i aia

Posted in #aiachat, opinion, Women in Architecture by DS26 on 04.22.2011

In the recent weeks, the American Institute of Architects asked me to participate in an interview about SM.

Of course, I was extremely happy to do so… and even more so, to find myself in the front page.

Now, after that was published, a few friends congratulated me… others did not understand how I got there, and asked… and I came to a realization:

What one gets, or does, with one’s own profession is entirely up to… well, one’s self.

No education, peer, employer, luck or otherwise ungodly external force, will make anything happen for one’s present or future. Some may serve as inspiration, and others as guide, but none will actually get you there.

It’s interesting because though I was there, front page and interviewed, nothing really came out of it except the acknowledgment from a few.

There were no employers lining up to offer me a position, given the very obvious self-propelled enthusiasm and initiative that originally may have landed me there. There were no Social Media or #aiachat novices lining up to ask me questions…

So what then?

I can honestly say I got some time for self-evaluation, and maybe even a (slight) rude awakening.

Ultimately… I gained an understanding of the fact that if I want to be a successful building design and construction professional, then…

it is up to me to lay out the path to get there.


Corbu’s Skull..

Posted in DS26SHOP by DS26 on 01.03.2011

The Bag.

One out of many many cool items that, once in a while, are a spark of design genius out of BobbyZ’s brain…

You remember?!

Studio, all night-ers, tools, sketches, wood… endless stuff. Carrying them all always an issue.

Corbu’s Skull : get yours.




DS26 design(ing) today

Posted in opinion by DS26 on 01.02.2011

In consideration of this economy that, unlike many opinions and statistics, is not getting better in architecture, we have taken it upon ourselves to remain as active & creative in design as possible, and in many ways through many alternative formats.

I, for example, truly do enjoy graphic design. Anything 2d print or web, any size, is a challenge for me, and I think of it the exact same way I do architecture… taking into consideration balance, cohesiveness, flow, organization, a palette, etc.

I find fast-turn-around joy in updating our twitter thumb, or creating an event poster.

Some iterations of DS26 on twitter for 2010:

You see, we have a brand/image that we’ve created, a signature gray & orange combination, and a cool acronym DS26, which stands for Design Studio 26, and does mean a couple of things to us… (we did not randomly choose a number).

And, actually, we started in gray & green (which most of you would not remember), and with our last names (old school), and realized that the whole world had turned gray & green, and that last names would not do it anymore… and acronyms were in… There! So… we moved on!

But… now the whole world turned gray & orange… ( Sigh! )

I’m also well-known for being a compulsive iWeb designer. I don’t know why, but I can’t leave my websites alone…  :/

BobbyZ today seems to be getting a kick out of designing tees. He’s created an interesting collection of DS26 tees, and other architecturally fun tees:

We sell the tees, along with other cool merchandise (like my minimal graphics stuff) on DS26SHOP.

We do this to keep busy, to keep our creative juices flowing… We’re both enrolled in Master degrees, studying for the ARE (Architect Registration Exam), and fighting our way through this currently very economically disappointing profession.

We see what is happening and we talk through, and build a strategy, on what it is that DS26 will actually be… Architecture as it has always been will not remain. It is changing, evolving, and we’re certainly trying to have the foresight to be at the forefront.

We work on design, we surround ourselves with others doing the same… and we try to get a handle on things that we CAN do today, without that license that isn’t here yet (but hopefully this year)… like

The Living City Challenge.

Yes. We are entering… and YES, we will be in practice (a new business model of a practice anyway)…

neither here, nor there . . .

Posted in opinion, stuff by DS26 on 08.06.2010

I tell you… I find myself in this position, as does BobbyZ, as we speak.

It truly Sucks !

The ‘Here’, a student or new graduate, with little or no experience has a decent shot at a job (of the little jobs there may be).

There is sort of a “good value” to employers. They acquire the ‘CAD monkey’, or a production or rendering Guru. Maybe someone that can whip out some serious Goggle SketchUp in a few hours.

In this bad market, even maybe a better value… employers will get away with paying a decently skilled graduate what they pay a Barista at Starbucks (they may even leave out the benefits).

The “There”… you guessed it … the license.

Also  very few, but still advertised jobs for licensed professionals. Mostly under a simple contract, or on a per-project basis, but there are out there. Some with contractors, others with developers.

We, almost “There” but not yet, and definitely waaayyy past the “Here”… well… We have to settle for designing whatever (for Bobby is cardboard furniture for our new apartment… yes he even whipped out a SketchUp model for it… for me is the DS26 thumbs, and other minimal graphic type work)

If you are neither here, nor there…

please know you are not alone.

Things will, effectively, get better. It is the nature of the cyclical economic system… we do say though:

while you wait…

consider doing whatever else lets your creative juices flow…


Meet Marla St. John…

Posted in Women in Architecture by DS26 on 06.01.2010

Marla is the 1st WIA (Women in Architecture) Fund award recipient.

She graduated with a Master in Architecture degree from Louisiana Tech in 2008, finished her IDP requirements, is an Associate AIA member, and is well on her way to becoming a registered Architect.

her link is here [ Marla ]

The fund states

True Story: when we called to tell her, she was returning home from an ARE seminar. Needless to say, we are very proud… Very much well deserved ! :)

[ Marla on “The Tech Talk” ]


About the effort:

Is “In place to support women in their efforts to make progress, become professionals, and become leaders in today’s field of Architecture in the United States.”
website here [ WIA (Women in Architecture) fund ]