Monthly Archives: September 2012

Free Advice: Color Guide

As an architecture student, I’ve learned lots of tricks to help make studio life easier. This post is about making presentation boards beautiful.

After you’ve spent literally weeks of your life on a project, you will inevitably have to present it. As an architecture student, it is unlikely that you will have spent vast amounts of time studying color and color theory (though it often is offered as an elective). You’ll also be brain dead from the all-nighters, red bulls, and take-out Chinese food. As a result, many students choose color palettes that detract from their presentations over all. I have often witnessed colors clash and become the focus of a given presentation, which is then reflected in the critique of the student’s work.

The boring solution: Stick to Black and White presentations

The BETTER solution: Find some sweet Nike’s

Nike’s are tailor made to look beautiful. If you find a pair you like, “borrow” the color palette! Here are some really quick examples of what I’m talking about:

Hopefully you can imagine this as my design presentation board. A neutral background. Darker text. Highlight colors for main concepts, ideas, and titles. 

This works with any pair of Nike’s, so pick your favorites!

After choosing your shoes, all you need is the Eye-dropper tool in Photoshop or Illustrator and you’re set!

Remember, your professor doesn’t care about the colors you choose and what a color-matching genius you are. During a critique, everyone wants to discuss your ideas and your work. Having a nice color palette just makes everything look better, and, if used correctly, can help you to convey your ideas graphically.

Annndddd you’ll get a chance to go Nike shopping at the end of every project! 

Hope this helps!

Design Work just thinking

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Making Moves Part Deux: Diary of an Architectural Prostitute


Prostitute [pros-ti-toot, -tyoot] Noun

  1. A woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money; whore; harlot.
  2. A man who engages in sexual acts for money
  3. A person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money.

Perhaps the most common advice an unemployed person receives from their colleagues as they prepare for an interview is this: Remember to sell yourself.

 It is advice that is applicable to all persons in all fields of work, though perhaps more mandatory in the design world. You must be able to show your skill and personality in everything you do: your business card, your website, your portfolio, even your tie, shoes, and glasses. What is perhaps more difficult is proving that your body of work and personality is better than everyone else you are in competition with.

Taking this advice, I have become a prostitute. Not in the traditional definition of the word, but in the sense that I am constantly trying to sell myself and services to anyone willing to pay. I have become a product; a product that must be prestigious and respectable. I have become a brand; one who’s goods and services must constantly reflect my work ethic and talent.

With that said, are you looking for a good time? I know Revit…

The Internet’s effect on the employment process has also made me rather uncomfortable and unconfident. I draft an e-mail and attach my resume, then press the tiny send button; I’m expecting that it all goes as planned. I expect that the prospective employer is seeing exactly what I want them to see. I assume the e-mail was sent to and received by the correct person. I hope the text in your resume did not, for some unknown computer reason, translate to Mandarin Chinese. I pray I didn’t accidentally send a picture of myself, flipping off the camera, dressed as a bear at a costume party.

Then, I wait for a response.

All of these unknowns and doubts have forced me to take my prostitution to the American Postal Service. A letter received in the mail shows initiative. It shows I am willing to go the extra mile. It shows I know how to properly address a letter…

To further separate myself from the crowd, I’ve developed what I’m calling a “mini-folio”. It is essentially a brochure of my work and services and will hopefully get me noticed by one of the dozens of offices I’m applying to.

One question: At what point does a lonely prostitute think, “Maybe its me…”

As a prostitute, I will inevitably face rejection. It can be difficult when it happens frequently, but it is imperative that I continue to sell myself. I must continue to be a walking portfolio. A living, breathing business card.

Perhaps I just need to lower my price and sprawl my name and number on a few more bathroom stalls…

Design Work just thinking

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How to Paint a Room: A Step-by-Step Guide

I have recently painted my childhood room to better suite a wider audience. It was half blue, half yellow, and had a banner of trucks running across the center. Being a 22-year old man, it had gotten a bit silly to come home to such a room. Knowing that one day my parents would want to sell the house, I endeavored to select a color palette more suitable for the average person, rather than leaving a room that only attracts a demographic of males, ages five through twelve. Through this journey, I have experienced and learned vast amounts about painting rooms, and have decided to share my knowledge/experience in a how to guide:

How to Paint a Room: A Step-by-Step Guide

*IMPORTANT NOTE: If ever during the Step-by-Step Guide you feel overwhelmed or under qualified, skip to Step 10*

Step 1: Watch lots of HGTV

It is important to establish an understanding of how the pros paint rooms and watching HGTV is a very easy way to learn. Television shows like “House Hunters” and “Million Dollar Rooms” discuss painting very little and are ideal candidates for pretending to conduct research. Be sure to watch such shows with the lights off in order to see the screen in more detail and sufficiently hurt your eyes.

Step 2: Select a Color Palette

It is important to select colors that do not match any of the furniture you own in order to ensure that you are forced into buying all new furniture. A rule of thumb for selecting paint colors is to choose a color that looks beautiful on the 4-in by 4-in paint sample card, but will be extremely obnoxious when applied to an entire wall.

Step 3: Visit your Local Home-Improvement Store

It is safe to say that you will need anything and everything even remotely paint related. Chances are you won’t buy enough supplies on your first trip to the store, so be absolutely sure to purchase a surplus of painting tools. Upon returning to your home, move any furniture or decorations to the center of the room that you plan to paint, creating a huge pile of junk that is difficult to maneuver around.

Step 4: Begin Removing Wallpaper

After attempting to remove a small piece of wallpaper, find a book of Satanic Verses in order to curse the previous homeowner for applying the wallpaper in the first place. Once their slow and painful death is ensured, remove the remaining wallpaper in a rushed manner. Do not worry about removing all of the wallpaper as it will be easy to paint over.

Step 5: Tape off the Surface that is to be Painted

Very slowly and carefully, apply tape to one edge of the wall you are preparing to paint. Then, after realizing that painter’s tape is an extreme waste of time, quickly apply tape to the remaining three edges. To ensure a quick removal, do not apply large amounts of pressure to the tape, as that will surely increase the amount of work you will need to do. The more likely the tape is to fall off the wall in the middle of the painting process, the less time it will take to remove once painting is completed.

Step 5 1/2: Watch more HGTV (OPTIONAL)

See Step 1 for rules regarding the research process.

Step 6: Begin Painting

Using a paint roller, randomly begin painting the wall. Remember to vary the direction in which you roll the brush as well as the pressure applied to the brush in order to accent the, “hand-painted look”.

Step 7: Remember the Details

Be certain to paint over any dust, dirt, holes, or cobwebs that may be present in the wall surface. This will save you from having to clean the wall before hand and will only add to the texture present in the finished product. Remember to apply only a single coat of paint, because primer is included in the paint mixture. It is common knowledge that all written directions are always 100% accurate and should be followed to an obsessive extent (Unless of course the directions lead to more work, in which case they should be ignored).

Step 8: Remember the Details, Continued…

It is imperative for the painting process that you leave all doors and windows in the room shut. This will help to provide you with a pulsing headache, help to remove excess brain cells, probably help with the paint’s drying process or something, and will (if done correctly) ensure that you momentarily lose consciousness. Once consciousness is regained, finish painting the surface.

Step 9: Completing the Process

After waiting 10-minutes, remove all painter’s tape quickly and carelessly, and replace all furniture. Take a moment to reflect on your handy-work and be sure to congratulate yourself via purchasing expensive gifts for yourself. In order to be completely successful, be certain to take many pictures of the process so that you can post them on Facebook and Twitter, letting all of your friends know how crafty you are. Lastly, enjoy your new room! All of your hard work has paid off!

Step 10: Learning a Lesson (OPTIONAL)

If you manage to make it this far in the room painting process, without giving up, now is the time to give up. Call some professional painters and instruct them to paint the entire room white. Then, remember to never again attempt to do any handy work at all.

I personally took the better part of a week to remove wallpaper, patch holes, and paint my room. It is incredibly tedious work and I have a new-found respect for professional painters. Though I doubt I’ll ever do it again, I think the room turned out rather well. I’ll post pictures of some of the features I’m most proud of  eventually to ensure you all know how crafty I am, of course…

Design Work just thinking

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