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faith and the nissan sentra

Excellent conversation at this morning’s staff meeting. Another reminder, these meetings are open, and we’d love to buy your coffee and bagel. Join us at Morning Times on Hargett at about 9:30 Fridays.

We’re also glad to admit that “staff” now means more than two people! Our crew has expanded to three – welcome to Jose Lopez, with his extraordinary international experience and perspective on design and materials.

We’re thankful that most of our client relationships include references to bigger ideas. Architecture is, by general definition, remarkably personal and expressive. We build where we live and have community, the structures we trust for shelter, the images we intend to project for profit, service, or comfort. Architecture immediately ties us to core beliefs. The difficult client relationships come when either the design team or the client is timid in expressing those beliefs.

One of our clients, is overt about their reason to be in business. Without putting words in their mouth, they invite you to ask them why they do what they do. Their purpose relates to their work, but also to their faith, and that purpose directs the tone of their meetings, and their internal and external relationships. Our staff conversation this morning started around how our own purpose and belief(s) should affect our business, internally and externally. Again, without putting words in our own mouths, we invite you and our clients to ask questions – with the caveat that we hope you understand we’re still figuring out the answers!

However, a couple easy answers come around the table: we intend to love our neighbor as ourselves, and we intend to work hard to do it. Seems like a good place to start.


I mentioned new-guy Jose’s international perspective. He stopped us on the sidewalk on the walk back and pointed to a 1998 Nissan Sentra. I have never, ever, been stopped in my tracks by a parked Nissan Sentra. This was, admittedly, a new experience for me. Jose went on to describe that this Sentra, only favored by a 1997 model, and I’m still reaching to understand his point, is some kind of epitome of universal and practical design. Jose is a remarkable designer, and dresses with style, and so I am forced to respect his opinion, though I am not at the congnitive point of understanding it. In fact, his comments reminded me of early remarks about the utilitarian VW “Beetle”, for the people, and I told him so. I don’t believe the world was directly improved by the Beetle or its seminal philosophy, and I don’t think the Sentra has the reach of, for example, a 60’s Cadillac, or even a contemporary Fiat or Ford Focus. There’s some application here for marketability and the general aesthetic, but I admit that these comments concern me on a very deep level.

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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