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blogpost – recovery

Happy new year! Our phone has been ringing, and we’re thankful for an active start to the new year. Keep it coming. We promise we’ll keep up.

This isn’t a common sentiment, I’m sure, but one of my favorite moments during Christmas break was catching up on my continuing education. Architects, by law, have to complete a certain number of education hours during the year, and the AIA is proud to add that their members have to do even more, not to mention the games that LEED is working to impose. Fortunately for a profession of deadline-driven procrastinators, we have a lot of CE options that work right up to midnight on the 31st.

Misouri Bank / Helix Architects / Courtesy Architectural Record:

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This year, in my crash-course continuing eduction, I learned about wood skyscrapers, and universal design for families who are “Aging in Place”, and Nanawalls like we used on the 126 Salisbury building. But my favorite article was just a set of architects talking about their very cool projects. It was inspiring, and reminded me that hey, if San Fran can do it, we can do it here too.

126 S Salisbury – With Nanawalls- Unbuilt, yet.

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So, we started the year with cautious optimism: bearing a few more scars than last year, but again with big plans, new resolve, and a shoebox of resolutions. I like resolutions – I’d rather plan to do things better than assume that things could get worse.

1300 Highland Avenue Shops and Work Lofts / KAA Design Group/ San Fran

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And so, because confession is the nature of honesty, I’ll reveal that my resolutions [were] 1) to worry less and 2) to work normal hours. I planned to get up earlier, just go to work when normal people go to work, leave the gear at the shop, and come home from dinner. This by contrast to a very common 2012 practice of 2am nights with a laptop on the sofa and 10pm microwave dinners.

I don’t know what happened that first week. You know, it’s hard to get back in the groove. The primary goal is to get the boy to school on time, and I would just get in the way if I tried to take my shower before the family left. And getting to work late just means that I have to get my hours in, and then I’ve missed supper, and a familiar pattern returns.

And then, the flu happened. On a Monday night, I stayed up on the sofa planning for an early Tuesday PLUM construction meeting. Tuesday night I was coughing and sneezing through the FICTION KITCHEN soft opening, Wednesday morning I embarrassed myself in a first design meeting for MUERTOS CAFÉ, and that afternoon I could barely make it back to my car, incapacitated for the next five days despite alternating courses of orange juice and Nyquil.

The inability to work normal hours, to accomplish a natural resolution regarding time, to faithfully address my to-do list, to be conquered by something so insignificant as a virus and a lack of sleep: these things bred worry. And so my resolution number one was no match for the complete disintegration of resolution number two. My staff says, “you don’t look like yourself.” If you’ve seen me moping around Hargett Street, this is what happened. It’s January. It’s a breakdown of resolutions, and man, that was a doozy of a flu.

Back up and walking around again, breathing through my nose. Thankful for patient clients who won’t be shaken despite a couple weeks of don’t-give-me-no-flack stares. Let’s get back to it.

We’re watching for inspiring jobs this year – we have a couple in house already, which is amazing. But really, let’s go Raleigh: we tested the waters last year with lots of new retail and new restaurants, and some really desperate new housing. But, it’s time for something great. We’ve hammered through the first three weeks, we’re done with the flu, we never believed in the bad economy anyway, and now we’re ready to draw.

Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
19 W Hargett Street, Suite 700-A | Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 889 6823 | | TWITTER: aoarch

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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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