movin’ on up!

r | one studio architecture is officially no more. We have moved. We are “movin’ on up” and movin’ on out as a new firm with a new name, a new website and a new mission. You can find us at ROGUE architecture. We are so excited for this new challenge and I hope everyone that follows this blog will continue to follow us as as we navigate through life as a full time architecture practice. So, click the link and check us out! Leave a comment or contact us about your next project!

manic monday: architect vs contractor

The resurrection of the Manic Monday blog post! I haven’t done one of these in too long, but hopefully this post is just what I need to get back on the band wagon. And to kickstart that endeavor I’m talking about a subject that all architects, engineers and clients can relate to – the tense and tenuous relationship between Architect and Contractor.

As an architect there are usually only two ways a project makes it into the office:

1) The client finds you either through word of mouth, advertising, the internet, etc. and calls you up to set a meeting to talk about their project.

2) You get a call from a contractor who already has the client signed on for construction and the contractor needs you to “put together a set of drawings for permit”.

I think you can immediately guess which situation most architects would prefer. That’s right, option number 1. Why? It’s simple. In option 1 the client recognizes the need for an architect’s services and expertise on the project from the very beginning and is aware of the time, talent and effort required to research, design, detail and oversee a project from start to finish. In option 2 the client may not even be aware that the contractor has hired you, the architect, to help design and permit the project. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I’ll tell you why.

Because having and maintaining good relationships in architecture and construction is the only way to stay in business. And that has to extend to your past, current and future clients as well as to contractors. But when it comes to contractors that relationship has to be built on a common respect and appreciation for what each party brings to the table and sadly, in my experience, many contractors view architects as an incredibly unnecessary evil. And this attitude has been reflected several times recently which has prompted this post.

When a contractor calls me and says “I just need a set of drawings for permit”….I just want to jump out the window. That same lack of understanding that clients have for what it is we do extends quite often to the contractors we work with as well. After all, they are the ones that know how to BUILD things. We (architects) just do the drawings. But contracts and architects are both important and necessary pieces to any project. Without one the other isn’t much good. So, it’s important that we (architects) work to build relationships with contractors and show the value of our services and how they are not just a compliment to building but necessary for the success of any project large or small.

If we can do this and do it successfully then those two scenarios I mentioned earlier will both be ideal to the growth and success of our business. Even if a client doesn’t think they need an architect, if we’ve done our job correctly, the contractor that owner seeks out will advocate for us by saying “hey you really need an architect to help you and I know a great one that I’ve worked well with in the past.” That is the single best advertising you can’t buy – when another professional recommends you as an addition to a project.

Drawing Detriment

I could not have said this any better. Drawings “backed by a wealth of knowledge and and a solid thought process.” Very well said.

Architect's Trace

2013-11-13_blog_image_cricket a

I don’t get to draw all day. I’m not a cartoon maker. Honestly, I’m getting tired of hearing clients and architects say “Isn’t that great, you/ I get to draw all day and get paid!”I know it’s typically stated flippantly, but we, or at least myself, need to really think about that. That’s not what we do and it’s part of the perception problem that the public has with what we architects do. “Don’t you architects just do some drawings?” No, no we don’t. Now before you get up on your soap box and start calling me out, I admit… I’ve been guilty of stating the same thing. However, I’m making a conscious effort to not say that anymore, it marginalizes what we do. Part of our role as architects is educating the public what it is we really do… we fall short on doing so, I know I…

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it is not enough

A must read for architects and layman a alike.

think | architect


Let me share with you a recent rant contribution to a discussion that I shared with the entire First-Year student body at a group conversation among our faculty and students after final reviews. It is also relevant to us in practice too.

Ultimately, I would like everyone to understand how architects think and get a glimpse at what we do so that they might appreciate why we may be attempting to inject more (value) into their project. People ought to expect more out of the architect than someone who merely “draws up” some plans – why else would you hire the architect? Mark Wigley, Dean at the school of architecture at Columbia University stated in an interview with Domus Magazine in 2009 that architects are able to do something that others can’t. Otherwise, why would you hire them?

“I think that architects are not very popular, even in the countries in…

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i am what i am

Simply brilliant. And the video at the end is pure genius.

think | architect


I am frequently reminded that I am made to be an architect. I don’t know what else I could do. Yes, I’ve written about this before, but it is a recurring thought as I interact with others and I discover that my interests are not the same as the “average guy.” I don’t hunt, fish or get excited about cars or motorcycles. I enjoy sports, but I mostly watch my hometown pro baseball and football team. I also am sensitive to discussions that relate to one’s opinion of their job, which is often negative. I find that troublesome, perhaps tragic – a sad way to spend your life.

This past weekend my family made a three-hour trip so my son could compete in the Pennsylvania State MathCounts Competition. It was something we were certainly glad to be part of and are more than proud of our son’s accomplishments at making…

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pop-up house : architecture : multipod studio

Beautiful. Simple. Clean. Modern. From a longevity standing I have some issue with the foundation assembly, but that’s easily solvable. This is just another example of inventive thinking in modular residential architecture.


finally a prefab “passive house” that actually looks good. this pop-up house by Multipod Studio, Marseille in france, can be erected in just 4 days and with only a screwdriver (and a couple of hands i’m guessing) they say it is low cost and fills all the requirements for being a passive home. I would live in one without a doubt. AT.

openhouse-magazine-pop-up-house-architecture-multipod-studio-passive-housingopenhouse-magazine-pop-up-house-architecture-multipod-studio-passive-housing 2openhouse-magazine-pop-up-house-architecture-multipod-studio-passive-housing

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Could You Live In This Tiny House?

Tiny Home living isn’t for everyone (like my wife), but in a world of increased mobility building a life and a home that is more compact and more intentional is an incredibly smart thing. Here’s a great example of a tiny home that packs plenty of comfort in a small package.

Change The Code

One of the key limitations in tiny house design is the fact that they pretty much have to be built on trailer chassis. Many city zoning bylaws actually have minimum building sizes to keep the riffraff out and the property taxes up; many building codes have minimum room sizes and other rules that make it very hard to build small. By having tiny house designs with wheels, it becomes a recreational vehicle and it can sneak under a lot of radars. The kicker is that it is really tough to design a decent space in an 8′-6″ wide (exterior dimensions!) space.


Andrew and Gabriella Morrison have pulled it off in their 221 square foot home. In many tiny house floor plans, designers compromise on something, be it kitchen or bathroom. Gabriella writes:

To our surprise we have not felt, at any point, that we have had to make any…

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zoning vs building code :: what is the difference?

Brilliant post on the difference between Zoning and Building Code Regulations and why you need to know the difference. Also a not so subtle plug for “why you should hire an architect”. 🙂

think | architect

zoning code

Please pardon the break from my esoteric soap box to address something important that comes up often in my practice. I have slipped in a few sarcastic statements if you’d like to count them – consider it a game.

Frequently I have property owners (or soon to be property owners) contact me interested in developing property or renovating an existing building where the early discussion revolves around what will the code permit. It is common for them to mention a discussion they had with local municipal officials where something goes wrong (often horribly – no offense intended to government officials). They state something that demonstrates a misunderstanding of the difference between a local zoning ordinance and a building code. I tried to say that politely.

When I get involved and start to do research, I find that people often misunderstand the difference and it is not uncommon that decisions are…

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Shoe Molding vs. Quarter Round

Decisions like “shoe mold” versus “quarter round” may seem insignificant, but the reality is even the smallest details make a big difference in a project.

Hardwood Flooring

There are two types of moldings that you can install on your floors up against your baseboards once your hardwood floors are laid. They are a little bit different from each other so we’re going to discuss these differences in this article so that you can make the best choice for your needs.

The first type is what is called quarter round. Quarter round molding is exactly what it sounds like. It’s molding that is cut to be one quarter of a circle. Most of the quarter round that is locally sold is ¾” x ¾” with a ¾” radius profile exposed so the molding once applied will come out from the face of the baseboard a full ¾” as well as go up the baseboard the same amount.

The second type is shoe molding which has a slightly narrower profile and is not based on a true radius. Shoe…

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