Architects learn new things everyday


January symbolizes a gateway, a transition from the past and progression to the future. As architects, we should be learning new things everyday. So in the spirit of growth and change, please share a response to the question, "What did you learn today?" Should be architecture related but that can be very loosely defined and even unjustified. Just for fun. Thanks.

Jan 5, 18 1:25 pm

Love this thread idea.

I continue to learn simple Revit improvements every day. By the end of the year I intend to be fluent!

On a larger, more philosophical level, I started the new Reinier de Graaf book last night, so I will be learning lots of interesting things from it, I'm sure.

Jan 5, 18 1:32 pm
wurdan freo

I misread your second paragraph as "I continue to learn simple revit movements"... envisioning sun salutations above a keyboard...:)

Today, I learned that the Longaberger Building is clad with EIFS.

Jan 5, 18 1:34 pm
wurdan freo

Awesome... does that mean its an ice chest now? Pack it with beer.

Non Sequitur

I'm teaching myself 3DS Max.  Although I can use it and am fluent in another half-dozen modeling softwares, I'm learning it from the perspective of supervisor, not modeler.

Jan 5, 18 2:12 pm

I learned about LED high bay lights. And "corn lights", had not heard of them before. 

Jan 5, 18 2:16 pm

corn lights look really stupid by the way.

wurdan freo

I learned that I can't be in two different places at the same time.... or can I?  Well quantum physics... what say ye?

Jan 5, 18 3:50 pm

I just learned that the new 3.8M house is a go! Next 18 months are booked.

Jan 5, 18 4:00 pm

I learned today that there are architects out there that prefer McDonalds restaurant architecture over Apple Store designs.

Jan 5, 18 4:02 pm

Old McDonalds 80s McDonalds or the new generic strip mall McDonalds?


The color blue makes people have more alpha brain waves.

Jan 6, 18 3:35 pm

Me too. I don't like blue except in really small amounts.


I learned today that I should always pee before my appointments.  

Jan 6, 18 3:43 pm

I also learned never to wear loafers to a mountainside site. Sprained ankle and almost pissed myself :)


I'm sensing a theme here, jla-x...


I learned today that I'm compared to a cannibal.

Jan 6, 18 6:05 pm

The depths to which my hate for architects, never seems to find bottom.

Concrete Pipes

Jan 6, 18 7:11 pm

The access stair takes up more space than the tube. And the Japanese did this decades ago with much smaller compartments.


My trolling of White Nationalist Architecture Porn gives me great pleasures, in my nether regions.

Jan 6, 18 7:13 pm

this internet thing is getting out of hand fast.

Here is what I learned yesterday:

Most of the world's aluminum is made outside the US. But even though the automotive and building industries use most of the aluminum that comes into the US, they aren't the biggest purchasers of it. Who buys 90% of the aluminum that gets imported into the US? Goldman Sachs.

Jan 11, 18 7:13 am

that would be who sells 90% of the aluminum to the US, right?


I learned that trying to calculate lighting levels by hand is pretty futile.

Jan 11, 18 10:32 am

I already knew that, just had to remind myself by trying to do it.


Oh cool. I'll see if I can find it. Thank you.

I've known this to be true, but was reminded of it today, so not really something new that I learned but wanted to share anyway ... architects will sit through any presentation for an hour if you bring them lunch and continuing ed credit.

Jan 11, 18 1:12 pm

this would change immediately if no cell phone usage was allowed


I just swoop in before or after and steal some food and leave. I'm busy. They get my business card in return. That's business.

Today I learned (for like the third time because somehow this fact won’t stick in my head although today I thought of a mnemonic device to help) that if you want good leather you want *full grain* not top grain.
Jan 11, 18 9:27 pm

What mnemonic did you come up with?

Jan 11, 18 9:36 pm

Edelman Leather gave the presentation, and they definitely have the highest quality leather. So I think abcdEFG---> EdelmanFullgrainGood


Ha, we just had that one last week. They must be blitzing the midwest.


I learned that even though I earn 2x what my soon to be ex-wife does, apparently she's entitled to half our shit. 

Today sucked. Tomorrow's going to suck too.  

Jan 11, 18 11:22 pm

Hang in there, bro.

Do you know why divorce is so expensive? It's worth it.


Haha I'll keep that in mind


I read a bunch about heuristics over the weekend.

Jan 15, 18 11:21 am

today I learned that running everyday just makes me eat more.  Still 170 :(

Jan 15, 18 12:13 pm

But fit, I hope.

wurdan freo

today i learned that matching a replacement hardwood floor board to a custom stain color is difficult.... dammit...

Jan 15, 18 3:37 pm

sand the whole thing down to the original wood.


i just learned about half a million bands covered radiohead's creep.  even prince.

Jan 15, 18 8:23 pm

I learned that such a thing as an intake/exhaust combo pipe exists.  Still stumped by it actually.

Jan 15, 18 11:14 pm

Heat exchangers? They are great.

Xenakis's comment has been hidden
I just want to start taking my A.R.E.s

My co-workers treat like I'm some dumb Dotard Revit modeler - here go do sheet list -oh you mean shit list
My other goal is to get people to respect me - I'm no BIM nigger
Jan 16, 18 12:39 am

Yeah, I hope you get through the ARE soon so you can say.... "I'm the ARCHITECT, yo my bitches". :-)


good for you, X, do it.


People will easier respect you if you respect yourself, if the AREs help you with that, Godspeed


But X do you have to use those exact words to describe your predicaments?


Millennial? I thought he's 60 something, explains your last comment.

I learned that the tongue in T&G interior siding should always go up, and if it doesn't appear to do so in every single detail drawing your carpenter might think you are useless.

Jan 22, 18 4:56 pm

oooh good one!!


We don't even show that level of detail anymore.


I learned about unobtainuim and wishalloy. And learned to make spring rolls.

Jan 24, 18 1:37 am

And I learned that traffic jams inside parking garages (at the hospital)  are particularly unpleasant.

Jan 24, 18 1:48 am
Non Sequitur

I learn that one of my favorite brew-restaurants does not make a good dark 10.5% brew.  Sad times.

Jan 24, 18 8:30 am

I learnt many western countries (US, Canada, European countries etc) were shipping their toxic garbage to China by the boat loads while calling the country out on their pollution. China banned taking in foreign garbage this year xD

Jan 24, 18 8:31 pm

Which puts "recycling" in the dumpster. No money for scrap / waste. No production here and they won't take it there so ...

I learned Rick has a brother studying welding

I also learned that some consultants actually are open to constructive criticism despite recent experience otherwise. I was gearing up for a battle over some markups they were questioning, but once I explained the situation they said, “Ok, no problem.” I was expecting a response like I’ve been getting from another consultant I’ve been dealing with for the last month or so. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor I was so shocked by the response. 

Jan 26, 18 9:00 pm

I learned that artist is the perfect career choice for a manic depressive.

Jan 26, 18 9:04 pm
I learned that if you use the wrong kind of mastic to hang a mirror, over time it will eat through the silver on the back and show up as giant splotches in the mirror. Happily this is in a renovation job so it's something a contractor did wrong 20 years ago, not my GC.
Jan 26, 18 9:06 pm


 Something else about mirrors many designers/architects don't know is that it isn't recommended to use mastic alone to hang a mirror. GANA recommends you use something to support the weight of the mirror (like bottom clips, J-channel, or countertop) and something to prevent the top of the mirror from pulling away from the wall (like clips, channel, etc.) ... I learned this a number of years ago.

Wow, very valuable sharing, thanks you guys!


While we are on mirrors... I often notice that mirrors reflect right to the urinals in men's rooms if you peek through when the door opens. Just realized that is going to sound perverted instead of architectural...


I learned that for the low, low fee of $300, NCARB offers test candidates the chance to review the results of failed tests. I've never heard of this but apparently it isn't new. Doesn't that violate the protocol about not divulging what is on the test? What is to stop someone from giving or selling the printout of the test results to someone else to study? 

Jan 27, 18 11:29 am

Do you have a source you could share? My understanding of the failed exam review is that someone at NCARB reviews your exam to see if you really failed, not that you personally get to review your or anyone else’s failed test.


I read it on the NCARB ARE forums, it was said by an NCARB staff member.

I think you're both describing the two different options; score verification, and review and challenge. You can pay $100 to have NCARB verify your score if you think it might have been scored incorrectly. This is where NCARB reviews your test and will correct your score if it was incorrect. If so, they will refund you the $100. NCARB has stated that no score has been overturned in the past nine years. 

The other option is to review and challenge your score. This is only allowable if your jurisdiction allows it. NCARB charges $300, and your jurisdiction may charge you a fee as well. You can only review the questions you answered incorrectly. More info in the ARE Guidelines, pages 24-25.


This is what I learned about that kitchen island thread:

Jan 27, 18 8:15 pm

Looks like a Ph.D in Architecture

Add $15 and you'll equal the value of the kitchen island.




I hate the feel of wooden toilet seats, it's always like someone was just in there before you.



I learned that sometimes if you let people see the stupidity in their own excuses it works better than if I point it out to them. The trick is asking probing questions so they are forced to explain their excuses. Eventually, you'll get to the point where they realize their excuse is BS, and either change the subject, or admit they were wrong. 

Feb 12, 18 4:04 pm

My most often misspelled words while typing are buidling, construciton, and architetcure.

Feb 13, 18 12:02 pm

I learned about the Pareto distribution... It's in every other motivational speech. Mind you, I never watch these but people just love to make you watch those.

Feb 15, 18 12:43 am

I learned the primary difference between fire rated panic hardware and panic hardware is in the dogging. Then I learned if you google "dogging," there is no mention of door hardware in the first page of search results. curious.

Feb 16, 18 7:44 pm

lots and lots of tomato sauce will help with your dog- good luck! that's the worst!


It doesn't stink its just intense hee hee hee what?


Lordy! I mean, I get it.

OMG I imagine "dogging" search results are similar to when you search "stud size".


Please help keep the innocent innocent. I didn't know the term dogging till now.

I relearned that art dealers are worse than car dealers and real estate brokers combined.

Feb 16, 18 10:09 pm

I have recently learned many Architects design buildings containing Retard Chambers, and they are not even aware of it....

Feb 17, 18 1:59 pm

depends ...can you handle the pressure?


What's a retard chamber?

Most buildings.




Plugholing. Its real people! It could even kill you or someone you love.

Mar 8, 18 12:35 am

I recently learned that the lovely historic cladding profile I like, rather than having an evocative name like Dutch Lap or Clapboard or Shingle or Beaded or Shiplap is called  #117. 

<I swoon>

Mar 8, 18 11:31 am

I learned yesterday that lacewood isn't a particular pretty species of wood: it's just diseased oak.

Jun 29, 18 1:04 pm

Latin name?

Today I learned that if you drop a beer bottle on a porcelain tile floor the tile might shatter due to air gaps under the tile in the mortar, *not* due to the impact on the porcelain itself.  I mean, I think I had learned that already but forgotten it.

Apr 23, 19 1:26 pm

Drink another beer and don't worry about it. :)


How do you determine whether the tile broke because of the impact or because of air gaps?

And where's this tile floor? Are you drinking in the bathroom?  At 1 PM on a Tuesday?  Starting to worry about you.  Keep the pop tart toaster away from the tub.

Non Sequitur

but, is the beer ok?

LOL eeayeeayo we had a tile lunch and learn today!


this is why we require the interior subs to buy cans


I learned (again) that simpler is better. 

Apr 23, 19 3:58 pm

Simpler IS better but also usually harder.


That's right.


I'm looking for an area common to both simple and easy.

You'll find this area in the Venn diagram. It should be labeled, "future change order." It might also be labeled, "unintended consequences."


I need a copy of this diagram.

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