We thought we’d finish the year off by sharing what some of the team have been up to over the last 12 months or so…
- The tree house was completed and baptised with a summer sleepover by three grandkids, BurgerKing Whoppers & fries and watching a DVD. Also the household extension – we have lift off… windproof and watertight at least. Completion of interior…? when the architect gets the drawings done.
- The reinvented artist…. painting and sketching for enjoyment or maybe going a bit mental… Painting scottish mountains fine but drawing flowers on holiday…? Highly suspect.
- Tail end of last year’s architectural tour was two nights spent in the Duncan House (above), a reconstructed 1951 Usonian timecapsule down the road a bit from Fallingwater. Low cost, prefabricated housing for lower income families now there’s a thought… maybe not?
- Discovery of the year: Hines’ book: Architecture of the Sun, LA Modernism over 50 years. Sachs apartments already influenced one of our schemes in Birmingham, which just got planning approval.
I started RIBA Part 3 in September at BCU which included an essay on BIM which was timely given the changeover to the system at the office this year.
My biggest achievement of the year was finishing the 2011 Birmingham Half Marathon in 2 hours 12 minutes and raising £215 for Cancer Research Uk.
I’ve already signed up for the 2012 Birmingham half Marathon and another local running event. There are also plans in the pipeline to climb Ben Nevis & Snowdonia in 2012.
This year I have been mostly having a busman’s holiday and designing a house for my family. In 2012 we hope to finally start the self-build project we started planning nearly 4 years ago. The latest drawings are all available at http://home4self.tumblr.com and although there have been some dramatic changes to the design we are looking forward to barn raising party involving friends with muscles and lots of pieces of wood.
There’s been a modest of amount of writing over on the BD web site. Putting aside the time to write more often – both there and on my own blog – is a resolution for next year.
The parenting project continues and has been further complicated with the addition of a dog. She’s been a useful comfort though when dealing with the emotional turmoil that comes with an 8 year old in national ballroom dancing competitions and a 10 year old on the rugby pitch. The latter of which proved, surprisingly, to be the least violent.
My architect-by-day / geek-by-night aspirations continue with numerous side projects and tinkering online; including the use of a soldering iron and some circuit boards in an effort to learn how to do some new energy monitoring projects next year.
In September I embarked on my final year of Part 2 of my architectural education at the Leicester school of Architecture. Most recently I completed a dissertation on the ‘Architecture of Creativity’ exploring the integration and exposure of spatial and elemental relationships in school building and its possible impact upon the psyche and the development of creative thinking within the individual.
I got a dog this year! Macy, a 7 year old rescue dog (left).
I’m also looking forward to completing my house project in 2012 including installing internal wall insulation, knocking a wall down, and possibly adding a small extension – looking forward to getting rid of the old carpets! However, everything is on hold until I’ve completed my final design project for university. The project in progress is ‘The Entrepreneurs Foundry’. Based in Birmingham’s Gun Quarter, it accommodates a social enterprise that manufactures musical instruments from recycled household appliances.