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eric -  pretty sure we haven't met in person - unless you travel in the circle of architects who do mostly poorly-detailed fypon-clad neo-second empire mcmansions and strip malls for shady developers - they'll all tell you I'm the very bad little office monkey you shouldn't hire.

Jul 31, 12 4:53 pm

toaster your last few posts are so deserving of Olympic Post Gold!!

phallic expertise in hand  Love you so much for this, Will.



I am awaiting an important phone call or email and will let you all know as soon as I get the answer.

Jul 31, 12 5:24 pm

going in september most likely philip.  after that heading to NO and SF, and Vancouver.  especially interested in how NO has rebuilt and not after the levy broke.

As far as it goes the technical side of things re energy efficiency is well understood and kind of easy.  The social side of things is more what I am interested in.  Getting govts and individuals to choose for solar and other such cool techno-items seems the actually difficult bit.


The power company that held monopoly for eastern japan is no longer monopoly and small power companies are stepping in, including solar power collectives and cetera.  not so much wind power cuz of the cost, but we may be heading the way of germany if lucky.  otherwise we will stay just like usa and let corporations control our lives and practice acting surprised when they do something nasty, like cover up a nuclear leak. 

craziest thing about these guys is they are so bloody incompetent that they keep making unforced errors, and then get caught because they are also not so good at the cover-up side of things...but we still let them make decisions that affect our lives. something wonky with our society where we all think this is possibly how it really should be...

Jul 31, 12 8:20 pm

hey - eric - didn't mean to dismiss your last post - very sorry to hear about your eyesight.  I was joking about the deadbeat thing - I had no idea.

Aug 1, 12 9:02 am

OK, I got the phone call.  

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has offered me the position of On-Site Architect/Coordinator of the 100 Acres Park.  I start Monday morning!

I'm excited.  Nervous to give up my very flexible self-employed schedule, but the people at the IMA are so great to work with (as I learned while contracting on the Chop Stick project) and the institution has only become more and more progressive and community-oriented since I've lived here.  It will be a wonderful organization to be aligned with.  

And, to be honest with my TC friends, a little stability and companionship at work, plus benefits, will be a welcome change.

So.  A big change, I'm excited!

Aug 1, 12 9:19 am

Congrats Donna! 

<insert joke about Donna being ready for a museum>

Aug 1, 12 9:24 am
Sarah Hamilton

Yay, Donna!!! I'm so excited for you!

Just curious, though, does it mean you'll have to watch yourself on the forum now?

And Will, since you speak Japanese, at least presumably, do you pronounce Sera the same as Sarah?

Aug 1, 12 9:50 am

donna, if you need any talent, please give vado a call. i worry about our ole chap. congrats too!

Aug 1, 12 10:45 am

Awesome news Donna! You don't plan on keeping the private work/practice going do you? Benefits are definitely nice.....

Aug 1, 12 10:50 am

congrats Donna!

Aug 1, 12 11:03 am


Aug 1, 12 11:32 am

Thanks everyone. No, Nam, I won't keep the private practice going, though I will likely keep my S-corp alive for a few years for insurance reasons.  I'm finishing up a few projects still, so I'll have a busy, busy few months of both learning a vast new organization and finalizing some private clients' jobs.

On of the most exciting aspects of the new job is that Saarinen's Miller House in Columbus will fall somewhat under my purview.  What a treat!

Aug 1, 12 11:35 am

Wow! Congrats!

Aug 1, 12 12:00 pm

congrats donna! should be an awesome job!

Aug 1, 12 12:02 pm

awesome to hear donna. congrats again. you'll need to do a good write up about what went through your mind....


wait, we have blogs for that....

Aug 1, 12 12:19 pm

Wow Donna congrats!!  That is really awesome!!  

Aug 1, 12 12:36 pm
vado retro

proud of you lb, just like i always am!

Aug 1, 12 1:16 pm
vado retro

don't worry about me beta. i live with a beautiful exgf/future wife in a 90 year old bungalow with five cats one of which is named Rusty Shackleford. I am coming to Indy in August though just to warn you.

Aug 1, 12 1:27 pm

woo hoo!   kegger at the miller house! 

Aug 1, 12 1:31 pm

Woo-hoo Donna!!!!  That is so exciting.  I've been wanting to visit the Miller House for a while now and knowing that it's under your purview makes it all the more intriguing.  I'm thinking a road trip soon is in order.

Looks like everyone is doing well.  Now back to your regularly scheduled TC posts.


Aug 1, 12 1:37 pm
vado retro

bourbon will now be featured on the cafeteria 's menu.

Aug 1, 12 2:24 pm

donna - congrats on your new position!  I think you'll enjoy it.


Now I wish I lived someplace where the arch-scene wasn't full of pretentious GSD d-bags.

Aug 1, 12 2:57 pm

Congratulations Liberty Bell Donna.....I think I hear the Bells of excitement chiming here from your appointment.  Now you will also get to go to all those Museum Conferences...which has to be a blast!  You know getting to peak behind all those doors where no one ever gets to go except staff.  Have Fun!  Hope you keep poking around in here or we will miss you.


Aug 1, 12 8:29 pm

sarah, its a bit different.  like que sera sera, where each syllable is emphasized.  it is not a japanese name though and probably people will ask her how to read the kanji so they can pronounce the name correct-like.

@ donna, will you get to design still?

Aug 1, 12 9:26 pm

Nice work Donna! Very exiciting. Is this out of the work you did with vision:division?

ps. I am good at follies....


Aug 1, 12 9:35 pm

Yes, the visiondivision project brought me into the fold at the Museum.  I'll be doing little bits of design, working with other designers, and doing facilities/construction work too.  My responsibilities are very flexible at this point - I imagine it will take a year into the job before we can start to define it more, but it will always be malleable depending what initiatives the Museum has going on.

snook, poking around in the back rooms is one of the huge perks! Can't wait! There is a wing by Ed Larrabee Barnes, I'm looking forward to seeing his drawings, all hand done.



Apropos of nothing, I read the first six pages of 50 Shades of Grey out of curiosity and oh man I nearly threw it across the room.  It's SO poorly written, I don't care how erotic it might be!

Aug 1, 12 9:58 pm

Donna you should check out the 50 shades of suck tumblr.  It's hilarious.  I have no idea how anyone could stand to read such drivel.

Aug 1, 12 10:51 pm

There's a 50 Shades Generator out there that is also hilarious.  Disgustingly crass, but hilarious.

Aug 1, 12 11:38 pm

Donna - when does the new adventure begin?  Is this actually a newly created position just for you?  That's really cool that the visiondivision project brought you into the fold.

Aug 2, 12 9:22 am
Sarah Hamilton

Very interesting, Will. I've had a curiosity about names ever since reading Dr Zhivago in college.

Donna, you will have to post secret pictures so we can sneak around with you. Of course, don't use a flash, though, we don't want you getting caught!

And that spam up there is nuts!

Aug 2, 12 11:05 am

I start Monday.  Already have a meeting Monday and another Tuesday about two separate projects I'll be on.  The Facilities Head asked me today what kind of CAD programs I want - gah!  I'd take AutoCad 2002, if possible, since that's all I know!

Aug 2, 12 3:36 pm

i hear CATIA is all the rage. you should get on that. 

Aug 3, 12 7:25 am

donna - honestly, if you really haven't used revit yet, i'd give it a try. you can do 2d work in it (not quite as efficiently as autocad), but i promise, once you get the hang of the interface, you'll never want to go back to 2d only (at least not for the production part of the job. design? whole different thing). 

Aug 3, 12 10:10 am

^Agreed, you should really try to jump in.

It really isn't as hard to pick up on as some people make it out to be (I always like to compare it to Sketchup+AutoCAD for the main interface and Solidworks/CATIA for the family creation interface). AU has free past webinars, while sites like and others have great resources for other aspects for cheap learning.

Aug 3, 12 10:17 am

third rec for revit - you can always fall back on sketchup for fast simple massing and cad to crank out details...

Aug 3, 12 10:35 am

OK, I'll consider Revit.  I need to see what kinds of software other departments are using - would be nice if we could all exchange info easily.  If I do something in Revit, can it be exported to be openable in Autocad in some way?

Aug 3, 12 10:48 am

Yes'm, I'm fairly certain you can set up all the views and sheets within a single Revit file, and if needed export as a DWG or a DXF. You will just have to make sure you have your layers and line weights set up the way you want (which, can be a pain). For detailing you will usually use something called "Detail Lines", which by nature are 2D anyways.

Aug 3, 12 11:32 am

Revit <> Autocad is easy. we do it all the time. and you can purchase them bundled anyway. 

Aug 3, 12 11:50 am

Hi Donna, this sounds like a really sweet gig (and totally up your alley!) but I am curious: if this hadn't come along, where you looking to get back into the world of non-self-employment anyway?  Just curious.

Aug 3, 12 12:31 pm

manta decisions like this obviously involve a lot of different issues, but if I had to sum it up easily it would be: I need health insurance.  And what a shitty, screwed up country we live in when the supposedly pro-business party can't see the enormous influence against starting a small business our current health system entails, huh? So that's the main factor that even made me consider leaving self-employment.  I have a self-employed husband and a child with some special needs healthwise (nothing terrible) and we just can't afford to pay more than we pay for our mortgage every month just in case one of us gets cancer or is in an accident.

The other many issues of course are companionship - I've been lonely being self-employed for a long time, and enjoy working on a team more.  A steady paycheck will be a nice change, and the people I'll work with are wonderful, the work will be diverse and challenging, and I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time on a single collection of buildings.  One of the things I really enjoyed doing the historic renovation/addition work on institutions like churches and private schools I used to do was digging into the history of a place with many building campaigns and seeing how they were all a reflection of the time they were built.

Also, as much as I enjoy being able to cad in my pjs at home, I also enjoy and miss the formality of a workplace.  I've never envisioned growing my firm into a real office with employees - I had thought, when I moved here to work with my former partner, that we would have that as a goal, but it became clear over time that he did not.

So yes, I've been considering getting back into employment, and specifically NOT in a traditional firm, for a couple years at least.  Not with any urgency until this gig came along.  I actually started a thread years back, I thought it was called "adventures of the in-house architect" but I can't find any matches when I search that here, because I've been interested in what it would be like to be the architect in a non-architecture organization for a long time.

Aug 3, 12 5:58 pm

Donna, I'm super proud of you! Seems like a dream gig for you for so many different reasons. Without knowing the details of your responsibilities, but taking a random guess, you're sorta moving into the realm of facilities management. This is where picking up revit can make your life significantly easier down the road for tracking specific features/places/assemblies (ACAD2002 can't). I'd also suggest looking into a basic GIS package/skills too for tracking what is where on the 100-acres (4.35 million square feet) and all those trees.

You may also want to see if IMA will invest in a set of environmental sensors/data logger (I'm sure their archives and museum is fully wired for temp/relative humidity) as 100-acres deserves an equal level of data gathering! Drop me a note if you concur and want more info on weather stations, sensors, and potential funding sources.

I'm raising a toast (bourbon of course) to you tonight!

Aug 5, 12 7:53 pm

Due to recent events, I think donna should start posting pseudonymously again - my suggestions are "bourbonized" or "brad pitt's ass (is a better designer than you)."


... or some combination thereof.

Aug 5, 12 9:52 pm
Sarah Hamilton

Sidebar: husband and I just watched the July 30th edition of the daily show, and it ended with Jerry jones talking about glory holes. Being from Dallas, it was extra funny, but it reminded me of that old thread about architecture and dirty words. Damn if I can't find it. Anyone else remember it, and can share the link? All I remember is Vado saying something about glory holes.

Aug 5, 12 10:18 pm

ditto on the GIS.  amazingly useful software for anyone dealing with scales beyond single buildings.  finding people who can use it properly might be harder. 

Aug 5, 12 10:33 pm

Here you go, Sarah.  Loved this thread.

Aug 5, 12 11:06 pm

SO where can I find a succinct, straightforward explanation of what GIS is and does?

Aug 5, 12 11:54 pm

@ donna, basically it connects information to landscapes.  you can overlay with satellite images, maps, or any kind of numerical data.  i imagine for you it could be useful for keeping track of trees, buildings and other park-related info and managing inventory/status/whatever, over time.

we use it a lot to do urban planning scale projects and research at my university.  the students are all amazingly skilled at programming and hack it all to bits to create cool stuff - from climate change models to maps of solar access to check potential for solar power, etc.  its very powerful as a tool.  GIS for dummies has a good summary of functions.

when i took first class in GIS I used it to find an area in tokyo that had daycares, hospitals, kids doctors, grocery, elementary school, and train with 500m distance.  it sifted all data and was left with pretty good advice on where to live in tokyo since we had two young kids and dint wanna take long journeys by foot or bike while managing all the things parents have to manage. 

actually i was very impressed that there were quite large number of choices that fit those criteria.  the city is very well covered when it comes to walkability...that became basis for phd research funny enough.

Aug 6, 12 12:56 am

hey all! been a rainy couple of days because of that storm in Caribbean near Jamaica... Wonder how Mr. Cuthbert is faring?

Also anyone see this Tinshed ? Be interested in hearing others thoughts... The fact that they saved tin than rebuilt and then reclad new frame in old tin. not sure how i feel... however as one friend commented "the old meets new shot is clean as hell

Aug 7, 12 5:32 pm

did i spell faring correctly?

Aug 7, 12 9:13 pm

GIS makes maps and organizes data sort of like ACAD does xrefs - but everything is geolocated, properly scaled, and associated with lots of metadata (like REVIT). Most states (and the US gov) have on-line libraries of GIS shapefiles and other data for free. There are some free and easy to use GIS shapefile readers available, but a full blown version allows for fancy analysis and much more control on outputs (and there are plug-ins for Illustrator to really make fancy maps from GIS data). Perhaps you can get an intern from the local Landscape Architecture or Urban Planning program to show you the ropes of GIS before you decide to learn it for yourself.

Aug 8, 12 1:29 am

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