Life of an Architect

Bob Borson and Andrew Hawkins

A gifted storyteller communicating the role and value of architecture to a new audience, host Bob Borson uses the experiences acquired over a 25-year career to inform his podcast. A small firm owner, architect, and college design instructor, co-host Andrew Hawkins brings his insight from his 20 years in various roles within the profession. It responds to the public curiosity and common misunderstanding about what architects do and how it is relevant to people’s lives, engaging a wide demographic of people in a meaningful way without requiring an understanding of the jargon or knowledge of the history of the profession. With a creative mix of humor and practicality, Borson’s stories are informative, engaging, and approachable, using first-person narratives and anecdotes that have introduced transparency into what it really means to be a practicing architect. To learn more about Bob, Andrew, and what life is like as an architect, please visit Lifeofanarchitect.com read less
ArtesArtes

Episódios

Ep144: Objects of Design
11-02-2024
Ep144: Objects of Design
From a design standpoint, some things are just cooler than other things – and these things don’t need to be justified to anyone because people either understand it or they don’t … but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an interesting and amazing story behind these objects that might contribute to their coolness in a meaningful way. Today Andrew and I each selected three items and we are going to share with you some amazing stories …  Welcome to EP 144: Objects of Design [Note: If you are reading this via email, click here to access the on-site audio player]   googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1562005974350-0'); }); Today we are going to share with you something we feel is meaningful to us and why, maybe, it should be meaningful to you. Rather than making this a list of things we like – and by extension – things we think you should like as well, we are going to dig a bit deeper and talk about the story behind each item we discuss today. In a sense, it’s that story that should make today’s podcast interesting … just that fact that WE think it’s interesting probably isn’t good enough, so we are stepping up our game. The rules are simple – Andrew and I were each tasked with identifying a handful of items that we think are worthy of being labeled “Objects of Design” and we are going to present them in an alternating fashion. We are going to be keeping score because, at the end, I want my list to be better than Andrew’s list. Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier (image credit here) CC by SA 3.0 Deed Villa Savoye jump to I am starting my list today with a building – one that architects, fans of architecture, and French people should all be familiar with … Villa Savoye, a modernist villa designed by Charles-Edouart Jeanneret-Gris, better known as “Le Corbusier” and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret located just outside Paris, France in the town of Poissey. It was built out of reinforced concrete between 1928 and 1931. The villa was designed for Pierre and Eugenie Savoye as a country home but the reality is that they barely lived there, but I’ll get to that in a moment. I visited this building in the Fall of 1990 after having become quite familiar with the work as a result architectural history classes and quite honestly, even though it was not the popular still of architecture at the time, I really enjoyed Le Corbusier’s work, not so much some of his ideas on Urban planning. But to really get to the interesting part of this particular project, we have to go back to 1927 when the League of Nations rejected the modern building that Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret proposed for its headquarters. To say Le Corbusier was disappointed would be an understatement and this moment became a jumping off point that led to Le Corbusier forming the International Congresses of Modern Architecture in 1928. Another Swiss from Zurich, Siegfried Giedion, who was trained as an Engineer, attended the Bauhaus School where he met Walter Gropius and formed his initial interest and opinions on the modern architecture movement, was the Secretary of the International Congress of Modern Architecture and he, along with Le Corbusier wrote the Working Programme of the congress and formulated the text of the declaration. This program would eventually be distilled into the 5 principals  of architecture that I will mention in a Just from that standpoint, Gideon plays an important role into what Villa Savoye is at its essence but he actually continued to play a role in the building as well as its salvage from destruction. So it’s now September 1928 and Le Corbusier has taken on the commission of Villa Savoye. It is called that, maybe obviously because it was the summer house for Pierre and Eugénie Savoye. The Savoye’s developed a brief that called for the programming of the villa, but according to apparently Le Corbusier was given free reign aesthetically and he used this project to articulate some ideas that he had be...
Ep 136: Leadership vs. Management
15-10-2023
Ep 136: Leadership vs. Management
What is the difference between Leadership and Management – there is definitely some overlap, but the key distinction lies in … wait, you thought I was going to tell you in the opening? It’s going to take some time to talk through those distinctions before we get there …Welcome to EP 136: Leadership vs. Management [Note: If you are reading this via email, click here to access the on-site audio player] googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1562005974350-0'); }); Today we are talking about the nuanced distinction between leadership and management. In the circles I travel in, these terms are often used interchangeably, yet they encompass distinctive sets of skills, values, and priorities. We set today’s topic up for discussion during episode 134: Management 101 when attempting to answer the question “Do you have any pointers for architects who are transitioning into management roles.” I felt that we needed to clarify the difference between management and leadership to focus our conversation but recognized that there was a lot to unpack and discuss not only what sets leadership and management apart but also how their collaboration can propel an organization to the success they no doubt aim to achieve. Since I like to do a little research and preparation for each show, I went back into the Life of an Architect archives to see what I had written or discussed in the past where Leadership and Management were concerned. August 2013 - Leadership versus Management - the first time I pointedly thought on this subject. July 2014 – Leadership - I was one of three people who presented a day-long symposium on the topic and where most of my initial research was started. March 2017 – Attitude Reflects Leadership – anecdotal observation of how your behavior matters and how it impacts and influences others. July 2020 - Ep 054: Leadership – had my sister on the show because she’s quite literally the most qualified person I’ve ever met to discuss what it means to be a leader (possibly read some of the topics/questions we covered) September 2023 – Ep 134 Management 101 - discussing what it means to transition into management and how that is different from simply being good at your previous job. In the very first post, I ended with a quote I found, and it has unintentionally become the foundation upon which most of my thoughts on leadership have been built. It was a quote from Margaret Thatcher, and I found it when researching a new role that I was transitioning into. It is: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” If you have to tell people you’re the leader, you aren’t. “Leadership” and “Management” are inextricably linked to one another, but management is a role you are hired into while leadership is thrust upon you by others. I went back through all of these remarkably insightful posts and episodes to organize today’s conversation into 5 Key areas of distinction where there overlap but the approach to the process of solution is different based on management or leadership. For this "Vision and Strategy" image, I started with the basic concept of something old, but endeavoring to build (in secret) something centuries beyond assumed capacity, and the group captured this moment for posterity. Prompt: cowboys, high-tech stagecoach, no wheels, remote desert, Daguerreotype --ar 16:9 --s 750 --v 5.2 Iterations/Modifications to final image? 18 Vision and Strategy jump to 12:54 Management Focus: Managers focus on planning and executing strategies. They develop detailed plans, set targets, and ensure resources are allocated efficiently to meet objectives. Leadership Focus: Leaders are visionary. They set the direction for the organization, articulate a compelling vision, and inspire others to share in that vision. They guide the development of a long-term strategy. Advice: While managers implement strategies,