I am an Architectural Generalist. I enjoy everything about my profession from the challenges of the New York system of codes ( and those who "translate" it's intent ) through the Owners and Developers looking to make the best and the most of their resources. I love the act of creation. I love the beauty in every detail and the brute forces at work in nature and throughout the useful life of a built work. I enjoy turning a crumbling eyesore back into a shining building, renovation restoration or rebirth. I have the honor of shepherding a dream into the real world, creating living breathing pieces in the whole of a city, helping make it grow or function a little better. I relish the smooth machine I help create when a properly drawn and planned project is rendered in concrete and steel by the skilled craftsman in the trades. I watch in wonder as hard work and planning becomes the pride of the General Contractor, the Owners, and when all is really in balance the community at large.
Phillip Johnson once wrote that after 100 years he was still learning Architecture. I believe to be really good an architect never stops learning, growing, and working. Architecture never becomes dull because there are never two circumstances that are the same. Every job is new, fresh, and an opportunity to learn from and teach others so the entire construction industry benefits a little. Every situation brings it's community, site and context and Ownership. Every program has it's unique challenges that lead to unique rewards. I am an Architectural Generalist because there is no nice way to separate Architecture into it's component parts. All parts of Architecture are locked in struggle to obtain balance. The success of a job is such a balance of Community, Ownership, Construction, Beauty, and Utility. A house is the marriage of all of a residents needs to make their lives simple, a place of refuge and direction where relaxation and the hard work of living takes place. An office is the place where multiple functional parts and their controllers make magic together and come out commercially ahead. A factory, a store, a market, a hospital, a pub or a plaza all have a purpose, a context, and a multitude of people dependent on it. All architecture depends on it's creators and it's builders, and the visions of it's facilitators for it's life and it's success. Architects guide the process of finding the Owner's needs, translating them into buildable ideas, and providing the explanation for construction and maintenance to help a space perform. The users then breath in life and purpose.
DJMH Design, Brooklyn, NY, US, Principle
. Extensive design work for Medical Buildings in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.
Writing of contracts, design work, and ghost work for other professionals and protecting Owner's
Investors' or Architect's interests on various jobs. We also measured jobs for condo / coop filings, asbuilt
conditions, or base drawings. Preparation of NYCEEC and EECNYS reports and drawings, field
coordination, and construction observation. Zoning Studies and Site Evaluation.
Van J. Brody, Architect, PC, Brooklyn, NY, US, Project Manager
· Code and Zoning Evaluation for initial design, and evaluation of design work to meet applicable
. Coordination with clients, and specialists on all aspects of the design work, and oversaw
preparation of filing documents and all construction documents. Oversaw up to three drafters.
. Preparation of construction details and protection designs.
. Coordination with Mechanical and Structural engineers
. Coordination with DEP, DoB, FDNY, and others to obtain sign-offs of field conditions.
· Field coordination and control of Field Conditions during the course of construction;
· Assembly of presentation materials for in-house and client design-review, meetings, proposals
and presentations, and preparation of Condominium and Coop materials for the city and for sales;
. Computer generated renderings and diagrams for promotional and financing materials.
. Preparation of Coop and Condominium Architect's Report, drawings, and recording sets for
mutiple clients, mixed use developments and residential development.
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, US, BArch, Architect
Transferred many required classes from NYIT allowing me to spend extra electives in Pratt's Construction Administration program while earning my B.Arch. Gave me a window into Contracts and construction Laws, liability issues, and some of the niceties of running construction jobs. Provided a little understanding of the construction industry to help me understand what my drawings need to say, and allowing me to focus on the whole job instead of the design and drawings.
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), New York City, Bachelors, Architecture
NYIT had a great concentration on the practice of Architecture, often providing teachers who were currently working on projects in New York and it's sister cities. There was a great freshness and real passion for every subject on the part of the professors that gave me the love and appreciation I still maintain for the profession.
Work was grueling and critics brought in from all walks of life. A project working on a Museum brought a critic who designs museums, and more importantly a curator and two artists. Often students from other studios and other majors were allowed to stand in on final critiques, and if they had something worthwile to say a professor would allow them to ask a question or make a comment. Crits were the week following final exams.
City College of New York (CCNY), Harlem, NY, US, Architecture
This was the most grounded program I ever attended. The level of excellence was always high and my fellow students came from all over the world. Lecture classes were fast paced and inclusive, with smart and well educated people at the top of their game doling out knowledge from long experience. If you weren't at the top of your game you were simply swallowed whole or thrown out of the program. Crits were a mixture of professionals who never held back on there observations and you needed to have the answers. For no reason I can fathom, they almost lost their accreditation in 1994 - 1995, and I moved on.
Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY, US, Social Science
Associates of Liberal Arts, with a minor in Social Science. Allowed me to take classes in minor psychology, Critical Thinking, Sociology, and to explore literature and writing. Once my core subjects were completed here, I could move on and take more elective subjects in CCNY and later NYIT, allowing me to explore computer graphics and rendering, and to build on general Engineering classes from High School.