What happened?

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This place used to be pretty busy, what happened? Looks dead in here, but I still see some of the old regulars. How's the architecture biz going where you guys are at? Pretty shitty here, for me it's on life support. Well take it easy fellas.
--
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Still here but I'd say 90% lurking.
Lots of crickets
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wrote:

Maybe that's what the dropouts turned into! It all makes sense now!
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Still lurking, not too many of us left this side of the pond ? (19S 146E)
Not many encouraging signs since GFC, lunatic carbon tax in the offing, clients nervous. Steady stream of small jobs, "alternative" construction method eg pole homes, shipping container projects ... I go where others fear to tread ?
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To be honest, I see too dang little design in home design. It's all McHouses: no matter where you go, you see the same exact thing. I currently live in Texas and just got back from a trip to NJ (family business), and people are "remodeling" the 1940's-50's cookie-cutter "cape cod" houses into cookie-cutter "revised traditional" or whatever the heck it is that the current ecodisaster cookie-cutter stuff is called.
What's needed is home *design*, including energy efficiency. But what's also needed is decent construction - we bought this place before it was built, and I caught some real doozies in terms of screw-ups only because I visited very frequently while it was being put up.
For the most part, housing in North America is so boringly conformist that anything resembling actual design would probably be banned by the local HOAs...
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Beauvine> wrote:

I'll presume this is the entity formerly known as Kris?
Since moving to the woods I have done extensive renovations to what was a 7 yo house when we moved into it 6 years ago. None of the remodeling was easy or inexpensive and all of it was wrought with terror because of the construction methods that were employed during it's construction. This has caused me to re-think the entire construction method paradigm. It is also causing me to research and ponder the evolution of 20th century construction methods. I first encountered this issue, in person, while building our new home in Florida in 2002. But I was not capable at that time of carefully evaluating what I was witnessing. Now, the view is becoming clearer.
Here is the problem. Current residential construction is based primarily on the mindset of scheduled subcontractors and I believe this is predicated on the fact that the financial timeclock is ticking regarding the interest on the construction loan and other expenses. The various trades are lined up on a calendar on the contractors wall and each sub has his own particular timeframe in which to get his stuff done so that the next sub can start. This causes a *layering* of processes and materials running down a one-way street that is not easily or economically reversed. Say the various trades are numbered from 1 to 50, and number 22 makes an error which is not discovered until number 36 is complete, how do you correct 22? And what are 37-50 supposed to do while this issue is being addressed? Yes, it becomes a expensive nightmare real quick.
What does this have to do with remodeling my current house you ask? To fit it into the timeline, I'll suggest the remodeling aspects are trade numbers 51 thru infinity. Trade number 55 might be near impossible because of the way trade 15 was implemented.
What I am suggesting is an idea for designing in which the future possibilties are considered in the initial design stages of a new construction process. And, a method of construction that takes these design ideas into consideration as well.
I've been thinking about this for the past couple of years now and have actually designed some homes, about 18 of them so far, that are based in the premise that they may evolve into something else in the future and considerations are implemented to facilitate any number of changes and opportunities tomorrow. Part of the mastery of such a thing is to do this without raising the costs of the project demonstrably. It can be done, but not with the mindset of wham-bam- thank you mam of the past. Good design doesn't cost, it pays. Now and in the future.
In a way you can look at the housing bubble crash, and the soon to crash commercial bubble, as a cleansing of the field. Too many incompetent people were able to rise to successful levels at a cost to individuals and society as a whole. Many of those people are now unable to continue and have moved onto other things leaving the design and construction arena a cleared palette in which to start anew, perhaps with a new vision.
I don't know, I'm just one person, a person that thinks about the opportunities, consequences, costs and other variables now and well into the future and would like to believe I am capable of breaking free of the old way and help create a better way.
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Yup. I should set up a sig file - mainly, I've become increasingly spam- adverse re: header info...

Just to word "renovation" makes me shudder - you're more brave than I am!

At least you can learn - what's bad is that so many people don't, won't, or can't learn to re-evaluate...

Exactly. Even on the simplistic home remodel/repair TV shows, it happens time and time again where something that should have been relatively simple turns into a total nightmare because something was done wrong during the original process. It's made me completely suspicious of ever buying a "used" house - the first one we'd bought was "used", and that was quite enough of a bad experience because of all the shoddy and completely-half- assed things that had been done from the get-go.

That would make a huge amount of sense. It's one reason why military hardware is (or at least, sued to be...) modular: it's faster, and cheaper, to repair or reporpose something that's modular.

Cool! Not being an architect or architectural designer, I can't really picture it, other than the idea of mudularity. In part, that's one of the interesting things about the potential of "shipping-container architecture". Aside from recycling, and being sturdy as heck, they're already modular. The tricky part - or at least, the part I don't know how it's done - is adequately sealing attached units so that they're weatherproof. But I've seen some examples that I think look eminently livable.

Oh, to be sure! That's one of my big frustration with things in general: poorly-designed items that have to be replaces because they eitehr break, or can't do the job they're supposed to be able to do. ((Going through that now with my weed-whacker - I spend more time taking it apart and fixing it, than I spend using it...))
A building is no different - in a way, it is like a machine: parts have to perform certain functions, and they do wear out over time.

Exactly. The whole ethic of "quality products at a reasonable price, for a modest profit" fell by the wayside a loooooong time ago. It's a rip-off, essentially. And yes, the rest of the people in the society/nation do indeed end up bearing the costs, just as we bear th ecosts of *any* form of rip-off/theft. And in a way, it is a form of theft, because people are sold things (including homes) that they're told will perform in such-and-such a way - and by the time the purchaser realizes that it does NOT perform as described, the seller is long gone.

The disturbing part is thinking about what they've moved on *into*... But yes, it'd be nice if this was taken as an opportunity to change for the better. But that's an astronomically-large "if" nowadays...

I know what you mean. On a smaller scale, I'm trying to think of things similarly - as in, how can I change various aspects of my life, how can I root-out old ways/habits that are wasteful, and come up with something better, and be an example to others. I mean that in both the internal/mental sense, but more especially in the material/practical sense. There is too much waste in my life, and it really hit home so to speak during January and Feb., when my sister and I were going through my parents' house after they died. So much dang *waste*.
I don't have any sweeping ideas - but in general, I'm looking at pretty much everything now with that kernel of an idea, with a consideration as to efficiency versus waste.
It's tricky, because I also strongly believe that people need to live as *both* members of a society *and* as individuals. But the wasteful system has led to just as much (or maybe even more!) conformity than would a philosophy of efficiency.
I know I'm not expressing that well, but all of this is still "percolating". Part of it all isthe thought that, if the necessary things were more efficient, there would be more time, energy, materiel, and money left over for increased *creativity* - if that makes sense. I dunno, it's all still percolating...
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Is this Edgar?
10 years on and I'm still regular. ;)
You had me reading an old thread from 2007...
Beginning roughly around mid-2008 it seems, the alt.arch group members started dropping off-- including you, if you are who I suspect you are-- rather like how a perpetual-growth-based global civilization might "drop off" around the time of peak oil, peak population, (peak centralized government/corporate oligarchy?) and resource constraints, etc..
I recently relocated to NS and now have some land (as we all should, as a birthright) and might be about to look into a post-and-beam timber-frame straw-bale house next and maybe try to paint the town (more) green.
80% Lurk-Quotient maybe?
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On 2/17/2012 4:04 AM, Warm Worm wrote:

Yes this is Edgar, I dropped out when my ISP stopped carrying Usenet service. Never felt like paying for it and the free ones I woul use just didn't work very well. Google groups is pretty awful. Found something that seems to be working now.
I'm kind of in search of new horizons, something new to do. I've hit a dead end here as far as architecture here, it's my own fault, for getting to comfortable and complacent. We'll see what the future holds.
--
Me

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Nightseer! New horizon, I like it. Same here, design is dead, at least in the old traditional sense. So I've carved a couple new niches then stepped back and took a breather. Now, I have a whole new idea, a new way if you will, to deal with all of it. Plus, I've hooked up with some folks that are involved with design but in a different sector, so I'm all in that as well. (causing me to dredge up 40 year old memories of school - stuff I learned long ago but never used, til now) IOW, I have many irons in the fire and none of them are boiling over but all of them have promise.
Ready for this? In the past 4 months I have worked on 4 very in depth college level theology text books for people that know that stuff inside and out. Yeah, me of all people. LOL
I'm all over the map but at the same time focused somewhat and gettin tighter all the time. And don't forget, beans-bandaids-bullets, time is running out......
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On 2/22/2012 2:44 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I got a motorcycle and it's all I want to do, but it seems dangerous turning a hobby into work. So I think I might stick to keeping it as a hobby. I bought a 77 Triumph Tiger (a single carb Bonnie) and plan to work on it restore it to modern standards and retro looks.
I'm leaning towards doing something in computers. I've always been the IT guy for this firm and it's basically a piece of cake for me so it makes sense. I'd like to go to school again for something else, maybe engineering or maybe even Physics (Richard P. Feynman got me interested again). Yeah need to get some focus, this place I'm at now is dying and nobody seems to care. I have come to realize I don't like people enough to want to manage them, project manager doesn't appeal to me and I'm just not organized enough. Wouldn't mind being a CAD manager, but I have yet to hop on Revit and I'm already behind, according to most job offerings (which are already slim to none).
Glad to hear things are going well. You know as much of an atheist as I am, theology is really fascinating considering it has had such an affect on how our world is today. I guess it's more the history angle of it then the actual dogmas but I do love reading about it.
--
Me

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wrote:

[snip]

Earlier model, but went all round Europe on one of those [sigh]
Sort of bike you can listen to most of the moving parts in rotation (tappets - ok, chains - singing nicely etc. ) You might need to watch out for the clutch retaining bolt (or is it nut?) working loose. Needs checking from time to time. The noise is easily mistaken for big-end slap.
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wrote:

No - couldn't afford to bring our trusty Jeep Cherokee 5.9 litre down from PNG. Amazing vehicle. Would go over roads cut from rock and still float like it was bitumen. Now we have something that won't strand us in the middle of nowhere, but I still have to work, and my limit would be max 400 km a day. Big country this ... Queensland alone is 2.5 times the size of Texas :-)
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ecamacho4> wrote:

What could be better than fun, fun, fun all day long? Work is a losers word, so lose it. We're only here for a limited time so do what you want and tell the others to pound sand.
So I think I might stick to keeping it as a

Good one, and old enough to not have all the *mandatory* bullshit embedded in it. You can actually work on one of those things and not have to be a rocket surgeon. A set of metric box wrenches and a plastic nosed hammer and you're in business.
At the top of my bucket list is to get a Honda Goldwing and leisurely motor from the northern tip of Maine down along the coast and all around the entire perimeter of the continental US - tale a couple months to do it. I did that back in 1980, sort of, in 4 wheeled vehicles but something about the open air and the natural effect appeals to me greatly now.

For now you can't go wrong with IT. My son (now 32 and getting married next month - jeezis, how'd I get so old so fast) got his degree in computer engineering and has been working in IT since 2000. For the past 5 years he's been in charge of programming for the New York Times, Tampa Bay Tribune edition making about $80k/yr. Amazingly enough the coin hasn't made him arrogant, go figure.
I'd like to go to school again for something else, maybe

Well, if you invest in schooling you run the risk of not having a place to park it when you come out the other side, if you know what I mean. I'm an advocate of running with what you got but exploiting it all to the nth degree. You'll figure it out.
Yeah need to get some focus, this place I'm at now is dying and

I hear that. I look at employment ads now and then and realize that still using 2D Acad 2004 has left me back in the dust. Seems all the employers are wanting Microstation and Revit, BIM, etc., users, not much Acad.

Could always be better. I've always been a non-believer in the supernatural stuff but have a slight interest in the historical aspect of all of it. It is quite the hobby to delve into the *history* of the bible, that is, how did it get to where it is, rather than the stories themselves.
I don't hang out here like the old days, just stop in to see whats going on every couple weeks or so and slap Pierre around a little bit. ;-)
You still hold the record for the longest group thread!
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On 2/24/2012 7:42 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The danger lies in doing it all the time, I seem to get bored easily :-). Now if I could get paid to just ride that might be different :-)

I figured the next logical step from what I used to own and maintain some time ago, a leaky, old, VW bug would be a leaky old Triumph, and it seems I found what I need.

The appeal of 2-wheels can not be understated. I'd ride every day all day if I could now.

Yeah my problem is I'm not certified in anything so I need to take a few Community College classes to get these pieces of paper. Shouldn't be too tough.

Yeah that is the problem. I'd like to stick to school just for learning, but school costs money and that's not a resource I cna just throw away right now.

The worst part about being in an office with old fogies that are terrified of change.

Exactly. A lot of what came before in these stories led to what we have today, as much as I can't stand organized religion they had and have much influence in the everyday life of people. The truth that lies underneath all these myths is what I find fascinating.

Wow, I do? I'm guessing it was one of those pissing matches me and Don got into. I'll be in and out of this place here and there, nice to see the old fogies are still around :-)
--
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ecamacho4> wrote:

That ol' Don, he was something else wasn't he? I heard he moved to the boonies of northwestern Montana and is living like a hermit. The thread I spoke of was about the plane on the conveyor belt.
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I thought he quit all things related to building and architorture to become Ron Paul's 2012 campaign manager ;-)
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On 3/10/2012 10:06 AM, Pierre Levesque, AIA wrote:

I would actually believe this haha :-)
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wrote:

I think Ron Paul's *ideal* is mostly correct but I don't believe he is the person to carry it through. (it has nothing to do with him being crazy or an isolationist silliness) But then, none of the contenders are capable either. So we will just chug along figuring it out as we go, I guess, until it all falls down.
BTW: The new word that is looming on the horizon and will soon be common knowledge is the word *quadrillion*. It's been whispered a few times recently but before too long it will be shouted everywhere.
My personal take? They will kick the can down the road as far as they can, then repudiate all of it. That's sort of like bankruptcy but with a bigger hammer. Regardless, tough times are ahead and the smart people better provide for themselves for the future while they can.
Now, what about that round roofed house in the upstate woods? Do you need me to come up there and curve that plywood for you or what? LOL
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On 3/9/2012 6:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Oh geez that one, yeah I remember that, lol. Yeah that was a long one. Mythbusters got a hold of that one didn't they? Not sure I saw the result of it.
Yeah Don really got on my nerves but he actually got me to thinking sometimes, and thinking is good. He was just too much ego for me most times though.
--
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