secrest in his studio and home in the Flathead Valley of Montana....

Spokane Architect's Journal - My Mentor's Mentors
My Mentor's Mentors
What I discovered they all had in common

"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...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Choices Reflect Values
Choices Reflect Values
How do we love the children of all species, for all time?

"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 ...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Building A Timeless Wooden Boat
Building A Timeless Wooden Boat
A rhythm between problem solving and problem finding

"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 mater...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Travel and Architecture
Travel and Architecture
You had to be there

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 an...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Cultivation of Expression
Cultivation of Expression
Gravity never rests

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 architectu...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Choice and Cultivation
Choice and Cultivation
The task of our time is to combine vitality with calm

"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 ...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Life on Water
Life on Water
We live between earth and sky - or between water and sky

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...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Restorative Intervention
Restorative Intervention
Design with nature - not against it

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 devel...

Spokane Architect's Journal - How I First Noticed Architects
How I First Noticed Architects
Thank you, R.G.

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, t...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Sam Rodell Photography
Sam Rodell Photography
Helen Keller once stated, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”.

"I am an Architect with a life long love of travel and photography."   (Click on the link if you are interested in exploring travels behind my lenses over the years.)...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Teachers are Heroes
Teachers are Heroes
"The foundation of every state is the education of its youth." ~ Diogenes

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 stud...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Experiencing Expression
Experiencing Expression
"Your world is a living expression of how you are using and have used your mind." ~ Earl Nightingale

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 ...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Lessons From Being a Developer
Lessons From Being a Developer
Our Passive House clients need not face a false choice between a better building or a better operational budget

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 becomi...

Spokane Architect's Journal - The Peril of Political Polarization
The Peril of Political Polarization
We literally do not have time for this

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 l...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Smoking and Motorcycles
Smoking and Motorcycles
You will make, and learn from, bad choices along the way...

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 th...

Spokane Architect's Journal - Lunch in Lima
Lunch in Lima
(3 minute video)

Design is everywhere we act with intention.  This exceptional restaurant in Lima, Peru celebrates distinct regional creations from a wide variety of locations in Peru, each from a specific elevation above or below sea level. Lunch - with wine and beer pairings - is a three hour experience invo...