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Bob Borson, FAIA | Apr 15, 2019

Residential Construction Costs

In the beginning, when you are starting to plan your budget for building a new house, residential construction costs are not that complicated unless you really want to make them that way. There are some general broad stroke pieces of information that if you know them, you will not be surprised when it comes time to plan your budget.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Apr 1, 2019

Making an Architect

There isn’t an architect walking the planet that hasn’t questioned if they were making the right decision when they decided to become an architect—at least not if they’re being honest with themselves—which leads us to today’s topic of “Making an Architect.” 

Bob Borson, FAIA | Mar 17, 2019

The Construction Bid Process

Every client wants to know what their project is going to cost and who’s going to build it. That means sending the drawings out and getting contractors involved … Let’s get ready to rumble because “The Construction Bid Process ” is today’s topic. Episode sponsor: Pella Architectural Solutions

Bob Borson, FAIA | Mar 4, 2019

Architectural Fees

Architectural fees are a mystery to most people, and there is no shortage of methods that architects charge for their services. How do you make sense of the options? Which method works best for you? How do you provide a method that suits the needs of both the architect and their clients? In Episode 19, we have an excellent discussion on the many different ways architects charge for their professional services. Episode sponsor: Pella Architectural Solutions

Bob Borson, FAIA | Feb 18, 2019

Crafting an Image

Architecture and photography have a symbiotic relationship, and every architect knows that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. For today’s episode, Andrew and I sit down with photographer Poul Ober to discuss the role photography plays in telling an architectural story, as well as the evolving impact photography is having on popular culture. Poul is a highly sought-after commercial photographer, but is most notably my next door neighbor. Episode sponsor: Pella Architectural Solutions

Bob Borson, FAIA | Feb 3, 2019

Quitting Your Job

It happens to almost all of us eventually, and for pretty much everybody, the experience ranges from unpleasant to downright panic-inducing … so get your moving box ready because “Quitting Your Job” is today’s topic, something that I, unfortunately, know a lot about. There is one job I quit that I have remorse over. Not because it was my dream job but because I acted in a way that I am still embarrassed about some 20 years later. Episode sponsor: Pella Architectural Solutions

Bob Borson, FAIA | Jan 20, 2019

Architecture in the Real World

Pull up a chair, order your favorite drink, and let me tell you about architecture in the “real” world. I thought I would try to make this an upbeat article but as I sit down to write it, I’m not so sure how successful a job I am going to do. Andrew Hawkins and I recently got together to discuss the perception of being an architect versus the realities of being a practicing architect and the disconnect that frequently exists between the two.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Jan 6, 2019

Tools of an Architect

All industries have specific tools that make their business work – and architects are no different in this regard. During the 26+ years that have passed since I graduated from college, I have seen tools that I had previously used every day become obsolete while new tools have taken their place. Few architects actually draft anymore (I’ve got one left in my office) so once common names like “Borco” and “Mayline” have been replaced with “Revit” and “VR.”

Bob Borson | Dec 14, 2018

Being an Architect is Hell

As an architect, every space I walk in to, I look at … intensely. I scrutinize, evaluate, process, and redesign. Every. Single. Space. There are times when I wish this didn’t happen … most of the time actually. Being blissfully unaware of unresolved plan geometries – particularly when I am not “on the clock” sounds pretty good but I know it won’t be that way for me any longer. I have completely crossed over to the architect side.

| Nov 29, 2018

What to Get an Architect for Christmas

This is the 9th annual and highly anticipated What to Get an Architect for Christmas gift guide. It’s hard for me to process that when I wrote the very first gift guide back in 2010 that this would become the most requested blog post that I would write every single year. In that first year, the guide was just my own personal gift wish list, but now I spend almost an entire year curating what sort of items should make the final cut.

| Nov 11, 2018

A Day in the Life of an Architect

What does a day in the Life of an Architect look like? There are a lot of different answers to that question and even if I look at what my day looks like, it has varied over the years as I move through my career and took on different roles and responsibilities. The one thing that has not varied all that much over the years is that I start my day pretty early. Today is a good example of that since it was a Sunday, and I was still up pretty early because I had a lot of work to get done.

| Nov 9, 2018

An Architect’s Salary

It was only a matter of time before I once again tackled the topic of an architect’s salary. This is actually the fourth post I’ve prepared on the subject, but I haven’t talked about it since January 2013 so maybe it was overdue. I have long been on record that I can’t stand when architects complain that they don’t make more money. Of course they want to make more money – who doesn’t?

| Oct 14, 2018

What Makes You a Designer

There are many things I do during a typical day—designing “stuff” is just one very small portion—but I still consider myself a designer more so than a project architect. Since I work at a smallish firm, everyone wears many hats and nobody has just one task or label. To be considered a designer just means you need to think about the design of everything—and I mean everything. Not everything I do is BIG picture design.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Sep 30, 2018

The ‘Low Cost Modern House’

Modern Design used to be about the mechanization of the process, thereby making a thing affordable to the masses. But that’s not the case anymore. With their clarity often confused with simplicity, modern houses require a far greater attention to execution and as a result, seem to surprise everyone with how expensive modern houses actually cost. The phrase “big bag of nothing” comes out of my mouth more times than I care to admit.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Sep 20, 2018

Top Ten Reasons to be an Architect

If there is one moment I can look back and single out the moment when everything changed, it was February 22, 2010. That was the day I decided to write the post “Top Ten Reasons to be an Architect,” and nothing has been the same for me ever since. This was the post the put me on the radar screen of hundreds of thousands of people. As of this writing, this post by itself has been read a mind-boggling 845,924 times.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Sep 3, 2018

A Survivor’s Guide to Architecture School

Fall is just around the corner and that means it’s time for students around the country to return to their desk’s at architecture school. For most, this time is a mixture of excitement and enthusiasm, while for others, it’s a mixture of anxiety and sleepless nights … during my time in school is experienced a mixture of the two. Landon and I sat down in this episode to talk about architecture studio and how to come out with not only the best possible experience, but to make your time in school a little less stressful.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Aug 19, 2018

Inside an Architect’s Office

Work environments are important – they tell visitors a lot about what to expect from the place they are visiting. I almost always enjoy visiting other architects office because it seems like there is always something wacky going on somewhere. I’m not talking about the office’s of large architectural firms – no. I like going into the offices of firms with 30 people or less…15 or less is even better. It’s at the point where the budget is still the major obstacle and the possibility of seeing saw-horse desks and reclaimed bookshelves is a distinct and sometimes necessary component.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Aug 5, 2018

Architects and Chefs

Architects and chefs share a great number of personality characteristics with one another, and in my extremely scientific poll (conducted by me) a vast majority of architects actually like to cook, although, even more dislike cleaning up after cooking. In this fifth episode of the Life of an Architect podcast, Landon and I take on the topic of Architects and cooking and how those two things come together in a way that could be unique.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Jul 23, 2018

Architects and Traveling

Architects like to travel, at least that’s what all my friends who are architects would like you to believe. While I will agree that this is a true statement, I think it’s a fairly generic statement because don’t all people like to travel? In this fourth episode of the Life of an Architect podcast, Landon and I take on the topic of traveling – or at least we start a conversation about traveling. When we sat down to prepare our show notes, it quickly became apparent that this was a topic worthy of several episodes.

Bob Borson, FAIA | Jul 9, 2018

Sketching

Sketching is a hot topic regardless of the people having the discussion, but I have learned over the last nine years of writing this site that sketching is one of the more hotly contested topics. While few architects would dispute the value in sketching, HOW that sketch is generated seems to fall into camps of individuals: Team Analog versus Team Digital and I don’t think anyone would be surprised to learn that the age of the individual seems to decide (more times than not, but not a guarantee) which camp an individual belongs.



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