All posts filed under: Architecture

Move Over School – Big Girl Job

What I love about journaling is that after a year (+) at work I come back to this, and it makes me chuckle. She lives! (Mushu voice) You know what’s a great feeling? Turning off your tv. You think it’s easy. Just press the button, but man that Netflix gets you with those couple of seconds till the next episode. I lazily fumble for my “lost” remote. Oh no where is it? I can’t find it. Whoops the next episode is playing… Today marks week two at my new job. I basically wobbled home, eyes blinking, taking in the sunlight after emerging from the office. I’m better now. As you can see, I’m actually sitting down and writing instead of napping – productivity it’s a wonderful thing. Unless I think about the dinner I have yet to cook. I’m good though, I had some brownies!  I’m trying to be better. Today I took a measured 30 minute nap after work and only went over a couple of minutes. I watch only one episode and only …

Another Rejection To Motivate Me

How does that phrase go? “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” Oh come on! How else is a non-spontaneous girl supposed to live! I have to make plans, write daily to do lists in my planner, stick to a strict sleep schedule, you get the picture. Okay, I’m stalling from what I’m really here to say. I didn’t get the job. And as per my coping mechanism I start to write… I’m giving myself one night of sadness but then we must move on! (Noted: I often like to talk in the third person, I feel like then it’s a group effort) You know those really successful people that have these amazing stories of rags to riches. It’s because they had motivation to change their lives, to create a better world for not only themselves but for others around them. It’s so INSPIRING! Since I’m a Catholic I also look up to non “Cradle Catholics,” the converts, the ones that chose Catholicism, some even going against their own families religion. They all …

Clocking Out For The Last Time

You know how in the movies you always see the fired person leaving work with their cardboard box and plant walking out the entrance or with the elevator doors shutting on them with a slow zoom coming up on their face? That was me, except I wasn’t fired thank goodness, which made it much more pleasant. It was an internship and my time had expired. Such a weird feeling to become attached to something, have it become habit, then have to change it the very next day. I had been there a little over a year. Now, tomorrow I will not see my boss in the morning, I will not say good morning to my office mates or see the acquaintances I’ve made. It’s sad, but we move on right? I’m experiencing what everybody calls, “the closing of a chapter.” Now I must flip to a new page and write something wonderfully imaginative! Of course there will be guidelines to follow like, go to grad school, go to work, but I hope I can fit …

My Peculiar Obsession With Bathroom Designs

I saw some amazing bathroom designs this weekend. What did you do? I’m not trying to sound fancy and say I walked around with designers all day and saw million dollar home bathroom designs, more like, picture this… Out with my friends for a meal, I politely excuse myself to the restroom. Do I need to use the restroom? Nope, I’m just curious! I walk in, stop, and take in the area. That’s it, although I do make sure to get a good hand washing in for good measure, have to test out that water flow! You can tell a lot about a restaurants culture by the care of their bathrooms. I consider a restaurants bathroom like a person’s “baggage” or “dirty laundry.” We try to hide it, are ashamed of it, hope that no one notices, and even though you insist it doesn’t define you, it’s all people care about. Yes, obviously the actual food quality, service, and ambiance are important but, this post is about my obsession with BATHROOMS!  It’s true though! Your …

The Gap Year: And The Growth In-between

“I’ve been here before… As I circle around to another year I get a sense of deja vu. I’ve done this before. Around the same time last year, I was staring at my computer, fidgeting, pacing, and struggling to write out my letter of intent for Grad school, but where I once felt rushed and uncertain I now feel confident and resolved.” These are words I had written to myself a couple of months ago while I was applying to my masters of architecture. I find myself reflecting on them, as after 3 years my first year of grad school nears. It seemed to me like everyone I knew from school had already gone and graduated. “I am terribly behind.” It took me a while to realize that my pace, while maybe slower than others, was no less worthy or significant.  In my heart I knew I was not ready and it was in that true knowing and following of my own path that provided me with peace. When you compare your successes instead of using …

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 …

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.”

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.

That age old college question: Should I study what I love or what will make me money?

Question: People always ask the question – should you go to school for your passion or for a degree that will get you a good job. Now that you’ve finished school and have had jobs throughout the entire process, what is your answer to this?

Answer: “The idea of passion has vexed me since the moment it really became important, right before college when you are finally asked to determine a major, likely for a profession which you have no right to claim passion to. Passion, as many loved to tell me, came from this vigilant search in which you are this puzzle, with a  singular answer to light the way into the dream land called, “happiness.”

If you find your passion, you won’t work a day in your life.

What if I never found my passion? What if I didn’t have a passion?

First Day of Work

Oh the beginnings of a new internship…

We’ve all heard the stories about interns getting the bottom of the barrel tasks. Nothing wrong with it, we all have to start somewhere, and the stories can be entertaining to read. Since graduating I found myself working small contract jobs, joining a small startup Architecture firm, working as a Construction Leader at Habitat for Humanity, even starting up my own Airbnb, but I had never held an official Architectural Intern title.

Turns out the stories are true!

I started my new job at SAWS (San Antonio Water System) as an Architectural and Construction Management Intern. On my first day I sorted through FFE sheets (furniture, fixtures and equipment) counting how many trashcans, desks, chairs, whiteboards, ext., would go in each room, making an Excel sheet to stay organized. My boss joked with me that she had me working on trashcans my first day. Not the most exciting first day but at least now I had the classic intern experience!