Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Innovation Architect

How do you start a post that is intended to be a summary explanation of a philosophical transformation of your approach to work? Undoubtedly anything you write will seem pompous, and even more so you are sure to be longwinded and a potential bore to your readers. So in short, I think most of what we celebrate in the architectural world is bullshit. We celebrate the ability to spend money, and we celebrate it so much so that people spend inordinate amounts on projects they inherently know are temporary. What makes this absurd is the push over the last decade to celebrate the 'industrial' look. It absolutely pains me to explain to clients that in order to achieve an effective 'warehouse' aesthetic they will need to spend 3 times the amount of money to use rigid spiral ducting so they don't see cheap flex ducts. That instead of just running power and cabling from point a to b, they need to install cable trays and conduit to give it a more orderly appearance. Imagine a client's lack of enthusiasm when told how many thousands they need to spend to spray encapsulate fireproofing so that it doesn't flake off on their desktops over time and can then be painted so that it doesn't look like hideous spray on fireproofing anymore. That industrial stainless look in a kitchen or breakroom...absolutely the most expensive way to go, and most if it isn't even industrial grade. Want to save money and have cubicles in an open office, that's great, but cubicles cost 3-5 times more than a desk. We're talking about millions of dollars wasted here, all because people are sold on a style and the false impression that its cheaper. The simple fact is that you can have a kick ass space and not spend a fortune on it, but you have to accept that raw means just that. $15 can buy all the materials you need for an awesome desk made of dimensional lumber and exposed bolt heads. It's up to you to find someone who will assemble it with thought and care.