Author: Marisa D.

Undergrad to Grad school: Benefits of pushing through to the end!

It took 3 years before I decided to go back to grad school, but one does wonder what it would’ve been like if I had done them back to back. So I asked my dear friend… Q: “As one who went straight on to get her masters of architecture, what would you say are the benefits over taking a gap year?” A: Do you stop half way through a marathon? To train for a marathon, takes time, effort, sweat, long distance exhaustion, and you, at your most glorious moment of running, want to stop before the dream is finished? I think the difference for me was once I had my brain wrapped around the idea of “becoming an architect,” my realization was that undergraduate school was not accomplishing that goal. For me, undergraduate school turned out to be just a stepping stone into graduate school. Since graduate school was always the goal, it wasn’t a hard decision to continue on. I would say there are several benefits to this. I was able to focus on …

How To Manage Your To-Do List

  Are you the kind of person who has to write to-do lists in order to have a productive day? I definitely am, but there always seems to be a problem with this method. One, my list is never a reasonable amount. I always write down more than what can be accomplished in a day leaving me feeling disappointed at the end of one. Two, procrastination sets in. I’m always eager to cross an item off my list so I tackle the easiest ones first. Small victories but nowhere close to winning the war. What I’m left with is the most challenging longest tasks rolling over to day two and yes sometimes even day three. What the heck, if I’m being honest here let’s just say next week. I hope as you’re reading this you’re not judging my struggles in life. Can you relate or are you a person who has a firm handle on your everyday tasks? Maybe you’ve established a hierarchy and have the discipline to stick to it. For example, today these …

The Healthy Workplace Nudge

You know how they say curiosity killed the cat? Well sometimes it gets you off your butt to ask a simple question. Recently I’ve started reading the book, The Healthy Workplace Nudge by Miller Williams O’Neil, a recommendation by a friend. I’ve only just started but what I’ve digested so far is the imperative need for leaders to understand that they are the key factor in the positive or negative health of their employees. If you’re a leader it’s your responsibility to create a healthy work environment because even after they leave work the stresses of the day are carried with them. The big picture so far … We are in a snowball effect that starts with poor physical and mental conditions that leads to increased health bills to increased federal taxes trying to keep up with employee health benefits and finally to corporation layoffs to keep profitability up. It’s a never ending cycle of stress related chronic illnesses, but before we go too far down that road let’s bring it back to the focus …

Who is your favorite Architect?

Whether you’re a design professional, or an artist of any form, it seems people want to know where we get our inspiration from and it makes sense. In the design world we look for inspiration from the greats. I remember one professor saying, “what you’re envisioning for your project, it’s probably already been designed before so don’t be afraid of researching and gathering ideas from other people. It’s not stealing or cheating it’s the way we learn, from the best, from history.”

Are you living your life to the fullest? Yes you are! But please read on to be sure.

I had made it to the party, step one.
Now to find my exit buddy, step two.

Trying to look at ease and confident, I search. Finally, I spot a friend of mine. It’s just the two of us talking for a bit but then somehow we are joined by an older couple (late 30’s). The man, at least a foot taller than me, decked out in black and sporting jewelry across his wrists and fingers, is full of buzzed energy. The woman beside him, a calmer opposite.

We are taken through his entire life it seems. He, an open character with very expressive movements, starts to encroach on my invisible defensive bubble.

What should be taught freshman year: The Architectural Design Process

My freshman and sophomore year there were no real clients just very loose guidelines built to unleash your inner creativity. Since I was new to design my ideas were erratic. It wasn’t until my junior year did I really understand the meaning of “program” and how it fit into the design process. Having this process organized made me feel like I was designing with a purpose and that I had an achievable end goal.

Had I had this bit of knowledge earlier maybe it would’ve made projects seem more realistic and professional. Crazy forms are fun, but in the end we love believing our designs are buildable, for real people in real situations, in an environment we made safe.