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So last week I sent off some floor plan ideas to my clients.  Since they are currently out of town, they will take some time to review them and get back to me. The world of digital technology is amazing.  It’s hard to imagine how expensive it must have been to fly your Architect with you to a job site all the time.  Or how slow it was to work with an Architect that was local to your project, but not local to your geographic location. Even today I was discussing with one of my associates that when I first started in architecture I made blueprints on a big smelly machine in the attic of the row home where the office was located.  Times have certainly changed.  My plotter fits comfortable within the confines of the 6′-0″ closet in my office and produces paper and ink smells, not the ammonia smell that blueprint machines did.  Infact, the only reason I printed the drawings that I prepared for this client was because I met with another associate to get a peer review on their project.

When you work alone it can be difficult to “talk out” ideas when there is no-one to bounce ideas off of.  For this very reason, and many others, I have kept a strong relationship with another Architect that I know, like, and trust.  I enjoy having design discussions with him that would typically take place in an open office environment.  I think it keeps my projects fresh and healthy.  It reminds me to think outside of the box and approach different design solutions that I may not have considered on my own.  I also think it keeps me honest, reminds me to check a few things, and in the long run always produces a better project.  So this week I sat down with him at a local village store that is halfway between his office and mine.  We talked about the project, discussed other projects, and had a very lovely business lunch.  He reminded me that the section will not work if the flood plane is too high, and I explained why there were some interesting design choices revolving around keeping 50% of the structure.  When I got back to my office, the first thing I did was contact the surveyor who did the property survey and ask him to give me flood plane elevations.  And the first thing my colleague did was scribble on the sketch a few design ideas that might work better.  This is truly collaborative and integrated design.

Needless to say, if you have been reading this blog you know I am very excited about this project.  It’s like one of those metal puzzles where you have to take the rings apart.  It’s challenging, it’s complicated, and in the end all the rings come apart.  Or in this case, all the pieces fit together! Until next week, i’m off to collect my husband from the airport!

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